I’m not sure how other schools choose to teach the GCSE English Language skills but I have chosen to teach the skills through a text which is separate from the GCSE English Literature syllabus. As a new teacher, and therefore one who doesn’t have a wealth of resources from previous texts on the GCSE, I chose SMART by Kim Slater.
The language in the book is accessible for KS4 and it is in a similar vain to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. It’s also set in Nottingham which is great because a lot of the pupils I teach can relate to the locations mentioned or local ‘in-jokes’. As part of this, we taught the skills for Paper 1 alongside reading the text.
The students really loved the story and it got them interested in reading! These were students that weren’t going to go out and buy books at the weekend but lo and behold…several of them went and bought SMART as well as some of Kim Slater’s other books. What more could you ask for as an English teacher?
To complement the work we were doing in class and reinforce their understanding of Paper 1, I created some bookmarks that had a breakdown of each question on the paper as well as a bumper list of ‘writers’ methods’ to refer to.
I simply printed them on regular paper, folded them over and laminated them for durability. Students said that they were really helpful and they referred to the ‘writers’ methods’ list when completing class work.
You can get the FREE editable PowerPoint file by clicking on this link.