Welcome to our Parent Newsletter. The aim of this is to reflect our students’ journeys once they enter the school gates and how their curriculum reflects our Academy intent pillars of Ambition, Enrichment and Success.
Curriculum Spotlight on History
Within the curriculum spotlight strand we wish to open the door to the classroom so parents can understand how it feels to be a learner at Carlton le Willows and engage with their child’s learning. This term Mr Brooks, Head of History, would like you to know more about what happens in our History classrooms.
In History, the drill activity is utilised to help develop and embed students' chronological understanding of the past in order to support their retrieval of prior learning. The intent of every lesson is to develop students' curiosity and inquisitiveness in discovering more about the past with students being tasked with answering a particular enquiry question. This leads into our Connect activities, which help students to make links between their prior learning or to consider future links in relation to the area that they are studying in order to students to appreciate the interconnectedness of events across history. Finally, students will demonstrate their learning, based on their lesson practice, by formulating their own judgment in regard to the lesson intent.
In addition, students in History develop their historical skills by focusing on developing their source analysis, abilities to develop their own historically valid judgements and considering and analysing the accuracy of historical interpretations in order to not just develop their appreciation and understanding of what happened in the past, but to develop critical skills relevant to the present.
Currently, students in Year 7 are discovering more about the Tudors and the various religious changes that occurred, before moving on to find out about the reign of Elizabeth I. Students in Year 8 have been studying World War I and will be shortly moving on to consider what 1920s America was like afterwards. Students in Year 9 are currently considering why various historical events, such as witchcraft, develop differing interpretations and will be moving on next half-term to look at diversity and equality across the UK. Finally, students in Y10 have been focusing on Elizabeth I and will be moving on to begin looking at Weimar Germany as part of their GCSE studies.
Year 11 students are currently completing their GCSE examinations and we would like to wish them all the very best!
The Importance of Reading Regularly
During this academic year at Carlton le Willows, we have initiated a closely focused programme of reading intervention for students who struggle to read. A key part of this is the work of Mr Seaton, our specialist reading intervention teacher.
Mr Seaton currently runs two intervention programmes; Reading Plus and Fresh start. These are for students who have been initially assessed as having a reading age below the national expectations of KS2.
Reading Plus is a software package which develops comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation through targeted online lessons. Students can earn awards for passing an age-related reading level or by completing ‘combos’ which are back-to-back texts at 80% accuracy. The programme automatically adjusts the difficulty level all the time depending on students' performance. Students access this intervention during their literacy group time. Reading Plus provides reports and leader boards which can be shared with students for further motivation.
Fresh Start is a phonics catch up intervention developed by Ruth Miskin’s Read Write Inc. This intervention goes right the way back to teaching initial sounds and is designed to identify and address gaps in students phonetic decoding. The are taught to read sounds, words and then modules (whole texts which include the sounds that have been taught already). The intervention is taught on a 1:1 basis for students who are learning their speed sounds and for the early modules (1-14). From module 14- 33 the intervention can be carried out for groups of up to four students. They will also have access to a virtual classroom where they will be able to have further practice as independent work and homework.
Mrs Coutts's Book of the Month
Spark by Mitch Johnson
Spark is a zany, action-packed adventure with an important message at its heart.
The main character, Ash, has always lived in Last Village. The world is unbearably hot, water is in short supply, and life is hard. After a vicious thunderstorm, Ash wakes to find that the village's water has completely run out, and all the other villagers have mysteriously disappeared.
Accompanied by the outcast Bronwyn, Ash sets off north in search of the fabled “Kingdom” where life is said to flourish. But, the two children have many dangers to face, and when they come in sight of journey’s end, they make some horrifying discoveries.
This is a compelling dystopian tale with excellent central characters that you really root for. The harshness of the environment is well described, and the journey the characters take, with a series of encounters with minor characters and some extreme jeopardy help to keep the reader hooked.
Gallery of Excellence highlighting student work
Once again, we are proud to be share some amazing work from our students.
Our A Level Media students have created some incredible coursework. These are some of their print media productions.
In History Year 8 students have created posters giving details of local soldiers who fought and died in World War One. To make these the students visited their local war memorial, chose a name, and then researched them using the Nottingham Roll of Honour website.