Pi Academy Course: Year 3 English Beginner
Age Group: 8 to 9 years
Course Duration: 45 minutes per week
Course summary: A beginner course in English for prospective 11+ students who want to get a head start in preparing for the exams. The course expands on the national curriculum to increase the student’s understanding of a range of texts including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. A solid grounding in grammar, punctuation and spelling is also provided. Students will be able to increase their vocabulary and understanding of word choices within various texts. Both descriptive and objective styles of comprehension are covered. In addition, we offer help and support with creative writing.
Reading and Comprehension:
- We develop a positive approach to reading, and an understanding of what our students read, discussing a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
- We develop a habit of using dictionaries to check the meaning of words that they have read
- In addition to the student’s own reading, we recommend one book per month for the student to read and then discuss in class. We recommend a wide range of literature, including popular twentieth-century books and short stories.
- In comprehension work, students are encouraged to discuss any words or phrases they find particularly interesting.
- We teach techniques to answer comprehension questions such as inferring characters’ feelings and their thoughts and motives from their actions. We teach students to justify these inferences with evidence and how to assemble this evidence.
- Students are taught how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning.
- Students are set a homework each week to see how they progress independently. This is then discussed at the start of the lesson.
- All our tutors assign one weekly task of creative writing as a homework. This work is then discussed in class.
- Writing technique, form and structure, and advice on handwriting also covered in this course.
Prerequisite: We assume the student attending this course is well-versed in the fundamentals of English KS1 and is familiar with basic literacy techniques including reading, writing and SPaG.
Course resources: We provide lecture notes and homework tasks after each lesson. We have also developed a summer reading club so that students may continue their literary education during the summer holidays. If desired, we can also provide a list of recommended reading during term time.
Why this course is important: To achieve places in London’s top Grammar and Independent schools, students must not only have a good grasp on basic skills in English, but also be able to build on them. As English is a finely-nuanced and complicated language, which takes time to fully understand, we recommend this course to parents wishing to give their children the best chance possible to develop their English skills in time for the run-up to the 11+ exams. By encouraging students to begin to think critically, the pressure that can build up during preparation for the 11+ exams should also be reduced.