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Year 8 quiz consolidates pupils’ knowledge

Posted: 12th December 2017 | Category: Year 8

Year 8 quiz consolidates pupils’ knowledge

In Year 8 English lessons, pupils study the NATE Gifted and Talented novel, 'The Ruby in the Smoke' by Philip Pullman. Despite being published in 1985, the story is set during the Victorian era. We believe it is useful for pupils to gain contextual understanding of the Victorian period in preparation for studying 19th Century literature as part of the new GCSE English Literature and Language specification, at their future senior schools.

The melodramatic plot and characters engage the pupils and the complex vocabulary challenges our articulate pupils. As part of the study of this text, Transactional Writing (article, speech, letter) tasks are also completed. The scheme of work then culminates in writing an essay response.

At the end of term and for enjoyment, Year 8 participate in a quiz, testing and consolidating their knowledge of the novel. The pupils had to create their own questions round that would challenge their fellow classmates. Mrs Wright prepared the bonus round and tie-break question. All pupils were competing for the prize of a free copy of the next novel in the quartet titled 'The Shadow in the North'.

For the quiz, there was the option to dress in Victorian costume. Each pupil played the role of a character from the novel when reading the chapters aloud in class to promote active participation and ownership of their learning.

James performed the role of the villainous Mrs Holland, Lizzie read the part of the novel's heroine Sally Lockhart, Lucie and Ruby read the part of the feisty Actress, Rosa Garlard. Freddy played the lovable Photographer, Fred Garland, Guthrie was the cheeky-chappy clerk, Jim Taylor, Matthew B was the Victorian pick-pocket, Trembler. Jiya performed the role of Mrs Rees, Sarah presented her maid, Ellen. The child slave, Adelaide was read by Matthew T, Toby was Captain Lockhart and Joseph played the troubled sailor, Matthew Bedwell and Molly performed the role of his twin, the Reverend Nicholas Bedwell.

The quiz was organised as a typical British Pub Quiz with team names inspired by locations or characters from the novel, and pupils enjoyed crisps, chocolate and ginger beer.

The quiz is a great example of the engaging learning that occurs at Skippers Hill and the pupils were keen to celebrate the study of such a wonderful text. At the conclusion of the story, Guthrie summed up the feelings of his peers stating, "I didn't want it to end." His comment was followed by his classmate Ruby asking, "What's the next one?" The pupils at Skippers really enjoy immersing themselves in their English studies in a fun and engaging manner. 

Karen Wright 

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