Monday, June 16, 2014

Transition Year Survey 2013-14

On Saturday the 2014-15 Transition Year completed their course with the annual Actiontrack Showbuild (click here for pictures). A report follows soon.

A couple of weeks ago, IV formers completed online surveys on their experience of the English course. As always, we tweak the course after reading these comments. We encourage the pupils to be reflective and honest about their own development, and here are some of the comments made:-

  • I really enjoyed the Work Portfolio, because I was able to let my imagination run around and I love writing about tense and dramatic situations.
  • As a foreign pupil I was able to improve over the year massively. Through the Portfolio process I was able to improve my written English enormously. For the first piece I needed nearly two days, but in the end I was able to write an essay in 45 minutes.
  • Having to write an extended essay is very challenging and it improves your English a lot.
  • I think it was interesting to look into the books from another point of view, not just the story.
  • Overall I have learned loads. 
  • I think my creative writing has improved after the modules and I have a better understanding of English as a subject now.
  • We never had to do essays in my old school, and when we had to write something it was more than 300 words; I think the Extended Essay and the Work Portfolio helped my writing a lot.
  • The Portfolio was a great thing for me, because it forced me to write different kinds of essays.
  • I found analysing the books in the Extended Essay a good challenge, as I have never done anything similar before.
  • I really enjoyed the English TY; it was one of the subjects with the most work to do, but my essay writing and English in general improved. I also enjoyed reading the books, especially A Thousand Splendid Suns.
  • The books we read were interesting; they gave me the idea of what books I am into for further reading.
  • The way I talk, the way I write and the way I generally express myself has improved a lot this year.
  • (In my previous school) our English classes consisted mainly of copying notes about nouns and synonyms and other such stuff. We literally spent 40 minutes writing things down in our exercise books, with no time for the imagination or anything.
  • I think  the modules were very useful and a good idea. The change of subjects and aims was interesting and never got boring. I also found it good that we had a lot of opportunities to write about what we want, like for example the Extended Essay and the Work Portfolio. Completing big projects like these was challenging and I never really did something like that before over a period of time. I found that very interesting and I could improve my English a lot through writing and reading in class over the year. I especially liked reading A Streetcar Named Desire in class, because everybody could take part, read roles and we discussed the story a lot. 
  • I think I really improved my English this year. When I think about the beginning of the year I remember I was really bad at writing essays. We never had to do essays in my old school and when we had to write something it wasn't more than 300 words and I think the Work Portfolio and the extended essay helped me to improve my writing a lot. My speaking wasn't good as well and it was really embarrassing to talk in class but by the end of the year it felt better and wasn't embarrassing any more. This year really helped me to improve my English.
  • I feel I have both really improved my essay writing skills this year with both the Extended essy in the first term and the work portfolio in the second, and also my debating and public speaking skills. Even though it didn't seem like a good thing at the time, I am very glad now that Mr. Canning made me participate in the House Speeches competition. Unfortunately I feel I didn't take advantage of the extra time given for reading books. Especially in the last term, I only managed to finish one novel.
  • Through out the year I found the work load in English quite demanding but I feel like I have achieved something. When my work from the year was handed back to me it felt satisfying and rewarding even if I was disappointed with my mark. Reflecting back on the year I really enjoyed English in TY. I put everything I had into English so I hope I have improved. However it is hard to judge whether I myself have improved but we will see in the years ahead to come.
  • I think the fact that this survey is present reflects on the greatness of the English department.  I liked the solid stucture of the year so we knew what was ahead of us from the start. It was very well run and I feel like I have achieved something from it. The only improvement I can think of is that more of our portfolio work should be done in class, not in our own time. I would have also liked more feedback on my work.
  • I don't think I've improved much over the year. I enjoyed the reading the books and plays and became more confident answering questions about the books, and voicing my opinion. I have improved in my poetry writing from Ms Smith's module, but I believe that my creative writing and essay writing has not improved. I was too rushed with my work portfolio which was my fault; it just made me write bad rushed essays that I was not happy with. I like to think I took advantage of the opportunities, but my pieces were not up to par to the other pupils. 
  • I don´t think Julius Caesar was really useful, another play from that age would have been better to read.
  • I have enjoyed the English year; it's been interesting and fun. I've learned a lot throughout the whole year, in the way we've been doing work and building up our to the final term. I've tried to my best  to take opportunities in English and in TY. I took part in the TY English House Speech, which was definitely a challenge, I've never done anything like it before and I'm glad I did.

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