Years 7-9 – How to answer all of the Qs on your exam

Read the document thoroughly.  ensure that you pay close attention to what you do in each question and how long it should take you.

Paper 1 Overview

Some of you may find it useful to learn some of these sentence stems for each question.

Language Paper 1 Sentence stems

There are some additional practice papers attached below:

The Woman in Black INSERT Paper 1 RB

The Woman in Black Paper 1 RB

AQA Paper 1 Section A To Kill a Mockingbird extract MLy


Year 8 Grammar – Sentence Variety 2

Year 8, Week 7: Sentence Variety 2

In your writing, you need to be using a variety of complex sentences, in addition to simple and compound sentences.

Forming complex sentences

A complex sentence consists of a main clause (or simple sentence), which makes sense on its own and a subordinate clause (or dependent clause), which relies on the rest of the sentence to make sense.

e.g. When I go home, I eat toast.

‘I eat toast’ is a main clause and makes sense on its own.

‘When I go home,’ relies on the other half of the sentence to make sense.


You can form complex sentences by opening your sentence with a number of words that create subordinate clauses. These are called subordinators.

Common subordinators are:

Punctuation and subordinators
Because opening a sentence with these words creates a subordinate clause, you MUST have a comma later in the sentence to separate it from the main clause. (look again at this sentence)

or      When I go into town, my friend comes with me.

Year 8 Grammar – Verb Agreement

Year 8, Week 6: Verb agreement

It is important when you are writing to remain in the tense that you started writing in, unless you are making a deliberate change. This means that all of the verbs you use need to agree with the tense that you want to write.

Verb agreement in the past tense

It is usually easiest to stay in the correct tense when you are writing in the past tense as most stories are written in the past tense and we usually tell stories in the past tense.

However, it is possible to get confused:

I lived in a town where there are lots of other teenagers.

Even though you might think that the town still has lots of teenagers, you need to keep the sentence in the past tense. The correct way to write this would be:

I lived in a town where there were lots of other teenagers.


Verb agreement in the present tense

The present tense can be more difficult to control as we are more used to using past tense forms and these can often creep in:

There is a girl on the bus in front of me. She picked up her bag and moved forward. I stare out of the window.

This example has a mixture of present and past tense verbs. The paragraph began in the present tense, however, with is so should continue in this way. Picked and moved are past tense verbs and so have been misused.

The paragraph should read:

There is a girl on the bus in front of me. She picks up her bag and moves forward. I stare out of the window.


Year 8 Grammar Week 5: Hyphens

Year 8 Week 5: Hyphens

Hyphens look very similar to the dash but they are not the same. A hyphen is used to join words or parts of words together.

  1. a) They can be used to join a prefix to a root word where the root word begins with the same letter as the prefix ends with:

e.g.   co-own     re-enter

  1. b) They can also be used to join a prefix to a root word that would have a capital letter e.g.

pro-French                       post-Tudor                           pre-Elizabethan

  1. c) You also need hyphens to link words together where the meaning might otherwise be unclear.

For instance,

A man eating squid.                        Would mean that a man was eating a squid!

A man-eating squid.                      Would be describing a squid that eats people!

  1. d) You would also use them to join words that rely on each other to make sense.

For instance,

A three-year-old child

A used-car salesman

Other examples:







Reading Tracker – Years 7 and 8

Please click on the form below. In year 7 and 8, you are expected to read every week to progress well through the accelerated reader scheme. Please complete this form once a week.  As a minimum we expect you to read for at least 20mins, three times a week.  You must submit the form once a week.


Remember that those who read do best at GCSE and beyond. The 20 minutes a day may seem arbitrary but it is based on research (Nagy & Herman, 1987):

Student A: Reads 20 minutes a day (3600 minutes in a school year and 1,800,000 words) and scores in the 90th percentile in standardised tests (Grades 9-7))

Student B: Reads 5 minutes a day (900 minutes in a school year and 282,000 words) and scores in the 50th percentile in standardised tests) (Grades 4-6))

Student C: Reads 1 minute a day (180 minutes in a school year and 8,000 words) and scores in the 10th percentile in standardised tests (Grades 1-3))

By the end of Year 7, Student “A” will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days. Student “B” will have read only 12 school days. Which student would you expect to have a better vocabulary? Which student would you expect to be more successful in school…and in life?

We also want you all to have a rich vocabulary that will help you to understand and express sophisticated and nuanced ideas.

Happy Reading. Remember that those who read do best at GCSE and beyond.  It is also a wonderful way to relax at the end of the day.