Professional Development for Quality Teaching


Decoding and Writing Reviews

Published: Jul 2020
4 mins


Two secondary English teachers plan and deliver lessons on decoding language through studying newspapers, and explain why their lesson plans would appeal to male-dominated classes.

Leon Hady's class of Year 8 boys at Westminster City School are decoding film reviews. He starts the lesson by teaching them a new word - in this case enthralling.

For a main lesson activity, the Key Stage 2 pupils study a film review of The Hulk, written as if it had been composed by the film's leading character. They are then challenged to write in the same style. For the plenary, Leon plans a longer writing task based on reviewing a short French animation.

At Warden Park School in Sussex, Claire Leech has a lively class with a disproportionate number of boys so she plans an activity where the pupils will review the way commentators have covered England's performance in the World Cup.

Some of her pupils are given broadsheets to study while others read tabloid coverage. Their task is to spot and decode clique, style and bias.

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