DOL Literacy - Mrs H Swinnerton
In today’s rapidly changing society, if students are going to be successful, healthy and happy members of any future society, they will need to be competent, confident and innovative in their use and understanding of language.
All lessons at Hugh Christie will be concentrating on improving students’ Literacy through conversations, activities and reading connected to the different subjects studied.
Students will be encouraged to read as much as possible and they should practice this at home too. Reading a wide variety of fiction and non –fiction is key to success in examinations.  Having conversations and discussions will also help students’ to improve their communication skills and encouraging them to speak in sentences will definitely improve their chances of success.
Information and ideas on reading are attached to this page and these documents will be updated regularly. This is the area where Home and College can work together to help students be as successful as possible.
Reading Titles at Hugh Christie - Click to see the full suggested reading lists
Children's and Young Adult's Authors
HCTC Reading list in Categories
The school's Literacy Policy can be viewed by clicking the link here.

Year 8 writing project - message from mrs swinnerton

I would like to tell you about a project we run with Year 8 which aims to improve their writing skills. This project has now run for four years and has helped Year 8 students become more creative and accurate in their writing.  

As you may be aware from the news, the English and Maths examinations that Year 8 will take in Year 11 are different to the ones you may have taken and are much more demanding.  They will be graded from 1- 9 and there will be no more coursework. These new examinations are going to ask students to write longer, essay style, answers which will test their ability to write fluently and accurately. Therefore, the Year 8 Writing Project has been designed to begin our students’ training for these final examinations in their Year 11.

Also, we are very aware, that students still need to be able to write with a pen, even in today’s technological world, and that their handwriting should still be clear and legible. Students also need to be able to be creative, using their imaginations to create a piece that is interesting for someone else to read. They must also be able to use a variety of words to communicate their ideas.  This project will help the students practise these skills and be imaginative in what they write.

The Year 8 Writing project will require all Year 8 students to complete one piece of writing a week for Homework. These pieces are being set by all their subjects and a programme of tasks is included with this letter. All your child’s subjects are taking part in this project as it is not just in English that students need to be able to write and we want to emphasise the need for accurate, clear writing in every subject and every task.

Students must complete these pieces using pen and paper. They will be given a word limit by their teachers, but what they write is for them to decide in relation to the task. Teachers will mark the pieces in 5 key areas: sentences, paragraphs, punctuation, presentation and achieving the word limit. A central record will be kept at school of all these pieces and you will receive an update on your child’s progress at Year 8 Parents’ Evening and at the end of the year.

Please do support and encourage your child to complete these pieces properly and to the best of their ability. Please do talk through the tasks with them before they write and then read through their work with them so that they see how another reader responds to what they have written. I know this could be tricky, but getting your child to re-write a piece before it is handed in would help them improve their writing skills.

Thank you for you support in this project; it does give our students the best possible chance of success in future examinations, jobs and life.

If you would like to discuss this further then please do not hesitate to contact me at school or by email at hswinnerton199@tonbridgefederation.co.uk.

Mrs Swinnerton

What’s the Programme?

The following is the timetable and tasks for the year.

Date w/b



Term 1 2017



September 18th 2017

REAL/ English

Choose a story from a book/ film/ TV drama and write an alternative ending to it.

September 25th 2017


So just how much do we use numbers in everyday life? Write a detailed account of your day showing how you have used numbers in your life.


October 2nd 2017


If you could control one of the key elements of Air, Fire, Earth or Water, which one would you choose to control and what would you do with that power and why?

October 9th 2017


“Everyone should be a vegetarian”. Write a piece arguing either FOR or AGAINST this statement.


October 16th 2017


If you had a TARDIS, where or when would you go and who would you like to meet? 


Term 2 2016



November 6th 2017



You are going on a journey and something happens so that you end up in a completely different country ( you can choose which one). Describe what happens and your experiences in this new country. Try to include descriptions of the scenery, people and language.

November 13th 2017


Choose a famous painting and imagine that you are trapped inside it. Describe what you can see and what you might do. If there are people in the picture describe what you might talk about with them.  You need to say which painting you are using.


November 20th 2017


Which story characters would you like to invite for dinner? Choose 5 and explain why you want to invite them, then write the script of what the conversation was when those 5 met.



November 27th 2017


The Government has decided to ban The Olympic Games because they believe it is too costly and too many athletes are cheating.

Write a letter to the Prime Minister persuading her to change her mind .

December 4th 2017


You have been asked to create a numbers story for young children. Create characters ( like the Mr Men or Little Miss Characters) for each number 0-9 and explain what sorts of characters each number would be.

December 11th 2016



Term 3 2017



January 8th 2018

Music & Drama


January 15th 2017

REAL / Philosophy and Ethics

Describe a whole new world that you would like to see. What will it look like? What values will it have? What rules would you want people to live by?


January 22nd 2018


You have the opportunity to rid the world of 5 inventions that you feel are not positive in this world. Choose 5 inventions and for each explain why and how you want to get rid of them.

January 29th 2018

 Year 8 Advisors

“This week I am …….” Advisors to get students to write during Advisory over the course of the week where they outline their thoughts on what is happening in the world or how they feel or what they think about things. This could be done as a diary.

February 5th 2018


Imagine that Scientists have perfected the ability to clone people. Write a piece arguing whether or not you think this should be allowed and how you would decide who gets cloned and who doesn’t.


February 19th 2018


Which 10 words are the most powerful and important in the English Language?

Choose your 10 words and write a paragraph for each on why this word is so powerful and important.

February 26th 2018



If all the colours of the rainbow were placed in order of importance, what would the order be and why?



March 5th 2018

 REAL/ English

Write a story which connects the following items: a train ticket, a suitcase, a skateboard, a piece of string, a tiny dragon, a piece of paper with the number 55789 on it and an out of date tin of beans.


March 12th



March 19th 2018


Imagine you are The World Cup Trophy. Describe one of the finals you have seen or would like to see.

( this doesn’t have to be the football World Cup)


April 16th 2018

REAL/ Geography

Choose a famous landmark or building e.g. The London Eye, Mount Everest, The Statue of Liberty or The Shard. Imagine you are that building, landmark, tower or statue and describe a day in your life. It could be a normal day or a day when something unusual or special happened.


April 23rd 2018

Music/ Drama


April 30th 2018


Students to undertake an Evaluation of all their Writing Project pieces for the year.


May 7th 2018


Write a letter to your Careers Advisor outlining what jobs you would like to do and what you would like to be doing in 10, 20  and 30 Years’ time.