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Introduction

The Checkpoint suite


This is the first stage in a suite of Coursebooks and Workbooks, supported by a Teacher’s
Resource CD, to deliver the Cambridge Secondary 1 English curriculum for each of the
three stages of Lower Secondary education, stages 7–9. It culminates in the Checkpoint
test, an external diagnostic assessment at the end of stage 9, revised for examination
from 2018. This suite leads into the Cambridge IGCSE® First Language English suite
written by the same author. The approaches are similar to those of Cambridge IGCSE in
order to create a consistent course across the five years of the secondary school English
curriculum, and to continue on from the Cambridge Primary English curriculum
framework.
Each stage of the three-year Secondary 1 programme has an appropriate theme and skills
focus, derived from the Cambridge Secondary 1 English curriculum framework, moving
outwards from the student’s home environment to a wider context and then on to a
global perspective:
• Stage 7: Narration and reflection – My World (home and school; family and friends)
• Stage 8: Description and information – The Wider World (people and places)
• Stage 9: Argument and discussion – A World View (aspects and attitudes)

The skills
The skills for Secondary 1 are different in degree but not in kind from those assessed at
the end of Key Stage 4. The language level and length of response gradually increase,
but the basic skills of comprehension and expression need to be developed from the
beginning of the secondary programme. Both Checkpoint and IGCSE are text-based
assessments which test students’ familiarity with and understanding of the conventions
of a range of fiction and non-fiction genres, as well as the mechanical writing skills of
vocabulary use, spelling, punctuation and grammar. The attendant skills, all developed
in this suite, are exploring, inferring, selecting, supporting, structuring, analysing and
evaluating. The course takes a holistic approach, mixing language learning and practice
with response to texts, so that students appreciate that reading and writing skills, language
and literature study, are interdependent.

The structure
The content follows the revised curriculum framework for each of the three years,
covering the requirements for Reading, Writing, Speaking and listening. The course
is progressive over the three years. Within each Coursebook and within each unit
containing different types of text, the skills are progressive. In addition, each activity has
a progressive structure of three or more bullets which provide scaffolding for the task.
Additional Key point and Tip boxes offer explicit teaching to support the overall skills
delivery and the specific continuous writing tasks and learning outcomes for the unit,
which are the objectives and genres specified by the Cambridge Secondary 1 English
curriculum framework. Within the Coursebook, there are opportunities for the recall
and repetition of the practice of key skills.

© Cambridge University Press 2017 Cambridge Checkpoint English 7: My World 1

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Introduction

The Coursebook and Workbook each contain 12 cross-referenced units. The Coursebook
units are in a logical order but stand alone. Each unit prepares students for one or more
extended writing tasks, with models provided to aid their completion. The Workbook
units continue the subject matter and give further practice of the skills and language
points of the corresponding unit of the Coursebook. This Teacher’s Resource CD
contains suggested and example answers to the activities in the Coursebook and to the
exercises in the Workbook, as well as providing worksheets, supporting documents and
additional visual materials. It also gives ideas for extension activities and suggestions for
further reading in the unit opener grids.
Each Coursebook unit consists of a minimum of 12 activities, and it should take an
average of 30 minutes to complete each one, including feedback to the teacher
and/or the class. There are typically three main reading texts per unit, which should
each take 10–15 minutes to read. The Coursebook as a whole should provide enough
material for the academic year, with the Workbook as an additional source of exercises for
classroom and homework tasks.
There should be a set of dictionaries and thesauruses in the classroom or access to them
online. As they work through the Coursebook, students are expected to make notes in a
notebook. Sometimes they are asked to work on a copy of a text. They can write answers
in the spaces in the Workbook. It is recommended that they keep a vocabulary book in
which to record new words learned, along with examples of their meaning in context.
There is a complete two-paper practice progression test, plus mark scheme, based closely
on those provided by Cambridge International Examinations and published on its
website, with which to end the year’s study as a practice for the Cambridge progression
tests. Please note that these practice tests and mark schemes have not been produced by
Cambridge International Examinations.

The aims
Students should be enabled to make full use of their English skills in their later study,
work and social lives. They should be encouraged by this course to read for pleasure,
and to widen the range of the types of reading, writing, speaking and listening that they
undertake. The Unit overview grids on this CD suggest further reading and extension
activities.
The Cambridge Checkpoint English suite aims to:
• build up good habits of independent learning
• convey the curriculum content for Cambridge Secondary 1 English
• provide examples of a variety of reading material and ways of responding to it
• give practice at responding to reading at word, sentence and text level
• vary the tasks and include retrieval, reflective and evaluative skills
• encourage effective teaching strategies.
The activities lend themselves to a mixture of individual, paired, group and whole-class
interaction, and to constant speaking and listening opportunities. Although these are not
explicitly assessed by the Checkpoint tests, they are integral to the curriculum framework.
The first activity in each unit is designed to get students thinking and talking about the
topic, and to engage personally with it, before they are introduced to the texts.

© Cambridge University Press 2017 Cambridge Checkpoint English 7: My World 2

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Introduction

A wide range of ability is catered for by the wealth of material provided in the
Coursebook, which teachers may select from and tailor to their students’ needs. Further
differentiation is possible in the teacher’s judgement of:
• how much time to allow for each activity
• how much additional support to give
• the form any feedback should take
• how long and at what level the outcome should be
• which tasks to set for homework or for individual students
• how much use to make of the reinforcement and language practice exercises in the
companion Workbook.
The topics have been chosen according to the subject interests of students in the 11–14
age group, of both genders and all cultures, with the aim of providing stimulating texts
which are enjoyable as well as challenging. Students should be entertained and engaged
in order to be motivated, but they should also be stretched, as well as supported, if they
are to make progress and learn effectively.
Marian Cox

®
IGCSE is the registered trademark of Cambridge International Examinations

© Cambridge University Press 2017 Cambridge Checkpoint English 7: My World 3

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