I have always been a big fan of using comprehensions in our home learning. For the simple reason that when kids work through a comprehension they are actually practicing a lot of different skills all at the same time – reading, writing, grammar, spelling and if it is a non-fiction comprehension they could be covering Science, Geography or History (we love working through non-fiction comprehensions on topics that we have just covered).
For the KS2 years I often turned to the Twinkl website for their comprehensions and always liked the fact that they had such a wide range of topics. But when my daughter first moved up to KS3 and I searched for KS3 comprehensions on the site there were not that many so I admittedly did not go back and keep checking to see if they were adding more (a bit silly of me because I knew that the Ks3 section was still new so of course they were still building it up). But then last week I was looking at some English Literature units on the site (side note – we love the English Literature units if you have never looked at them it is worth having a look they cover lots of different books). Anyway while I was searching for some English Literature pages I came upon the Northanger Abbey Comprehension which was new (well it was not on the site when I first looked through the comprehensions), so I quickly went back to see what else had been added and I was stunned. They now have a lovely wide range of comprehensions for the KS3 years and sticking with the Twinkl formula they have different levels for the comprehensions (so for each comprehension you can normally choose from 3 different question papers depending on your kids age and ability) and they have included some vocabulary sheets – which I love. Oh and of course they have included answer pages.
So why am I so thrilled to find a good source of comprehensions for KS3 when I could just buy a comprehension book? Firstly, the different level of questions – we like covering Topics with both kids (I currently have one in Year 5 and one in Year 8) so I can use the Lower level of KS3 activities with my youngest. Secondly, I like the range of topics, no I Love the range of topics. They have included some fascinating comprehensions for holidays like Christmas and Easter (we have some of the Christmas ones already printed out).
They have comprehensions on famous people which I always find interesting to use and they have some on stunning Classic Literature works. And then some rather more unexpected ones – like Schools around the world and How to win a war with the weather report, and some interesting ones that I know my son will like – Giant Rats and Spiders one and the Lego one.
They also have created bumper packs which I really appreciate so you can download the Weird and Wonderful pack and you end up getting 10 different comprehensions on 10 different topics. I love these packs. I spent a few minutes just downloading a few packs and I quickly had a good set of Comprehensions to choose from.
I am really happy that I stumbled upon that Northanger Abbey comprehension and then went to discovered all the new ones that have added. And it also reminded me that a site like Twinkl is always adding content so just because I could not find something 18 months ago does not not mean it is still not on the site.