The need to communicate and imagine are essential in life and the English Department aims to develop and hone these skills. Enthusiastic and highly qualified teachers encourage pupils to develop a life-long love of language and literature, while also supporting the individual needs of learners in helping them maximise their academic and social potential.
The importance of developing accurate communication skills, including speaking and listening, is emphasised in lessons, but the Department also highly values creativity and the ability to imagine. A passionate team of teachers give motivational encouragement to pupils to become more ambitious readers, writers and speakers. This is achieved by using a variety of stimulus, from classic literature to modern texts, and poetry to newspaper articles.
The Key Stage 3 programme aims to inspire and encourage pupils to become confident communicators, enthusiastic readers and prepares them for the various challenges of Key Stage 4 and later Key Stage 5. Schemes of work focus on skills of comprehension, analysis, writing in various forms and speaking and listening.
Shakespeare and pre 20th century fiction and non-fiction is studied throughout the Key Stages and whilst GCSE and A level now feature set texts, the Department encourages individual choices and independent research and learning at every opportunity. At all stages, pupils are encouraged to read as widely as possible.
Enrichment and Co-Curricular
The English Department runs reading programmes for all Key Stage 3 pupils by working closely with the Library and through lunchtime reading clubs. Trips to local theatres, conferences and other educational visits are undertaken to complement class work. Pupils are also supported via Key Stage 4 and 5 tutorial sessions and an after-school ‘catch-up’ group. The Department also co-ordinates the running of the School Newspaper and public speaking events.
The English Department participates in Shakespeare Schools Festival which allows all Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils the opportunity to perform an abridged Shakespear play in a professional theatre. In addition, we run a poetry and prose festival within school to celebrate the creative writing of some of our most imaginative pupils.
Pupils in Years 10 to 13 also have the opportunity to take part in the National Theatre's 'New Views' playwriting programme, which teaches various approaches to playwriting and beneifts from a professional playwright coming in to support pupils in the writing of their own 30 minute piece of drama for a national competition.
Pupils follow a joint course in both English and English Literature that develops skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening and encourages wider reading and pupil creativity.
All pupils are expected to be entered for both GCSEs, although some pupils may be entered for English only.
Pupils whose first language is not English may not be sufficiently fluent to be successful in the GCSE examination, the English as an Additional Language (EAL) Department will offer alternative assessments that will meet university entrance requirements.
Please click here to find out more about our GCSE option.
Apart from being a crucial skill in communication, many pupils go on to study English Literature at A level.
This qualification is valued in all higher education institutions and will also further enthusiasm and enjoyment of the written word.
Please click here to find out more about our A level course.