English

In the English Faculty we strive to ensure that a study of any of our subjects will:

  • foster a love of literature, the theatre and the media;
  • equip pupils with the ability to recognise the power of written and spoken language;
  • equip pupils with the ability to be confident users of language;
  • broaden the experiences of pupils by introducing them to a wide range of literature, media texts and encouraging them to see live productions;
  • develop sensitivity, appreciation and clear thinking;
  • provide pupils with the opportunity to develop their self-confidence through presentations and performances;
  • develop creativity and independence of thought;
  • promote tolerance and understanding of others.

Lower School

Years 7 and 8

“A drop of ink may make a million think.”  ― George Gordon Byron

The overarching aim for English in Years 7 and 8 is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of spoken and written language, and to develop their love of English through widespread reading for enjoyment and pleasure. 

The range of forms studied in the Lower School, will prepare students for the study of English Language and Literature at GCSE and will include novels, short stories, poems and plays covering a wide range of genres and historical periods. We will provide opportunities to study authors and poets in-depth. Students will experience and develop an appreciation and love of reading, and will read increasingly challenging texts.

Students will be taught to write clearly, accurately and coherently for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. They will acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions from their reading and will use these consciously and creatively to achieve particular effects in their written or spoken language work.  They will be given many opportunities to become competent speakers and listeners, making formal presentations and using discussion to learn by elaborating and explaining clearly their understanding and ideas.  

Upper School

Years 9 - 11

“People who love literature have at least part of their minds immune from indoctrination. If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.” – Doris Lessing

Students will complete a three-year integrated course leading to two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature (Edexcel). Continuing the work from the lower school, pupils will develop their skills in the three key assessment areas: speaking and listening, reading and writing through the study of a broad range of literature and non-fiction texts.

In Year 9, students will develop their skills in writing imaginative, analytical and discursive essays, demonstrating their ability to plan, research and present new ideas. The importance of technical accuracy will be stressed. Students will study a selection of poetry and Shakespeare as well as non-fiction and media texts and we will develop their analytical, comparative and evaluative language skills.

In the final terms, students will study an anthology of unseen literary texts in preparation for the GCSEs. Speaking and listening skills will continue to be developed through a wide range of oral work, including individual talks, debates, group and class discussion

In Years 10 and 11, we will focus on our set texts for English Literature, which in this case are Robert Louis Stevenson’s "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" or George Eliot’s "Silas Marner", William Shakespeare’s "Macbeth" or "Romeo and Juliet", William Golding’s "The Lord of the Flies" or J.B. Priestley’s “An Inspector Calls”. Our students will also study a range of poetry from the Edexcel Anthology. These will also form part of the Literature examination. The anthology is comprised of both classic and modern poetry, with the intention of introducing a varied canon of poetry that interests and inspires. We have chosen texts that are, in our opinion, both challenging and engaging. 

Our preparation for the English Language examination is integrated within the two years and for this will we study a broad range of both fiction and non-fiction. We aim to help students read critically and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing. We will continue to develop their analytical, comparative and evaluative language skills. We aim to help them acquire and apply a wide vocabulary alongside knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

The English Department is passionate in our aim to help our students to grow in confidence and maturity in all areas of communication. We encourage individuality and discussion. At the end of Year 10, students will be expected to deliver an individual talk on a topic of their choice. The grade (pass/merit/distinction) will be reported separately to the English Language qualification.

Sixth Form

A-Levels 

Students can choose from a range of subjects in the English Faculty: English Literature, English Language and Literature, Theatre Studies and Media Studies.

English Language and Literature (Edexcel)

Assessment is by external examination (80%) and coursework (20%).

Students will engage creatively and critically with a wide range of texts (both spoken and written) and learn to use linguistic and literary approaches in their reading and interpretation of texts, showing how the two disciplines can relate to each other. They will develop and apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation. They will have the opportunity in the coursework unit to develop their skills as a creative writer, creating both literary and non-fiction texts and learn to analyse their style and influences.

Texts studied: a wide range of examples of non-literary and digital texts from the 20th and 21st century; Arthur Miller’s "All My Sons"; Angela Carter’s "The Bloody Chamber"; Emily Bronte’s "Wuthering Heights"; Khaled Hosseini’s "The Kite Runner"; a range of non-fiction genres from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. 

English Literature (Edexcel)

Assessment is by external examination (80%) and coursework (20%).

Students will study a wide range of poetry, prose and drama from 1300 to the present day.  They will be encouraged to make connections and comparisons between texts and to investigate the contexts in which the texts were written and received.  This allows students to consider contemporary critical writing and to develop independence.

Students will study poetic form, content and meaning in preparation for responding to an unseen poem and extend their understanding of the concerns and choices of modern day poets. They will also study aspects of drama via one play, exploring the use of literary and dramatic devices and how playwrights shape meaning.
Students will study aspects of prose via two thematically linked texts. They will explore links and connections between them and the contexts in which they were written and received.
Examples of texts studied: a range of poetry, from the established literary canon through to the present day; Tennessee Williams’ "Streetcar Named Desire"; Oscar Wilde’s "The Importance of Being Earnest"; Shakespeare’s "Othello" or "Measure for Measure"; Khaled Hosseini’s "A Thousand Splendid Suns"; Thomas Hardy’s "Tess of the d’Urbervilles"; Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein"; Kazuo Ishiguro’s "Never Let Me Go"; John Keats – selection of poetry.