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English and English Literature

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

English is a vital subject, not just in and for itself, but also because the ability to read, write and understand texts accurately, underpins the successful study of almost every other subject within the curriculum.

However, English is much more than that – we aim to foster a real appreciation of reading as a means of facilitating our understanding of others and of the world around us, alongside developing an understanding of the power of the written word and the way in which we can write effectively for different purposes and audiences.

In the English department, we enjoy studying the nuances of meaning within texts, articulating our opinions and providing evidence to support our ideas. It is our hope that every student will leave as a formidable opponent in debate and in written communication, based upon a wide literary understanding.

Years 7-9 (Key Stage 3)

All students study both English Literature and Language at Key Stage 3, following a rigorous curriculum which prepares them for the demands of the AQA GCSE courses. By the end of Year 9, all students will be familiar with the demands of their forthcoming GCSE course and will already be working at GCSE standard across the required skill base.

Years 10-11 (GCSE)

Examination Board: AQA

In English Language students will be assessed on their ability to understand, interpret and comment on a variety of literary texts from 1800 to the present day. They will also be assessed on their ability to write for a range of audiences and purposes including descriptive and narrative writing as well as writing to present a viewpoint. The preparation and assessment of Spoken Language is a compulsory requirement of the English Language course. Students’ achievement within this area of the specification will appear on their certificate as a separately reported grade. The assessment is common across all examination boards and ranges from Distinction to Fail. Students will be assessed on their ability to use Standard English, demonstrate presentation skills within a formal setting and listen and respond appropriately to questions.

In English Literature students study two key components: “Shakespeare and the 19th century novel”, and “modern texts and poetry”. Students are required to analyse a given extract alongside the whole text and will respond to unseen poetry as well as comparing poems from within the anthology which they will have studied as part of the course.

Sixth Form (A Level)

Click here  for the sixth form section.

Other information

We are famed for our competitions, including our annual celebrations of National Poetry Day and World Book Day. We have run a cross-curricular Rock School Day for our younger students at the end of the Summer term and we have enjoyed author visits from Cecilia Ahern and Eoin Colfer.

English department runs an extensive co-curricular programme including: House Spoken English Competition, Shakespeare Speaking Competition, Public Speaking Competitions, The Big Debate.