“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosopher
We believe that studying English is the gateway to being able to communicate successfully with everyone we meet, whether that be through the written word or our spoken language. Through studying a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, both modern and from the literary canon of Britain, and from other cultures, students are given the opportunity to explore a range of perspectives enabling them to better understand themselves and the dynamic world they live in.
Key Stage 3
Each year group will undertake six units throughout the course of the year, engaging with a range of topics from science fiction to advertising to dystopian literature. By reading increasingly challenging texts across a range of time periods and genres, we will develop students’ core reading skills, such as comprehension and inference. Simultaneously, we will teach them to write fluently, effectively across a range of text types and topics. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss topical matters and hone their public speaking skills. Students will sit exams at three points throughout the year. Each exam requires students to answer a selection of multiple-choice questions as well as more detailed extended response questions on their prior learning, testing both reading and writing skills.
At GCSE level, students will study English Language and English Literature separately. Throughout the course, they will examine a range of thought-provoking literature from Shakespeare to Carol Ann Duffy, in order to develop their evaluative and analytical skills, considering how authors communicate effectively and imaginatively. The assessment consists of four exams, two for each of the different forms of English at the end of Year 11. These exams test both close reading and essay writing skills that have been honed throughout the course. In addition, students will undertake a non-exam assessment in spoken language in which they will write and perform a speech on a topic they feel particularly passionate about.
A level English Literature is a challenging, highly regarded and highly enjoyable subject. It introduces texts of all genres and from all periods of English literary history, ranging from Wilde to Shakespeare to McEwan. Students are also able to choose their coursework texts independently, which gives them the opportunity to pursue their own literary interests. Studying a range of literature gives pupils the opportunity to broaden their ideas, develop the skills involved in debate and discussion and encourage the discipline of detailed textual analysis and evaluation. English lessons are based around analytical discussion; students will encounter a range of activities in lessons to complement and improve their understanding of set texts. The summative assessments for this subject are through both coursework and the terminal examination.
English develops analytical and communication skills, both written and orally. The breadth and skills of this subject combine extremely well with the arts, sciences and humanities and is a useful foundation for a range of university subjects. Potential careers can include, but are not limited to, writing, publishing, law, education, marketing and the media.