“Language most shows a man, speak that I may see thee.
It springs out of the most retired and inmost parts of us, and is the image of the parent of it, the mind. No glass renders a man's form or likeness so true as his speech. Nay, it is likened to a man; and as we consider feature and composition in a man, so words in language; in the greatness, aptness, sound structure, and harmony of it.” Ben Jonson
“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.” T.S. Eliot
For GCSE, pupils take IGCSE (Cambridge) English Language and IGCSE (Cambridge) English Literature. Our priority is to ensure that all pupils have an excellent grounding in reading and writing proficiency and are able to express themselves, both orally and on paper, with fluency and control, adapting their language and structures appropriately to purpose, situation and audience. Another key aim is to continue the work from the Year Nine as regards imbuing pupils with a love of literature, giving them a sense of both the scope and the variety of literary texts. Through this nature of study, we believe that pupils grow and mature in terms of their own outlook on the world as well as their ability to communicate with that world.
For A level, we follow the Cambridge English Literature course. English at AS and A2 will attract all those who enjoy reading, talking and writing about a variety of texts, ranging from the earliest writers in the English canon, right up to contemporary texts by living writers. Pupils will acquire a sense of the wide scope of literary texts, alongside an understanding of historical, cultural and critical perspectives on writers. Pupils should be prepared to read widely across all the genres of literature, and to read critical and theoretical texts. They should use the opinions of major critics and theorists both to test their own opinions against and to gain a better understanding of the process of acute and illuminating analysis.
There are strong links between the English and Drama departments and recent productions have included performances of ‘Twelfth Night’, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, and ‘Shakespearience.’ The English department is also linked with the CRANE department which provides additional support for pupils of all abilities with Special Education Needs (SEN), from Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) to Gifted and Talented Pupils. Also offered at GCSE and beyond is the ‘English for the Gifted’ programme, which is designed to extend the learning and love of literature of a small selection of identified pupils.
We hold an annual Literature week with a varied programme of activities including guest speakers and writers, House spelling competitions, ‘Lit on the Lawn’, creative writing competitions and film screenings. Students are also encouraged to make good use of our excellent library, which has a wide collection of fiction, non-fiction and reference books and an extensive collection of recent academic interest magazines.
Head of Department