Students experience a wide-ranging curriculum during the three years. In Years 7, 8 and 9, there are opportunities to study plays, poetry, novels and non-fiction texts. Students’ learning will include the origins of our current language through reference to Beowulf, Shakespeare and Milton, as well as opportunities to study modern writers and discuss topical issues of debate. Many units are accompanied by homework projects enabling students to pursue their interests and strengths in more depth. Each year builds on knowledge and skills, scaffolding their approach so that they can successfully begin work on GCSE level tasks by the final term of Year 9.

Students study for two GCSEs: in English Language and English Literature. Throughout the two years, students develop a range of skills that prepare them for examinations in both disciplines. The units taught include novels, poetry, drama, creative writing and analysis of non-fiction sources. We study several set texts, but also develop verbal communication skills and examination technique. There is focus on writing in both expressive and formal ways, as well as learning how to analyse how others use language. To track progress and build confidence, there is an assessment at the end of each unit. Throughout KS4, the goal of the department is to make English challenging and exciting.

English Literature A Level: Key skills covered include:

  • essay-writing, and the planning of a critical argument
  • the command of critical vocabulary and formal language
  • a grasp of how historical and cultural contexts shape the meanings of literary texts.

English Language and Literature A Level: Key skills covered include:

  • how to explore texts critically and creatively
  • how to analyse spoken, non-literary and literary texts
  • how to write fiction and literary non-fiction

Both courses suit students who enjoy reading, independent thinking, and who enjoy discussion and debate. In addition, they both include the study of plays, prose and poetry and the opportunity to pursue personal interests through coursework.