Within the English Department, we aim to foster a love of reading and enjoyment of significant literary and cultural texts so that students are confident and able to participate fully within lessons but also to appreciate the pleasure to be gleaned from the wealth of literary culture. We hope to establish regular annual theatre visits throughout Key Stage 3 so that all boys have a good and broad experience of performance theatre.
We aim to develop creative learning environments where students can mature in their writing skills, extending the range, scope and complexity of their language use. We hope that all students will develop in their production of progressively more sophisticated writing in both literary and non-literary contexts. Alongside this, we aim to foster a deepening love of reading with regular private reading sessions and the challenge of more varied texts within the classroom.
As students mature, we build upon their creativity to produce more analytical and comparative responses to literature so that by the end of GCSE all students can independently respond to all texts with confidence and skill.
Key Stage 3: Years 7, 8 and 9
Topics covered in Year 7 include developing skills in reading and writing in “All About Me” autobiographical writing; narratives and story structures; Greek Myths and other early stories; an introduction to Chaucer; an introduction to Shakespeare and his theatre; and drama scripts.
Students take part in an annual Readathon raising nearly £2,000 for children’s charities, and can go on regular theatre trips. We invite theatre companies into school to do workshops on Shakespeare when appropriate. There are also weekly private reading sessions in the library to extend and maintain a good reading habit where boys are expected to read at least one book per month outside of the classroom and then update a reading log in their Study Guide. Regular shared readings of poetry are also incorporated into the wider reading scheme.
Key Stage 4: Years 10 and 11
All boys study two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. All GCSEs are 100% examination with all exams at the end of Year 11. In 2015, 92% achieved a B or higher with 66% achieving A or A*; in GCSE Literature the results were 77% A*-B and 55% A*-A.
Key Stage 5: A Level
Students have an option of two highly successful A-level courses in traditional English Literature (97% A*-C grade in 2015), or a stylistics course: Language and Literature (53% A*-C grade in 2015). All students read widely, develop independent writing and critical analysis skills in coursework and the vast majority achieve very high grades.
Exam Board: AQA
Whilst literature is the central focus of many lessons boys will develop analytical skills in responding to media and non-literary texts. They will develop confidence in speaking and listening in integrated KS3 Drama as well as exploring key issues in media texts. Exam performance and individual progress are developed through regular testing of key skills alongside creativity and analysis in the classroom. These will be assessed in controlled conditions tests and an annual examination, as well as homework tasks so that examinations skills and independent learning is fully developed.
Mr D Gould (Head of Dept), Mrs H Burns, Mrs J Corp, Mr J Eaves, Mrs C Fernandez, Ms K Johnson, Mrs S Rose, Mrs R Lovera (2nd in Dept), and Mrs G Welford.
For further information please contact the Head of Department via the School Office:
T: 01892 529551