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.
At KS3, Students take part in an annual Readathon raising over £1,000 for children’s charities, and can go on regular theatre trips. We invite theatre companies into School to do workshops on Shakespeare when appropriate. Drama lessons in the Drama Studio take place in all year groups. There are also weekly private reading sessions in the library to extend and maintain a good reading habit.
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 is developed through regular testing of key skills alongside creativity in the classroom. These will be assessed in controlled conditions tests and an annual examination, as well as classwork tasks.
The Shakespeare Globe Performance
On the 18th of March 2013 the year seven pupils were lucky enough to have been able to watch an amazing performance by a company specialising on Shakespeare. The performance took you through the different stages and plays in Shakespeare’s life. They performed small sections of some of his most famous plays. They really appealed to the audience and were very funny. I think that they have helped anyone who found Shakespeare intimidating find it more appealing. They had great costumes and right from the word go they had captured your attention and your imagination. I thought that it was great that they didn’t have any scenery or sound affects as it made the whole performance more authentic and interesting. It means that you really have to pay attention to get the full experience. Over all I think that all of the year sevens walking out of the hall after the performance had taken a different view on Shakespeare’s plays and writing. It really gave us a proper understanding and head start on understanding Shakespeare. (Edward Shamwana, June 2013)
All boys study English GCSE and nearly all study English Literature as well. The pass rate remains steadily high with 100% A*-C, most gaining a B or better. This year’s results were English: A*-B 95% and English Literature: A*-B 49%.
At A-level we currently offer two choices: A level English Literature (AQA specification A) and English Language and Literature (AQA specification B). More details of these are available at www.aqa.org.uk/qual/gce.php. Teachers work with students to develop independent reading and analytical skills so that coursework (40% in both areas) is of the highest possible standards, and shows the students' personal interests and responses to selected works of prose, drama and poetry. Students have some limited ability to write creatively in response to the set texts on both A-level courses.
English Literature courses currently focus on topics relating to: literature reflecting World War I, and the themes of Love in literature. English Language and Literature focuses on applying linguistic study to the analysis of language in all types of text, including the current theme of Travel writing in module 1, and the study of paired prose texts with a prescribed theme in module 2.
Mr D Gould (Head of Dept), Mr J Eaves, Mrs C Fernandez, Ms K Johnson, Mrs R Lovera, Mrs G Welford, Mrs D Price, and Mrs N Phipps.
For further information please contact the Head of Department via the School Office:
T: 01892 529551