It is the aim of the department to foster an enjoyment of language and encourage a love of reading in our students.
We believe that their abilities should be developed within an integrated programme of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, in order that they learn to communicate effectively in their speech and writing, and listen with understanding.
This should also enable our girls to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers. These skills can be carried with them into other curriculum areas and help them to become independent learners.
Outside the classroom, the department involves itself in a number of areas of school life. To support the curriculum, we offer theatre visits to London, Stratford, Oxford, Milton Keynes and beyond. We have close links with the Drama department and Drama is often incorporated into lessons and co-curricular pursuits.
We have an active Debating Club, which meets weekly to discuss a range of controversial and thought-provoking topics. We participate in a range of competitions throughout the year.
Key Stage 3 English
Our main aim at KS3 is to encourage an enthusiasm for texts of all types! Students interact with an array of texts—novels, plays, poetry, non-fiction—including Shakespeare, nineteenth-century texts and more modern writing. Through this, we build students’ confidence in the range of skills required at GCSE level and beyond, striving for a smooth transition from the rigours of KS3 into GCSE study in Year 10.
GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature
All students study both English Language and English Literature at GCSE; we follow the Edexcel specifications for both. We take an integrated approach to our delivery of the two courses, taking opportunities to make links across the subjects. With a strong focus on communication skills, these GCSEs enhance students’ work in other subject areas as well as being valued qualifications in their own right. A good grade in GCSE English Language is a requirement of most higher education institutions and other post-16 routes.
A Level English Literature and A Level English Language and Literature
An A Level in English is regarded highly by universities and employers alike and will complement a wide range of other subjects. We offer two different courses: A Level English Literature, which is the more traditional course (a facilitating subject for Oxford and Cambridge), and A Level English Language and Literature, which incorporates creative writing and the study of non-fiction alongside analysis of literature texts. Both courses are varied, challenging and interesting, with excellent links to future pathways for higher education and careers.
We follow the Edexcel specifications for both qualifications.