The English department aim for all students to have a rich, enjoyable and diverse experience of language and literature. We will inspire students to:
• respond critically and confidently to texts of any genre and from any era
• communicate articulately and appropriately in any context
• be creative and passionate in their approach to English, whilst gaining a life-long love of literature and language.
“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.” C.S Lewis
As a group of passionate subject specialists, we believe in ‘irrigating’ the ‘deserts’ of daily life with an extremely varied and imaginative curriculum in order to inspire enthusiasm for this most creative of subjects. Our students study an enormous variety of fantastic texts, from Shakespeare, Steinbeck and Orwell to Priestley, Hosseini and Pitcher. We are also lucky enough to have a number of media specialists who work within the department; the uptake for Media GCSE is testament to the ingenuity of the media studies offer at Key Stage Three. Students study short films, advertising and reality television in order to allow them to take a critical stance to the world around them. In an increasingly competitive world, it is undeniably important to be able to communicate effectively.
With this in mind, the English department aims to endow all students with the ‘necessary competencies that daily life requires’ through our focus on core literacy skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening which runs through all of our schemes of work and underpins every learning experience. We provide a rich extra-curricular offer; we have taken children to the National Theatre and The Globe this year, as well as taking part in the Jack Petchey ‘Speak Out Challenge,’ the National Literacy Trust’s ‘Words for Work’ scheme and participating in numerous author visits in conjunction with the library. We were also incredibly fortunate to have The National Theatre visit the school this year to perform a version of ‘Macbeth’ for our GCSE students.
English Vision and Values
To develop inclusive, innovative and inspiring learning experiences that engage, enthuse and encourage learners to become independent and analytical people. We aspire to develop a passion for English Language, Literature and learning in both staff and learners.
A selection of what your child will study with us at Key Stage 3:
• Autobiographical writing (Year 7)
• George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ (Year 7)
• An Introduction to Shakespeare’s World (Year 7)
• The Utopian and Dystopian genre (Year 7)
• Speeches that Changed the World (Year 8)
• Poetry on the theme of Identity (Year 8)
• The Adventure genre (Year 8)
• Women in Shakespeare (Year 8)
• John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ (Year 8)
• Poetry on the theme of Love and Relationships (Year 9)
• Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Year 9)
• The Victorian Gothic genre (Year 9)
Suggested places to visit in London to support your learning
• The British Library
• The British Film Institute
• Theatre productions/poetry readings /book signings
• South Bank Centre
• The Globe Theatre
• The Museum of London
• Your local library
• Royal Festival Hall
Types of homework task:
Each student will have two homework tasks per week.
This homework will consolidate the learning in the lesson and will take the form of: Research, essay writing, analysis, reading, character profiling etc.
What your child will study at Key Stage 4:
English Language GCSE:
• Language Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Writing and Reading
• Language Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
• + Spoken Language Component
English Literature GCSE:
• Literature Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel
• Literature Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry
What your child will study at Key Stage 5
English Literature A-Level:
20% Coursework Unit
• Analytical essay comparing ‘The Bell Jar’ and one other novel of the students’ choosing80% exam
Comparative essay comparing A Thousand Splendid Suns & Wuthering Heights
Analytical essay on any poem from ‘Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry and English Romantic Verse
Analytical essay on Shakespeare’s Othello & Williams’ a Streetcar Named Desire
• The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
• A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
• Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
• A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
• Othello by William Shakespeare
• Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry
• English Romantic Verse
Supporting your child in English:
• Use the reading list to read the set texts over the summer
• Begin and encourage them on their reading journey
• Ensure they read regularly and broadly. ( pre: 20C literature/ non-fiction )
• Practise exam technique with them – download GCSE papers etc.
• Make the most of the Capital’s cultural opportunities.
• Talk to them about Controlled Assessment. Ask them why they have achieved the grade that they have and what they need to do in order to improve.