English

The English Department’s vision is to inspire a love for literature, igniting creativity, encouraging critical thinking, and developing vital communication skills.

Welcome to the English Department

The English Department’s vision is to inspire a love for literature, igniting creativity, encouraging critical thinking, and developing vital communication skills. Studying English Language and Literature unlocks the power of words, which we foster through engaging debates, powerfully analytical writing, and carefully crafted personal communication—all of which are essential for students to reach their full potential.

Key Stage 3 & 4

Key Stage Three

We have adopted an English Mastery approach designed to ignite a lifelong love for English while fostering essential skills. Through the exploration of seminal texts such as ‘Animal Farm,’ ‘Small Island,’ and ‘Jane Eyre,’ students journey through time and place, unravelling historical and social contexts that breathe life into these literary classics. This knowledge forms the cornerstone of their literary expertise, enabling them to make insightful connections and enhance their comprehension.

Our curriculum is carefully structured, building knowledge systematically to ensure a firm foundation of literary and linguistic knowledge. Grammar is dissected into manageable components, nurturing creativity and empowering students to craft multifaceted narratives and essays.

We are ardent believers in the transformative power of words. Our explicit vocabulary instruction equips students with the linguistic tools needed to unlock the treasures of literature. Tier-2 vocabulary, deeply explored and revisited through the explicit teaching of Latin and Greek roots, paves the way to diverse literary realms.

Key Stage Four – Literature

Our Literature curriculum empowers learners to delve deep into the world of English literature. It cultivates their ability to read, interpret, and evaluate texts with a keen eye. Students develop a profound understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts, and the profound themes and attitudes embedded within the literature.

Through their literary explorations, students learn to recognize and appreciate the carefully crafted ways in which writers employ the English language to convey a myriad of effects. They are encouraged to formulate an informed and personal response to the material they study, fostering critical thinking and analytical skills.

Our syllabus goes beyond the text, encouraging the exploration of broader and universal themes, thereby enhancing learners’ understanding of themselves and the intricate world around them. It is a journey of literary discovery that not only enriches their knowledge of literature but also nurtures their personal growth and comprehension of the human experience.

Key Stage Four – Language

At Key Stage Four, our Language curriculum is designed to enable students to communicate with clarity, precision, and effectiveness, both in spoken and written forms. They are encouraged to wield a rich vocabulary while demonstrating proficiency in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The aim is not just linguistic mastery but also the cultivation of a unique personal style and a keen awareness of the intended audience.

Beyond language skills, this course places great emphasis on the joys of reading for personal pleasure and enlightenment, further deepening their appreciation of the multifaceted applications of the English language. Moreover, it fosters essential analytical and communication skills, such as inference, the aptitude to logically structure information, and the capacity to express personal viewpoints convincingly. This holistic journey equips students with the language prowess and analytical acumen necessary for success in our ever-evolving world.

Opportunities in English

Our English Department provides a rich and personalised experience for students. We nurture holistic growth through diverse opportunities, from inter-island competitions like Spelling Bee to our popular Poetry Slam club. Our department also organizes school trips, offering real-world literary experiences, such as Creative Writing workshops at the National Gallery and theater trips to London.

Sixth Form English Literature

In our English Literature course (CIE 9695), we prioritize the exploration of key concepts that serve as foundational pillars for a deep understanding of the subject, nurturing critical thinking and analytical skills. These concepts are woven throughout our teaching approach, fostering broader knowledge and honing vital skills.

We immerse students in the richness of language within literary texts, enabling them to dissect literary techniques and understand their profound influence on interpretation. Simultaneously, we embark on a journey to comprehend how writers manipulate or diverge from established literary forms like prose, poetry, and drama, recognizing how these choices shape meaning and effects.

Our course encourages exploration of the intricate relationship between a text and its historical, social, and cultural context, shedding light on how context enriches interpretation. We also delve into the art of analysing how choices related to form, structure, and language interact to create distinctive styles across different forms and genres.

At both AS and A-Level, we empower students to critically evaluate various ideas within a text, challenging them to employ different critical readings to deepen understanding and support literary arguments. This holistic approach equips students with the tools needed to navigate the intricate world of literature with confidence and insight, drawing inspiration from works such as Morrison’s ‘Beloved,’ Tennessee Williams’ ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,’ and the evocative poetry of Maya Angelou.

Future Careers

English Literature is held in high esteem by universities for its rigorous curriculum and emphasis on critical thinking and analytical skills. Graduates of this course are often regarded as well-prepared and academically adept, making them highly sought-after candidates for admission to prestigious institutions. Graduates find themselves well-equipped for careers in law, journalism, publishing, teaching, marketing, and public relations, where communication skills and a deep appreciation for literature are highly valued.