Being able to read and write is a key skill for any educated person and so literacy is at the heart of the school's work.
In English lessons, pupils are taught to master the English language and to learn to love English literature. All students study the subject throughout Years 7, 8 and 9 and at GCSE we enter nearly every child for both English language and English literature. At A level, English literature is one of the most popular sixth form options.
For more information about each key stage, please click on each of the sections below.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8, 9)
During Year 7, students are encouraged to widen their reading habits by studying a range of fiction, including an introduction to the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, and non-fiction texts as a class, supported by fortnightly reading lessons for their private reading. Core units for written assessment are: creative writing, review writing and persuasive writing. The conventions of these styles are learned and applied alongside a unit for improving basic writing skills.
During Year 8, students focus on a range of older fiction via the study of myths and legends and an introduction to Shakespeare. The study of media texts is continued with a unit on newspapers and bias in language. The conventions of descriptive writing, report writing and discursive writing are learned and applied.
During Year 9, as well as studying one of Shakespeare’s plays, students read a major prose work and a range of poems, learning to produce formal literary responses as part of their progress towards KS4. Famous speeches are also analysed in a core unit on "The Art of Persuasion" whilst the conventions of the main writing purposes are revised, with a particular focus on structure and sentence variety.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10, 11)
Most students are entered for two separate GCSEs – English Language and English Literature, but lessons are not divided into separate categories. It is an integrated course in which students will learn about, and respond to, a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Both whole texts and extracts will be included and will be drawn from 19th, 20th and 21st century writing. In addition, they will learn to write for a variety of purposes and engage in speaking and listening activities.
The course will begin with the study of a modern literary text. Whether this is a novel, selection of short stories or a play will depend on the individual teacher’s choice and on the group in which students are being taught.
If you like reading then you’ll love this course. It will help you to develop an interest in, and enjoyment of, English literature, through reading widely, critically and independently.
It will appeal to those of you with imagination, perception and insight, who are aware that texts may be variously interpreted and valued by different readers at different times.
For more information about this subject at KS5, please click here to view the relevant subject leaflet at the bottom of the page.