From their very first English lesson in Year 7, our pupils enjoy innovative teaching that is inspirational, compelling and fun. They are engaged and interested as they begin their journeys of self-discovery and academic excellence. We aim to develop confident, resilient learners who are ambitious and can be proud of their abilities, potential and achievements.
Students are introduced to a range of text types, and taught to write in a variety of registers and styles. They quickly become used to writing formally (letters), informally (diary entries), analytically (essays on their set texts or inspired by themes within them) and creatively within a framework provided by the English Schemes of Work and, by the end of Year 9, students have been well prepared to meet the challenges of GCSE examinations. These Schemes of Work are frequently supported by visits from published authors and theatre groups, as well as visits to the theatre, the riverside and a range of other locations. Our reading lists carefully complement each scheme of work, supporting and extending your daughter’s learning.
Key Stage 4
English Language and English Literature courses are followed by all students in Years 10 and 11. We follow the new AQA syllabus which we feel suits our learners best, allowing them to achieve their considerable potential. Students build on the skills learned at Key Stage 3. These include: directed writing, confident speaking and empathetic listening skills, analysis of language techniques including precise and concise analysis and evaluation of a writer’s purposes and methods of writing, and so on. Through their study at GCSE, pupils are exceptionally well prepared for the demands of the AS and A level English Literature courses, as well as for a range of other A levels.
Key Stage 5
Our English Literature course covers a range of drama, prose and poetry texts, chosen each year according to the interests of the cohort and allowing for breadth as well as depth of learning. By the end of Year 13, students are well equipped with the skills to progress on to higher education, particularly through the coursework element in the Edexcel A Level with its emphasis on independent response to texts informed by evaluation of relevant critical opinion, and through rigorous analysis of both prepared and unseen texts in the exams. The focus from the start is on both academic rigour and developing a lifelong love of literature.
A varied range of extra-curricular provision is a feature of the Department’s programme. Visits from authors and others are often timed to coincide with local and national events to enthuse the students, and providing them with opportunities to understand and emulate the craft of real world writers e.g. Gillian Clarke (the national poet for Wales) and Matt Dickinson (a published author of crossover fiction). Theatre trips feature frequently and pupils enjoy performances of studied texts in the West End, and trips to The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond and the Globe Theatre. Pupils enter a range of national writing competitions, and contribute to our school newspaper, giving a ‘real world’ context to their craft.
Miss R Pietrzyk Head of Department
Mr R Davies
Mrs G Gillies
Mrs P Bath