The English Department is a vibrant, dynamic environment, where pupils are encouraged to develop a love of the language and all its wonderful potential. Quality literature lies at the heart of lessons throughout the school, allowing pupils to become more empowered readers and more skilful writers, capable of shaping their own work for any given audience and purpose. From a poem based on personal experience, to a lively role-play of a scene from Macbeth, to a vigorous debate on a contemporary issue, the Department’s success lies in the range and variety of opportunities offered and the passion for the subject these opportunities foster.


> Years 7-9

The curriculum in Years 7 to 9 aims to ensure that every pupil is exposed to as broad a range of different types of writing as possible. From persuasive speeches to gripping articles via beautifully crafted sonnets and wonderful stories, pupils should reach the end of Year 9 confident in both their key technical skills and in their ability to read, analyse and write an excitingly wide range of texts. Although always aware that there is more to the study of English than just exam results, both classroom activities and end of year exams are designed to provide an effective foundation in the techniques needed for the I.G.C.S.E courses and to make the transition into Year 10 as seamless as possible.


In these years every pupil will have the opportunity to study for both the IGCSE Language and the I.G.C.S.E Literature qualifications. Both courses build on the key skills developed lower down the school, with the final exams testing the pupils’ ability to analyse fiction and non-fiction, whilst also requiring them to write more formal literature essays. Alongside this, the coursework element ensures pupils study everything from media texts to Shakespeare and really allows pupils to demonstrate their creative abilities.

> A Level

English is an extremely popular subject at A Level. The Department offers two different possible qualifications, English Literature and the combined English Literature and Language course. The Literature course requires pupils to study a range of fantastic texts from every genre, making them sensitive, intelligent readers capable of analysing literature with maturity and skill. The combined course focuses on how language functions in literature, honing pupils’ technical analytical ability and really sharpening their own writing skills. This course also has a creative writing element.

> Co-curricular

Book Club: the English Department has a thriving Book Club, which runs throughout the school. The Book Club regularly organises readings, discussions, visits and film showings to tie in with the literature they are looking at.

Enrichment Programme: English is a key component of the school’s enrichment programme and regular visits from authors and poets are organised, including a recent visit from Carol Ann Duffy. These are much-anticipated highlights of the school year.

Hay Festival: as part of the school’s enrichment programme, work experience and excursions to the Hay Festival in Hay are organised each year.

> Trips

The Department runs an extensive programme of trips and visits, designed to reinforce progress being made in the classroom and to broaden pupils’ understanding of and passion for this subject beyond the curriculum. As well as visits to more local sites, theatres and cinemas, recent highlights have included a workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a day’s journalism course at the Guardian in London and an afternoon learning how to craft the perfect audio guide at the Roman Baths in Bath.