Key Stage Three (Years 7, 8 and 9)
In Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils cover a range of topics and texts that enable them to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
Pupils learn to appreciate a range of texts including poetry, prose, drama and non-fiction. They study texts from the English Literary Heritage as well as contemporary texts. In lessons, pupils are supported in exploring their personal interpretations of text in discussion and through their writing. Pupils learn to craft their own writing: as well as being imaginative, creative and willing to experiment with their writing, they are also taught to be clear, accurate writers. Lessons encourage active engagement and responsibility.
Independent reading for pleasure is a cornerstone of academic success as well as enjoyment and we make it our mission to try to put the right books into the hands of each student. We spend time choosing and discussing books together and expect all pupils to have a reading book ‘on the go’, which they read little and often at home, too. We do this in order to encourage a reading habit which will stay with them for life.
Key Stage Four (Year 10 and 11: GCSE)
At GCSE we follow the AQA syllabi: English Language and English Literature.
The Language course covers the study of: how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers; how writers have particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that are important to the way we think and live our lives; writing for different purposes; a spoken language presentation.
The Literature course entails the study of drama (including Shakespeare), poetry and prose; texts range from the 18th Century to modern day.
For some pupils, we will advise either following a Language only course or, ultimately, entering only the Language exam. This decision will always be explained to the student and the parent, and will be taken in the best interests of each student.
At A Level we follow the AQA English Literature syllabus A, entering students for the A level exams at the end of a two year course.
The course involves the study of a wide range of literature themed around ‘Love through the Ages’ and ‘The Modern World’. Students read extensively and are involved in a great deal of discussion of what they have read. Personal response is paramount to the course and students are taught the skills of language analysis to be able to explore how the writer has affected the reader.
Students are expected to be keen readers and competent writers in order to be able to cope with the demands of this course.