English

"Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting." Cicero

"The true alchemists do not change lead into gold, they change the world into words." William H Gass.

English is essential preparation for the whole of life. It provides an understanding of the power of language as a means of communication and as a means of understanding and forging our place in the world.


Students are encouraged to read widely for both pleasure and purpose. Through well-chosen literary texts they learn to ask questions and extend their thinking, connecting their own worlds with those of others , questioning their own and others’ assumptions and reflecting on how language can change lives. In lessons, pupils are supported in exploring their personal interpretations of text in discussion and through their writing. 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. We do this in order to encourage a reading habit, reading for pleasure which will stay with them for life.

Students 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. They use their skills and their increasing knowledge and understanding of language to produce writing across a wide range of forms. Lessons encourage all students to be actively engaged and to take responsibility for their own learning.

At GCSE, for the majority of students, we follow the AQA syllabi: English Language and English Literature. One of the benefits of studying English at Abbotsholme is that we are experienced and flexible enough to adapt courses in order to play to students’ strengths. This may mean a tailored pathway through public examinations or a bespoke choice of texts to suit a specific group of students.