Here in the English department pupils enjoy a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama. The curriculum is devised to develop pupils' reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar and oral skills.
During years six, seven and eight, pupils follow a programme of study that is designed both to inspire and to prepare: novels, poetry, autobiographical texts and plays are enjoyed and studied critically.
Particular attention is paid during lessons to spelling, punctuation and grammar and there is, in addition, a discrete 'SPG' lesson weekly. Pupils are encouraged to make fewer and fewer errors in these sessions as the weeks pass. Weekly spellings are set in the context of the literature being studied; pupils are encouraged to take them home and to discuss both their meanings and their usage with family and friends.
Pupils develop and extend their critical, creative and discursive writing and are aware of their individual targets for improvement. To further this development, tailored resources are provided to support pupils at an appropriate level. Pupils can expect to produce an extended piece of writing every two to three weeks. Whilst opportunities to use ICT in English are given, the emphasis is on handwritten work and pupils redraft their work when necessary to improve both content and presentation.
Common Entrance and Scholarship work begins in earnest in the summer term of year seven in order to prepare the pupils for the demands of year eight. Great literature is our starting point and pupils explore many aspects of authorial and poetic style and technique. We also focus our attention on how the English language has changed over time and what these changes can tell us about divisions and distinctions in society. Pupils are encouraged to share their interpretations of historical context, characters, themes and events with one another and to develop their own unique style in critical and imaginative work. To complement this approach and to foster clarity and coherence, the conventions of quotation and of literary criticism are taught to enable pupils to produce their best work.
Pupils become familiar with examination paper layout and content, and attempt examination papers, in whole or in part, from time to time. Teacher feedback is regular, as is peer assessment.
Our approach to examinations is positive: they may be hurdles to be cleared, but they are also opportunities for us to shine!