The glories of the English language and of its literature across the ages are explored within the curriculum. The objective is to engender passion for the disciplines in their own right, as well as to hone skills that will underpin success in all other fields of academic endeavour.
The English Department is a vibrant and varied team. Its teachers have a passionate commitment to achieving the best for each pupil at whatever age they arrive and whatever their skill level. The aim is simply to enable them to improve their ability to say what they mean and mean what they say. For some the aim might be progress to a safe pass at GCSE; for others a degree at Oxbridge. All teachers bring their own ABC to the classroom: authority, breadth and care – they are masters of their subject and seek to broaden horizons ensuring each pupil receives the best of professional tuition.
Accuracy and imagination are both equally valued. We live in a world which is increasingly demanding of basic skills and our emphasis is consistent and exacting but the vital spark of a creative talent can also be nurtured. Balancing the requirements is part of the challenge. In recent years a Sixth Former completed a short story for his Extended Project and there are always opportunities to write and speak beyond the curriculum.
As part of the department’s provision and philosophy, there are specialist teachers for those who require English as an Additional Language or Curriculum Support. The successes of many pupils at examination level and in extra-curricular English reflect this ethos.
At A-level, the department’s objectives are:
- To encourage evaluative reading of the selected texts in all genres
- To promote a breadth of reading beyond the necessary minimum
- To teach the importance of precision in analysis
- To instil good research habits
- To, above all, explore the joys of literature