The dominant role of English as a world language now means it is the principal means of communication between nations; it is therefore crucial to ensure that it is taught accurately and efficiently and that our students are equipped with the skills they need to communicate in a rapidly changing modern world. Importantly, we want our students to appreciate that the English language is beautiful, as seen to best effect in the works of great writers across its 1000- year history. We aim to inspire all our students with the skills, enthusiasm and understanding needed to love and value great literature.
As part of our programme we have regular visits from prize-winning novelists and poets, as well as competitions for short stories and poetry. We try to visit the theatre as much as possible and in recent years trips have included taking U4 to see The Woman in Black and U6 to see Othello at The Globe. Each year, we take L4 to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford and we celebrate Shakespeare Day with challenging competitions and a themed lunch.
English Language and Literature are taught throughout the school with excellent results at GCSE and A Level. Broadly we aim to develop skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, and to increase pupils’ enjoyment in achieving well in these areas. The Lower School spend time each week in the school library and we encourage students to develop a love of reading that will last a lifetime. We aim to develop sound technical skills, stimulate the imagination, and increase vocabulary and powers of expression both in writing and speech. The overall aims are principally to engender in pupils a love for the subject as a whole but specifically:
- To instill and develop an awareness of, and a pleasure in, a wide range of appropriate literature across different genres.
- To enable pupils to produce an increasing range of different kinds of writing, beginning with sound narrative and descriptive writing, in a variety of forms and with increasing competency, in neat, legible handwriting.
- To ensure that the technical skills of paragraphing, punctuation and spelling are developed.
- To encourage pupils to develop confidence, not only in writing but also in their speech.
- To encourage the development of their own choice of reading.
THE ENGLISH CURRICULUM
Based in the main school building, girls are taught in purpose-built classrooms. When required for research purposes some lessons may be taught in one of the state-of-the-art ICT suites.
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THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT TEAM
Head of English: Mrs Anna Spellman
Second in Department: Dr Eileen Green
English: Dr Dawn Bellamy (Director of Sixth Form)
English: Dr John Brooke
English: Mr Steven Jackson
English: Mrs Kimberly Tuckwell