English is an exciting subject because it takes students on a journey that celebrates the breadth of human imagination and the extraordinary power of language.
We start with a exploration of other worlds and cultures in Year 7, develop a richer understanding of personal and cultural identity in Year 8 and then engage with ideas of power and conflict in Year 9. In doing so, we also aim to equip our students for the challenges and opportunities in GCSE English and beyond.
The main focus of our department is to foster students’ understanding of the personal and social importance of written and spoken langauge. We encourage this understanding through the study and enjoyment of wide range of literary, non-fiction and media texts.
The English Department invites students to take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities such as the Youth Speaks Competition, the Young Writer Competition, Poetry By Heart, BBC Radio 2 500 Words Competition, GCSE Poetry Live Simon Powell Poetry Prize, E-Magazine Close Reading Competition, The English Association Betty Haigh Shakespeare Prize and the Corpus Christi Cambridge English Essay Competition.
You can follow the activities of the English Department on our Twitter account and Instagram accounts.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 we aim to:
- Ignite the imagination of students by exploring classic and modern texts set in other worlds and cultures.
- Practise the skills of creative writing.
- Understand how writers can use language, structure and form to entertain, inform and persuade.
In Year 8 we aim to:
- Explore ideas about identity, diversity and otherness in fiction and non-fiction texts from a range of periods.
- Refine the art of writing from a viewpoint.
- Foster an understanding of how different viewpoints can be expressed persuasively in both written and spoken forms.
In Year 9 we aim to:
- Foster an understanding of how ideas of power and conflict have shaped our world through fiction and non-fiction texts.
- Master the art of writing in different forms for different purposes and audiences.
Understand how language can assert ideologies of power, portray human frailty and evoke empathy.
Key Stage 4
In Years 10 and 11, there are ten mixed ability teaching groups following the AQA GCSE specifications in English Language and English Literature (8700 and 8702). Students study for both these qualifications across 8 lessons per fortnight. GCSE English Language and English Literature specifications both have one tier of entry and are assessed entirely by written examination at the end of the course.
For English Language GCSE, students study a variety of high quality fiction and non-fiction writing across a range of text types from the past and present:
- Literary non-fiction
- Descriptive writing
- Narrative wriiting
- Speaking and listening skills are assessed in this specification but are accredited through a separate qualification.
Click here to view the AQA GCSE English Language specification.
For English Literature GCSE, students study a range of high quality literary texts from the past and present, including:
- Poetry (from the AQA Poetry Anthology and unseen poetry)
- A Shakespeare play
- A 19th century text
- A modern text
Click here to view the AQA GCSE English Literature specification.
Key Stage 5
At A level, the English department offers highly successful courses in English Literature and in Film Studies.
Students follow the OCR English Literature syllabus (H472).
Students complete three components
- Shakespeare and pre-1900 poetry and drama
- Prose texts organised by theme e.g. American Literature, Gothic Literature, Dystopian Literature, Post-colonial Literature
- There is also a non-examined assessment (NEA) which is worth 20% of the final qualification. The NEA allows students to produce their own creative writing as well as an independent study of contemporary literature across all three genres.
Click here to view the A level English Literature specification.
The Film Studies group follows the OCR (H410) A Level Film Studies specification.
Students complete three components:
- Film History (study of films from three periods in 20th century US film history; study films from two major European film movements)
- Critical Approaches (study of contemporary British and contemporary US film; study of documentary; study of non-European, non-English language film; study of US independent film)
- The non-examined assessment (NEA) gives students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills through the production of a 5-minute short film or a 10-minute screenplay.
Click here to view the A Level Film Studies specification.