The English Department is responsible for covering two core subjects and the range of skills and experience of its teaching staff enables the girls not only to succeed academically but to develop a genuine enjoyment of the subject.
They learn to write with imagination and accuracy and to develop effective oral communication.
We encourage the study of literature as a humanising process and also as a particularly important factor in developing their own use of language.
We work very closely with our full time librarian and we have recently developed a highly successful reading scheme for the Upper Third and Lower Fourth. It is also important to give all girls an increased understanding of the importance and methods used by the whole range of The Media.
Our GCSE results with the AQA Board are outstanding in both English Language and English Literature. In 2011/12 79% of candidates achieved an A or A* in English Literature and 62% of candidates achieved an A or A* in English Language and this is not untypical.
We have been very successful with Public Speaking over the years and our teams frequently win at local and regional level. In the 4 years that we have entered the GDST Public Speaking Competition we came second in the first one and had a finalist in the second year.
Regular theatre trips are a feature of the department and always much appreciated by the girls.
Our key aim is that our pupils find lessons varied and engaging and learn to love the Language and Literature as much as we all do.
English Literature in the Sixth Form builds on the skills of GCSE but the smaller groups enable each girl to develop her independent learning significantly and invariably increase confidence in general. Individual research, presentations and much lively discussion mean that the atmosphere in lessons encourages ideas and analysis in a supportive, yet challenging environment. Each group will be taught by two of our well qualified, experienced and committed English specialists with track records of excellent results at A level , in 2011/12 83% at A*/A. We follow the OCR Specifications at this level as it allows us to follow an interesting and wide range of texts and genres, examined in a variety of ways, such as Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, Ian McEwen’s” Enduring Love”, Wilfred Owen’s poetry and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. It is expected that the context in which the work is written will be considered as well as looking at critics’ views. Theatre productions and DVDs can therefore form an important of their consideration of texts. An A level in English Literature is always regarded well by universities and is an excellent pathway to many careers for example law and journalism. The department looks forward to sharing our love of the subject with all those who choose to pursue English Literature to A2 level and beyond.