Department of English Literature
Reading is the key to success across all subjects so we encourage our students to become critical readers of anything and everything, from Shakespeare to advertising slogans. As well as developing analysis and interpretation skills, we use texts such as George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire to encourage debate and discussion of moral, social, emotional and political issues. We encourage reading for pleasure, be it graphic novels, nineteenth century Gothic horror or autobiographies. We firmly believe that there is a genre to suit everyone.
Writing provides a crucial opportunity for creativity and conceptualised thinking. We encourage students to take risks, to develop sophisticated vocabulary and to craft their writing in an original and nuanced way, in both fiction and non-fiction writing. Whilst building on firm foundations of grammatical accuracy, structure and written form, students develop fluent and articulate writing.
Whether it is through engaging in the cut and thrust of debate, discussing themes in poetry, presenting research or taking part in a performance of a play, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves orally in lessons. Progress in speaking and listening is measured in various ways including a formal speech for an audience at GCSE level. A-level lessons are often discussion-led, allowing us to explore ideas and perspectives whilst encouraging students to make independent judgments.
“In English, our students gain a wide-ranging and thorough appreciation of both literature and language, in order to help to prepare them for the next stage of their lives. We aim to foster a love of reading and writing that underpins academic success in the broader curriculum, as well as developing a deeper understanding of the links between ourselves, people from different times and across cultures.”
Mrs V Johnson (Department Leader)