English is a process of exploration; a student explores the possibilities of language through reading and his own writing in as many different forms as possible. In his first year, he will read a selection of novels, poetry and non-fiction, both with the class teacher and on his own, and work on various forms of writing such as stories, letters, reviews, ballads, descriptions and instructions. He will also have opportunities for drama, giving talks, sharing in group discussion and perhaps making video or audio recordings. He will also learn about the operation of a modern library.
Later he will take part in activities such as magazine design and production, formal debates and group presentations based on literature. Some of his work will be put on display, and will be designed for that purpose, some will be performed, written in exercise books or kept in a special project folder.
In his first three years he will read, talk about and write a wide range of English, and will have the opportunity to use word processors and desktop publishing to develop his skill in editing and shaping text. In addition he will focus on the formal understanding of language and some of the history of English. In all of this time teaching is directed towards the objectives of the National Literacy Strategy.
During Year 9 boys study one of the plays by Shakespeare required for KS3. We give pupils the chance to act out scenes and improvise on the themes of the play, so that their encounter with these challenging texts is fruitful and stimulating.
In Years 10 and 11 we follow the NEAB syllabus in English and English Literature. Assessment is according to the National Curriculum Attainment Targets: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. Boys also have the opportunity to study a wide and challenging range of literature including the works of Shakespeare, pre-1914 and modern texts.
The A level syllabus is challenging, varied and exciting for students with lively, enquiring minds. Up to a third may be assessed by coursework with opportunities for individual or group research. A wide range of texts is studied, including medieval, renaissance and contemporary writing, and classes are conducted very largely as discussion seminars. For those who are seriously committed, preparation may be given for an Advanced Extension Award, which is designed to extend the skills of the most able students