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The English Department is dedicated to helping its pupils develop a passionate interest in English Language and Literature. Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum and we are committed to ensuring that each pupil becomes an independent, enthusiastic and critical reader of literary, non-literary and media texts. We aim to enable pupils to express themselves clearly, accurately and confidently both orally and in their writing. Above all, our aim is to instil in our pupils a lifelong love of the written word.   

The Year 9 course of study follows the broad requirements of the National Curriculum, with particular focus being directed towards the teaching of literature. All sets study a Shakespeare text, with the remaining curriculum time given to the study of both pre-1900 and post- 1900 writers. In Year 9, pupils develop their creative and functional writing skills through the production of narrative, descriptive and argumentative responses.

At GCSE, students study the Cambridge (CIE) specifications for both English Language and Literature. This is a challenging and traditional examination, which prepares pupils successfully for Sixth Form study.

At A Level, the AQA Lit B syllabus is followed. The Department makes a leading contribution to the school’s IB programme, teaching A1 English Literature and A1 English Literature and Language to a significant proportion of the IB cohort each year.

All pupils are encouraged to deepen their interest in the subject outside of formal lessons. The Department runs a number of popular extra-curricular events, including a creative writing group, a Sixth Form lecture society and regular poetry and prose writing competitions. Regular theatre trips are organised to Stratford, Bath and beyond.

English in the Sixth Form