The English area is staffed by a dedicated team of well – qualified and specialist teachers, led by a management team under the overall direction of the Head of Department, Stephen Caldwell. The Head of Department has overall responsibility for all of the key stages and for the vision and ethos of the department, for curriculum development and staff development needs. Other coordinators in the department take responsibility for Key Stage 3, 4 and sixth form courses.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Sir Richard Steele.

The current Year 11 are the last to complete the AQA GCSE courses in English Language and Literature, which are made up of both coursework and final examinations. The current Year 10 are the first cohort to embark on the new AQA GCSE courses which lead to examinations at the end of the two years and are without any coursework components.

The courses both cohorts are undertaking includes the close reading and analysis of texts from a wide range of genres and periods. Students will be expected to write in a variety of forms. Students will be assessed internally on a range of oral tasks, which will include group, pair and individual activities, although this is now a component of the course, which does not go towards their final grade.

“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” Mark Twain

We offer a comprehensive range of extra-curricular activities, including annual visits to Poetry Live, annual participation in the school’s Eisteddfod, annual visits for Year 8 to The Globe Theatre and regular visits to theatres to support students’ understanding of drama in performance. Our students were in the regional finals of the national “Spelling Bee” competition and take an active role in the Jack Petchey “Speak Out Challenge.”

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Cicero

Students are expected to organise their work independently and meet all deadlines. They are also encouraged to take responsibility for planning, drafting and proof-reading their work. The more successful candidates will use the drafting process properly and take full advantage of the frequent formative feedback from teachers and indeed their peers. Once a week, pupils in both Year 7 and 8 attend lessons in the Library and participate in the Accelerated Reader Programme.

“Books are the quietest and the most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.” Charles W. Eliot