“For me, studying English is about studying people, and people have always fascinated me with their unknown depths: everyone from the old lady opposite you on the bus to the Queen has their own lives, thoughts and feelings, and expressing these is part of what makes English so unique. Where else can you find words written by someone miles away or centuries ago that, had you the words to string together, you could have written yourself just yesterday? What other subject can swell a room to a vast, sprawling city or narrow the world to a single blade of grass?”
Elri V. (Former Student NGHS A Level Literature Student)
The English department aims to ensure that all students develop a lifelong love of reading and the written word.
We approach the subject holistically, in order to ensure that students become confident and adept writers and speakers. In Key Stage 3, our focus is on building the foundations required for GCSE and A-Level and facilitating engagement with an array of texts from the canon of English Literature, as well as high quality non-fiction texts from the past and present. In Year 7, students have two lessons of English each week and a third lesson which focuses on literacy, oracy and academic writing skills. In Year 8, students have three lessons of English a week and students study a number of challenging and enriching texts, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Christmas Carol. In Key Stage 4 (which begins in Year 9), all students take both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature and the AQA examination board is followed, which includes the study of both modern and literary heritage texts. In the 6th form, the department delivers the A-level course with the Edexcel examination board and there are opportunities to select the texts that are studied as part of the non-examined assessment.
Outside of lessons, students have the opportunity to attend theatre trips and poetry readings. Within school, there is a creative writing group that meet regularly as well as a junior drama group. Students have the opportunity to become involved in a number of prestigious competitions such as Poetry by Heart; Foyle Young Poet of the Year and the Rotary Club’s Youth Speaks public speaking competition. In addition to this, there are a number of popular in-house competitions such as the annual school poetry competition and the house drama competition in the final week of term.
Learning overviews can be downloaded below.