Our Ethos

In the English Department we believe in enriching our students’ lives and shaping their understanding of the challenging, diverse and ever-changing world they live in. Not only does our curriculum allow students insights into other cultures, but they are given the opportunity for creativity, self-expression and personal development.  We encourage our students to be inquisitive and explore how the written word can enable them to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of environments and discourses. Through the study of English we aim to create global citizens who are able to communicate with one another empathetically.  Through engagement with a breadth of texts, both classic and contemporary, we aim to instill a love of literature which will enable students to become lifelong readers and critical thinkers. 

How we teach English at The English School

The content of our curriculum in English is underpinned by four concepts: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. These concepts are revisited throughout Key Stage 3 and become increasingly complex and challenging as the curriculum progresses into Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Key Stage 3 – Years 1-3

The curriculum in Years 1- 3 aims at bringing all our students up to a level where they can enjoy the beauty and diversity the study of English brings.  We deliver a solid grounding for students’ study of English throughout the key stage whilst also providing a smooth transition from Key Stage 2. Students are taught the foundational skills necessary for success in English, moving from a primary focus of grammar and comprehension of texts to a deeper understanding and appreciation of writer’s purpose and analysis.

Key Stage 4 - IGCSE

In Years 4 and 5, students will follow a two-year course in English Language and English Literature and at the end of Year 5 will sit two papers in IGCSE First Language English and three papers in English Literature.

The IGCSE courses encourage students to:
  • Communicate accurately, appropriately and effectively
  • Understand and respond appropriately to what they read and experienced
  • Enjoy and appreciate the variety of language
  • Appreciate the importance and relevance of literature

The main advantage of IGCSE is its flexibility in that it allows students to show what they are capable of, rather than penalising them for the mistakes they make. In addition, all students will be able to acquire two IGCSE qualifications at the end of their English courses in Year 5.

The English Department views the IGCSE as a relevant, enjoyable and productive course, to which students are able to contribute effectively and creatively.

Key Stage 5 - A-Level

The English Department offers both English Literature and English Language at A Level.

English Literature:
The study of English Literature is a chance for personal development and enrichment, along with an enhancement of the skills of evaluation, analysis and comparison. Studying English Literature is not just about reading well-written books; it is a subject, which opens students’ minds to understanding the world around them in a wide range of interesting ways. It is about ideas and issues.

At another level, the study of English Literature develops students’ written and oral communication skills. These skills are essential for those who wish to pursue careers, which require professionals to communicate knowledge and understanding persuasively such as Law, Business Management, Diplomacy, the Media and Education.
English Language:
The main aim of English Language is to deepen students’ interest and enjoyment in the use of English. The course provides students with many opportunities to study the English Language in its diverse forms; they will gain a critical understanding of how language works and will be presented with opportunities to study this independently.

Given the status, which English has today as a global language, and the essential need for effective communication analysis and critical thinking: the skills learnt during the course are highly valued by both universities and employers.



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