English Gifted & Talented/Enrichment

Visiting authorEnglish is more about differentiation by outcome than by task: a simple letter can be merely functional or a thing of elegance and form; the most complex interpretation can be placed on the most simple text (structuralist analysis of the Janet and John books). So there is always the opportunity at Blundell’s for the really gifted to shine in this subject.

There are however obviously things that we can do to identify and nurture the best of our students. In English, this is primarily accomplished by the banding of sets; one is able with the A groups to study more demanding texts in more adventurous ways.

In the wider sphere we offer more specific stimulus to the Gifted and Talented: the cornerstone of this is our encouragement of reading, combining monitoring what young people ARE reading at the moment through Book Books and Reading Prizes with gentle pressure on what we would LIKE them to read, Tanya Landman talkextending outwards to books that we have enjoyed and trying to pitch class readers just above their comfort level to stimulate and stretch them (Ella Minnow Pea or The Catcher in the Rye, for example).

We also organise the Public Speaking and Debating competitions, which most pupils attend in support of their House Team; we encourage attendance at the Drama department’s productions, both internal and professional; the Film Club stimulates interest in different media; we encourage entry to the various poetry and short story competitions advertised in the corridor; we display pupils’ work on walls and in the corridor. We also bring in authors to read work to them and run workshops: most regularly Tanya Landman for Year 9. We have taken groups to see performances at local theatres and in Stratford-Upon-Avon, as well as Exeter Poetry Festival.