Providing fundamental tools for life, the English Department seeks to nurture, enrich and cultivate a love of reading and writing, establishing an ability to communicate in a clear, controlled and effective manner.
While many are involved in using the English language, with various degrees of care, it is in their English classes that pupils are called upon to refine and develop their own, and to decipher with increasing sophistication the language of others. We offer a gateway to life and the world.
Our subject specialists are all experienced teachers, with diverse interests and an infectious enthusiasm for all areas of the subject: reading, writing and speaking and listening. We nourish our students with a range of literature; we foster intellectual debate and inquiry; and we introduce critical thinking and an ability to analyse language in depth from Year 7 upwards. We are able to focus on thinking and writing creatively and to develop the imagination of all the pupils – for coursework, for pleasure and for publication.
All pupils take English Language and the vast majority English Literature at GCSE. Individual teachers choose material to suit the needs of the classes they teach. Unlike most independent schools, we offer English Language as well as English Literature at A-Level. English Language allows pupils to consider uses of language apart from literature, and concentrates on journalistic writing and the analysis of spoken English. It is often taken by those specialising in the sciences who understand the importance of communication in contemporary society. In A-Level Literature, discussion, argument and analysis of literary texts are part of a creative process by which we reformulate our own understanding through works which put our assumptions about the world into question.