In the English Department we aim to go further than providing our students with good oral and written communication skills. We hope that through their English lessons girls will develop confidence and an awareness of the world in which they live. We are privileged to have classrooms which are multi cultural, thus broadening our experiences and horizons. We draw upon many resources from our communal English heritage and from other literary traditions. We see our classrooms as places where girls can enrich and extend their experiences both orally and in writing.
The department currently consists of 14 dedicated teachers, all of whom are English specialists but who may also offer Media Studies, Drama, SEN or EAL. Students study a range of exciting texts in line with the national curriculum, and the department uses its links with The Globe and The National Theatre in order to enrich our students’ experiences. Last year for example all of year 8 studied Terry Pratchett’s ‘Nation’ before going to see it performed at the National.
The department was recently praised by OFSTED for our extensive extra-curricular programme. Our major contribution to this important aspect of school life is in organising many and varied trips and workshops/performances in school. We aim to provide every girl with at least one opportunity in every school year, and we often exceed this, whether to the theatre; to museums or on walking tours to places of interest e.g. Webster’s London; the Globe Theatre; the Tate Modern; Haworth and Whitby; Chaucer’s Canterbury and Shakespeare’s Stratford. In-school extra-curricular activities include Debate Club which involves participating in the annual Rotary Youth Speaks Competition, and Book Club notable for including amongst its participants students from all three key stages.
Examination results continue to improve each year. In the recent GCSE exams, 81.5% of students achieved A*-C for English with 79% achieving A*-C in Literature. A level is always a popular choice with students, and the excellent results achieved here are a testament to the hard work that goes on in the department.