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English and English Literature is a special subject because it enables students to become accomplished in a quintessential human quality: the capacity for language.English is the anchor subject for the whole curriculum, for all subjects are taught exclusively or partly in English. Thus excellence in English can improve a students’ performance in all his or her subjects. It is therefore important to the English department that students not only develop the ability to evaluate English Literature, but also develop applied skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening. Students are taught to identify key points in texts, understand how language and structural devices are used for chosen effects and to define the texts’ audiences and contexts. When writing, students are taught to write accurately in standard English and how to meet the conventions of different forms of writing. When speaking, students are taught to choose their language appropriately and to listen attentively.

Key Stage 3

At key stage 3 pupils’ reading is wide, varied and challenging. Pupils are expected to read whole books, in depth and to read for pleasure and information. We have made a concerted effort to focus on the reading of pre 19th century texts to support pupils’ learning of language, form and structure, which are essential to their preparation for KS4. However pupils also study a range of contemporary fiction and non-fiction, as well as poetry and drama.

Pupils continue to develop their knowledge of and skills in writing, refining their drafting skills and developing resilience to write at length. They are taught to write formal and academic essays as well as writing imaginatively. They are taught to write for a variety of purposes and audiences across a range of contexts. Success is reliant upon an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar and this is another key focus for the English Department.