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John Cowper Powys puts the point, purpose and pursuit of English with startling clarity:

To read great books does not mean one becomes 'bookish': it means that something of the terrible insight of Dostoevsky, of the richly charged imagination of Shakespeare, of the luminous wisdom of Goethe, actually passes into the personality of the reader; so that in contact with the chaos of ordinary life certain free flowing outlines emerge, like the forms of some classic picture, endowing both people and things with a grandeur beyond what is visible to the superficial glance. 

The English Department seeks to inspire in its pupils not only a deep love of literature, but also an apprenticeship in the science of language, opening pupils to others' worlds and enabling better personal insight into themselves.  We hope that truthful, sophisticated communication results, as well as a life long love for great literature.

key stage 3

We teach half-termly units where boys explore and evaluate a range of multi-modal fiction and non-fiction texts. They read literature from a variety of genres, time periods and cultures and we help them develop their skills in writing down their experiences; writing which focuses on issues of general and specific concern to young people as they prepare themselves for the demands of adulthood and being decent citizens

key stage 4

Outline of Syllabus

GCSE English Language allows pupils to demonstrate their ability to use English in real life contexts and uses an investigative and analytical approach to language topics drawing on personal experience.  The course covers the new requirement for functional English.

Scheme of assessment

Assessment is by two written examinations.

Unit 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

A: Pupils read a literary fiction text and consider how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage readers.

B: Pupils write their own creative text, demonstrating narrative and descriptive skills.

Unit 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

A: Pupils read two linked sources from different time periods and genres and consider how each presents a viewpoint to influence the reader. Texts may include high-quality journalism, articles, reports, travel writing, letters, diaries, autobiography, biography etc. and may be fictional or non-fictional.

B: Pupils produce a written text to a specified audience, purpose and form.

Speaking and Listening is also assessed but this is certified separately from the written exams, and does not count towards a GCSE grade.

Awarding body: AQA                                                    Specification: GCSE English Language A