Much of our work originates in and leads to oral activities so that students may develop their listening skills and their ability to communicate confidently and clearly in a range of individual and collaborative tasks; students are taught to use Standard English, where appropriate, from Year 7.
We aim to foster students' personal development and linguistic competence through writing in a variety of forms for a range of purposes and audiences, and to increase their awareness of the writing process itself – from planning to proofreading and correction. A strong emphasis is placed upon linguistic and structural text conventions and upon the accuracy and presentation of written work. The rigour and diversity of the MYP and NC work in these early years provides a solid foundation for the examinations and Controlled Assessments of the GCSE/ MYP courses at Key Stage 4 (English Language has 40% written Controlled Assessment and English Literature has 25%).
Students can be helped to develop emotionally and intellectually through reading, and we encourage them to establish, from Year 7, a habit of regular and independent reading for pleasure. We teach them how to understand and evaluate the author’s craft and how to make an informed personal response to what they read. We aim to develop students' ability to read, enjoy and analyse a wide range of texts: contemporary and classic literary texts from a variety of cultures and traditions, non-literary texts and moving image texts. They are taught how to read for different purposes and to understand the way meanings are made. Equal Opportunities issues are addressed through reading, and we aim to encourage empathy so that each student approaches issues of race, culture, gender, ability and disability with tolerance and insight.
The emphasis of the courses at Key Stage 5 (Literature A and Literature & Performance) is even more firmly on the individual's discriminating response, autonomy, responsibility and his/ her ability to communicate in a lucid style in speech and writing. Students study a range of twentieth and pre-twentieth century literature for examination and coursework. Literature A also involves the study of texts in translation and their contribution to the world's common literary heritage. Students are encouraged to attend external lectures, workshops and theatre productions to support their studies.