Why study English?

We study language, meaning and ideas in order to comprehend, communicate and create!

  • English has huge social, political and moral implications that enable our students to become conscientious thinkers and more empathetic members of society.  Students need to be able to think critically more so than ever before, given the amount of choices they now have to make. We aim to develop their critical skills to allow them to interpret the ever more complex linguistic world around them.
  • Our subject challenges viewpoints and inspires children to appreciate the essential inter-connectedness of everything. It is important to us that students are able to make every branch of literature meaningful: we study vocabulary to become better articulators; we study grammar to become more efficient writers; we study literature to understand how authors use words and sentences to create meaning.
  • We encourage students from all backgrounds and abilities to read for pleasure and open doors to new worlds for them to adventure into and access topics such as history, religious education, philosophy, ethics, geography, politics, psychology and media.

From Year 7 to 11, our BALANCED curriculum is tailored to interest all of our learners and give them a broad and profound appreciation of the spoken and written word. We have a COHERENT approach to our curriculum, as all of our students access the same texts in order to sit the same GCSE. We aim to equip all students with a SEQUENTIAL understanding of how language began (through texts such as Chaucer), key issues throughout history (16th century witchcraft through Macbeth and science in the Victorian era through The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) and present day ideas.

It is important to us that students are able to read literature to help understand themselves and their individuality by examining the world around them. All of our students are encouraged to read for pleasure and we use programmes such as Accelerated Reader at Key Stage Three to motivate and promote reading in our lessons every week.

Our students are able to excel through exploration of a variety of INCLUSIVE texts and stimuli, and pupils are given opportunities to debate, express opinions, discuss, analyse and challenge perceptions and ideas in order to develop their skills and learning. Once students have tackled these texts, we provide them with either PERSONALISED or group feedback to allow all students to move forward. We use a wide range of teaching and learning strategies which allow pupils to work independently, taking responsibility for their own learning and enabling them to work effectively with others in groups of varying sizes.

All pupils are helped to become fluent writers who can use language with confidence. We encourage students to create pieces that also aid them in life lessons such as letters, emails and speeches. These essential skills are so important for our students to achieve the very best in their future.

We want our students to be equipped with the skills they need and to be ambitious in their goals. It is vital that students are not only risk-takers but resourceful, EFFECTIVE and tenacious students who rise to a challenge. Through competitions such as SlamJam (performance poetry), YouthSpeaks (debating competitions) and NKDC Local elections, we encourage our students to step out of their comfort zones and challenge them to compete against other young people; expressing themselves in unconventional ways. By promoting competitions and submitting work for publication, we instil in our students an expectation of achieving beyond expectations.

Our aim is to constantly challenge our students’ expectations by introducing them to the RICH and enjoyable possibilities that English can provide for them. We invite in authors, professors of literature and theatre companies to encourage our students to see our subject in a wider context that will allow them to enrich their cultural capital.