In Years 9 and 10 there is a focus on the development of the four skills in English including Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. In addition, pupils develop their grammatical accuracy and academic vocabulary in order to prepare them for further study at GCSE or IGCSE. Pupils are encouraged to think and work independently, developing skills to cope with studying in a foreign language. A range of learning materials are used in the classroom including textbooks, online and authentic materials, covering a range of genres. This is supplemented by the study of a range of graded English literature from modern prose such as ‘The Life of Pi’ to Shakespeare, Dickens and the study of poetry. Pupils are also encouraged to participate in class-based discussion and may complete individual projects in order to develop their confidence and competency in English.
In Year 11 pupils are prepared thoroughly for the Cambridge International GCSE in English as a Second Language. There is a focus on the four key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Pupils study a range of topics and learn in a variety of ways including group work, individual presentations and pair work in order to maximise their proficiency in English. There is also a consolidation of grammar and vocabulary taught previously. The department has two specialist ESL teachers. Pupils also have the chance to attend weekly drop in clinics where they can discuss individual questions with teachers. Alongside exam preparation there is also an emphasis on reading for pleasure.
There is also a co-curricular film club run once a week by a member of the English department which is open to all pupils, enabling them to develop their listening and vocabulary as well as a knowledge of English and contemporary culture.