“Language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of liberation.” – Angela Carter, author
In order for our students to make the most of their time at GGS, they must have the tools to communicate, to make meaning and to create understanding. English has the responsibility for creating a launch pad for them to succeed across all subjects.
At KS3, students will be exposed to a range of texts and topics in preparation for their GCSE studies. The English department has developed its own assessment schedule that fits in with the GCSE assessment criteria. Developing reading is a key focus at KS3 and the English department Accelerated Reader programme is designed to promote reading widely and reading for pleasure across the school. There are also a range of support structures in place to enable students to maximise their potential going into KS4.
“Books are the carriers of civilisation. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.” – Barbara Tuchman, historian and author
English touches every subject students study; and while we will focus on enabling our students to achieve the highest grades they can, we should never forget that the learning achieved in English opens doors for students, no matter what path they take, throughout the rest of their lives.
At KS4 students study the AQA specification in both English Language and Literature. Two GCSE grades are awarded. Students will study a range of texts, including Shakespeare, novels and poetry, and focus on analytical, comparative and evaluative language skills.
“Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.” – Ezra Pound
At KS5 students are exposed to a range of some of the most challenging and stimulating texts in English literature. Our responsibility is to propel our students towards top A-Level grades and prepare them for the rigors of university study. Lessons utilise a range of learning styles and strategies and students are encouraged to develop their personal learning skills through coursework preparation and challenging independent learning ‘Roots and Wings’ activities.
Students study Edexcel’s A-Level Literature course, spread over two years. The course combines novel, drama and poetry texts and is assessed through coursework essays and yearly exams. Graduating students have gone on to study English Literature at some of the top UK universities.