Course Outline – English
A high-quality English education inspires a love of reading and nurtures intellectual curiosity. Students experience a range of texts from different cultures and time periods which provide them with a better understanding of the world they live in. English at CCHSG introduces students to an exciting range of literature, from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Phillip Pullman, Arthur Miller and Simon Armitage. Students develop their creative writing skills from Year 7 with descriptions, stories and poetry writing, exploring a range of texts from different cultures and backgrounds. Critical analysis is promoted across the English curriculum as students explore both fiction and non-fiction texts. Students develop their ability to construct a logical argument and to express themselves accurately, coherently and effectively in both their written and oral communication.
Students of all Years are encouraged to read as much as possible to widen their horizons, perspectives and ideas. In Years 7 and 8, there is one library lesson a fortnight during which students can take an hour to escape into a different realm through the book they are reading. Students in Year 7 take part in our Accelerated Reader program and Year 8 students are encouraged to extend their reading with a challenge list of texts that piques their interest and enjoyment.
- Years 7 and 8 – students are exposed to a variety of texts and forms of literature with a focus on genre, reading novels such as ‘The Lord of the Flies’, ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’. They will begin to use textual evidence to support their arguments and start to appreciate how contexts can impact meaning. Students will enhance their writing skills, developing their use of punctuation, sentence structures and vocabulary choices whilst being introduced to a range of subject terminology to use in their textual analysis.
- Years 9 to 11 – students will develop their critical analysis and knowledge of GCSE texts including ‘An Inspector Calls’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’, forming detailed and well supported arguments. They will appreciate and critique the impact that context has on meaning and interpretation whilst developing their use of a range of subject terminology, including a range of literary devices, to embed within their analyses. Students’ creative writing will be enhanced through greater technical accuracy and the increasingly sophisticated use of language devices.
- Years 12 and 13 – students will develop an understanding of literary and critical theory in association with a range of texts such as ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘A Doll’s House’ and ‘The History Boys’ as well as linguistic non-fiction texts for English Language. They will become confident in working independently, analysing language and structure as well as exploring the meaning of texts and different interpretations. Students begin developing their comparative skills, investigating abstract themes and ideologies whilst consistently and effectively embedding advanced subject terminology into their critical analysis of texts. The English Literature course encourages students to explore how texts fit into their context and how that impacts their meaning, whilst in English Language students examine different language discourses, child language acquisition and how language has changed over time.
Co-curriculum and Extracurricular Activities
Students are able to expand their love of English in a number of different ways through theatre trips, university visits, author visits and writing competitions. Year 10 students are invited to be Literacy Leaders running “Word of the Week”, drop-in sessions for younger students and promoting literacy around the school. Students from across the school also participate in the annual World Book Day activities. Year 9 students are given the opportunity to take part in the BBC Young Reporter Competition whilst Year 12 students are encouraged to become subject mentors for younger students to assist them in their English studies.
Sixth Form students also form the editorial team for the student newspaper “The Kilt” which is published half termly and was runner up in the First News School Newspaper of the Year Awards 2019.
The department has a number of well-equipped, dedicated English classrooms which are fully resourced with interactive whiteboards and informative displays. The school’s brand-new Library offers an extensive range of fiction and non-fiction books for students of all years to enjoy as well as being a space for private study.
Opportunities for Further Study and Destinations
The English department offers both English Literature and English Language A Level courses. Both subjects develop skills such as the ability to structure an argument, convey a point of view and critique a perspective which are transferable across many degree courses and in employment. English related courses range from Creative Writing to Speech Therapy and the skills developed throughout the A Level course link particularly with subjects such as Psychology and Law. The analytical and communication abilities that studying English develops are transferable skills desirable on any degree course.