The department aims to promote an understanding of oneself and others through the discussion and study of literature and to encourage students to write creatively and in a range of forms. Pupils explore the workings of the English language, for instance its etymology, grammatical structures and literary and rhetorical techniques, and an emphasis is placed on the teaching of grammar and spelling.
The department provides opportunities for pupils to develop confident speaking and listening skills by narrating, discussing, arguing and persuading in a range of activities. We also organise regular theatre trips for all year groups. The department is determined to help pupils improved their writing skills and we actively teach grammar and expect pupils to spell and punctuation their work appropriately.
Pupils are taught in ability sets based on the Entrance examination and an external assessment undertaken at the beginning of Year 7. Changes to sets take place once per year. Years 7-9, students study a range of poetry, prose and drama with a different Shakespeare text being studied each year. The curriculum is structured to enable pupils to develop their writing and grammatical skills. Drama studied in KS3 includes: Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet; Frankenstein and The Play of the Diary of Anne Frank. Novels include: The Outsiders, The Whale Rider, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm and Private Peaceful. Our poetry study ranges from the study of epic poems including The Illiad and The Divine Comedy, to modern writers like Carol Anne Duffy and Simon Armitage. Grammar and sentence structure is an important part of KS3 curriculum as is developing pupils speaking and listening skills.
GCSE English Language
Speaking and Listening: Pupils must show their competence and confidence in speaking and listening through a range of situations.
Reading: Pupils will need to read fiction and non-fiction texts, demonstrating an informed engagement with them. The range will include contemporary and pre-20th-century literature. They will be expected to respond to unseen and seen texts.
Writing: Pupils will need to show an ability to write in a wide variety of styles and forms, including critical and imaginative responses to literary and factual material.
Presentation: Pupils should be able to write fluently and legibly and present finished work clearly and attractively.
GCSE English Literature
Students engage with and develop the ability to read, understand and respond to a wide range of literary texts from around the world and develop an appreciation of the ways in which authors construct their texts. There is a focus on developing the skills needed for literary study. Students explore through literature, their own and other cultures. The IGCSE is designed for pupils to find enjoyment in reading literature and to understand its influence on individuals and societies. Pupils will be encouraged to develop critical and analytical responses by studying prose, poetry and drama from diverse literary periods. Texts include Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men.
At Immanuel we believe that literature opens your world to the creativity that has shaped it, and by studying English Literature, you are taking yourself to the heart of a creative process that has been taking place for a thousand years. Our OCR syllabus gives you the opportunity to study a very broad selection of texts from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales written in Middle English in the late 1300’s to the most contemporary and challenging 21st Century novels, poems and plays. At Immanuel, you will be engaged in the discipline of literary criticism and love discovering texts that seem to perfectly capture a particular attitude, sensation or idea.
Students are set regular reading homework and are required to write essays frequently on the texts explored in class. There is a significant amount of secondary reading to enhance critical appreciation and contextual awareness. Lessons involve analysis and discussion with some time spent reading texts in lessons however a significant proportion of reading is done at home. Students with interests in psychology, history, philosophy and mythology will have opportunities to consider these areas in relation to texts studied.
The English Department run a regular debating society and a Scrabble club. We organise regular theatre trips and direct the School play.