"In great literature, I become a thousand different men but still remain myself." – C.S. Lewis
At the centre of Worth English is a sense of aspiration and achievement. Ambition is actively cultivated within an inclusive and enquiring learning environment. We are a highly responsive department and we pride ourselves on delivering an engaging, varied and stimulating curriculum. English lessons are tailored to the needs of individuals and are focused upon providing opportunities for all students to achieve to the very best of their ability.
We aim to ensure that our students are capable of thinking both creatively and critically and we encourage them to make their own choices and work with independence wherever possible. We expect our students to ask more questions than there are answers for. Students enjoy the opportunity to immerse themselves in a range of literature from different traditions and we develop their ability to write with confidence in different styles and for different audiences. At the core of English is communication and we support students in learning to voice their own opinions, with clarity and maturity.
The department has seven highly skilled practitioners who hold a depth of subject knowledge and expertise. Our classrooms are bright and well-equipped. We have an excellent stock of texts, as well as Smart Boards, ICT equipment, DVD and CD players.
YEARS 7 TO 9
Throughout Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9), in addition to the topics listed below, we focus on developing the technical side of written English: for example, using accurate punctuation, paragraphing, spelling and grammar.
In Years 7 to 9, students learn to speak, listen, read and write in many contexts. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum ensures that pupils have the opportunity to build upon their literary knowledge and critical skills through studying texts from different genres. Teachers are skilled in ensuring that lessons contain challenge for the more able and support for the less-secure learner. Pupils may study Roald Dahl's 'Boy' or David Almond's 'Skellig', 'Animal Farm' or 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas'.
Most students in Years 10 and 11 study the AQA 9-1 English Language and English Literature courses for GCSE. Assessment is through written examinations. For the English Language GCSE, students are examined on a number of extracts from both 19th Century and modern non-fiction. They are also required to write creatively and persuasively for a variety of audiences. Set texts on the English Literature GCSE include: 'Jekyll and Hyde'; 'Frankenstein'; 'The Merchant of Venice' or 'Macbeth', and 'An Inspector Calls' or 'Lord of the Flies'. Students also engage in a comparative study from an anthology of poetry around the themes of power and conflict.
In the Sixth Form, GCE students study the linear OCR A Level English Literature course. This two-year course allows learners to undertake independent and sustained studies to deepen their appreciation and understanding of literature, including its changing traditions. In the first year of the course, students study the Shakespeare and Pre-1900 Poetry and Prose Unit; taught texts for this unit include 'The Tempest', 'Paradise Lost: Books 9 & 10' by John Milton, ‘The Merchant’s Tale' and 'Prologue’ from 'The Canterbury Tales' by Geoffrey Chaucer. Students go on to explore a genre of literature in depth with particular focus on two complete texts (Gothic or Dystopian). This is complemented by completion of two pieces of internally assessed coursework (McEwan’s 'Atonement' and Williams’ 'A Streetcar named Desire' are among two of the options).
IB students opt to study literature at either Higher or Standard level. For part of the course they study (in translation) texts that were not originally written in English, such as Ibsen’s 'A Doll’s House', Brecht’s 'Mother Courage and her children' or Flaubert’s 'Madame Bovary'. A separate IB course, for students whose first language is not English, covers both language and literature – they study writing from various genres and media, with literary texts such as Mary Shelley’s 'Frankenstein' and Shakespeare’s 'Macbeth'.
We actively encourage talented Sixth Form students to apply for entry to leading universities, including Oxbridge and offer support throughout the application process. From guidance in writing personal statements to preparation for the ELAT entrance examination and practice in interview technique we offer tailored guidance. We encourage all students to read widely and to see plays brought to life in theatre performances. Worth Literary Society lectures have covered topics such as ‘The Poetry of Empire’, ‘Who Are the Real Villains in Shakespeare’s Comedies?’ and ‘Certainty and Doubt in Victorian Literature’. Year 10 students have taken part in Shakespeare workshops at the Globe Theatre in London. Students can also enter poetry and essay competitions
We have a wide and lively range of co-curricular and enrichment opportunities across the age ranges, with clubs and workshops for creative writing and writing competitions and book groups who participate in regional book award programmes.