HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: MRS P AGER (Hons) (Middlesex), PGCE (Anglia)
The English department at St Edmund’s is fortunate to have a team of highly experienced, well-qualified teachers able to inspire and motivate students at all levels. The study and appreciation of literature lies at the heart of our schemes of work, but media-based texts are also studied in order to cultivate a variety of English skills. We aim to instil in our students a love of literature and reading and to give them the facility to express themselves confidently, fluently and accurately, in both analytical and original writing.
All students are taught the need for technical accuracy, attractive presentation and a clear exposition of an argument. Some with special needs like dyslexia receive additional, individual assistance in conjunction with the Teaching Assistants and the LDD department. Extracurricular events and activities such as visiting authors, specialist speakers, reading competitions, inter-house drama and theatre trips supplement and enhance the work in the classroom.
We believe that the study of English fosters a student’s personal, moral and intellectual development. Our aim is to produce sensitive, confident, cultured individuals who are able to discriminate effectively, identify key qualities and values then express their judgements cogently in both written form and orally. Above all we believe that English should be innovative and challenging; a subject that students look forward to and enjoy.
IGCSE English First Language (0500) & English Literature (0486)
Nearly all students whose first language is English – and some for whom English is a further language – are entered for two IGCSE which are studied simultaneously over the two year course: English and English Literature. Our pass rate is usually 100% A-C or very close to that and in our latest results almost half our students achieved either A* or A in both subjects.
50% of the English assessment consists of the coursework unit for which the student writes three essays covering creative, argumentative and textual response skills. The examination is worth 50% and sets three questions on directed writing, language analysis and summary.
In English Literature, the coursework folder containing two essays is worth 75%; the examination is on three set texts covering the genres of prose, drama and poetry.
OCR A Level English (H471)
At A Level, students study key literary texts drawn from a variety of periods from Chaucer to the modern novel. Wider reading is essential to provide literary breadth, historical context and critical reference and serves as the basis for the synoptic unit which requires students to evaluate and demonstrate an overview of a major genre such as the Gothic, Satire or the Romantics.
In recent years, approximately three quarters of our A level students have achieved A*-B grades.
The study of English is key to the pursuit of any number of professions and careers requiring flexible and sophisticated communication skills, including law, journalism, marketing, teaching and publishing.