English Department Curriculum Intent
The English language and literary heritage span the world and capture a great range and diversity of experience in different times, cultures and nations. By encouraging a desire for reading, writing and speaking, and engaging with texts in a spirit of love and respect, pupils’ minds broaden to enable them to become culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually intelligent members of society. English helps them to understand the diversity of the world they live in and how precious it is – that they must care for it – as well as how to find their own place in it, working with love in all aspects of their lives.
According to Epicetus, only the educated are free; English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society, providing eight of the ten key skills that employers look for (World Economic Forum, 2022). It is the subject with the greatest potential to liberate the minds of students and allow them to discover their vocation. In addition, English promotes high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, so pupils become effective communicators and therefore are more able to follow the path they choose in life. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully in society: pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write as well as analyse fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
A high-quality education in English will teach pupils not only to speak and write fluently so that they can not only communicate effectively with others, but also analyse language incisively for subtext and multiple meanings. Our students are taught by highly experienced teachers who are enormously passionate about their subject. Through reading and writing pupils have a chance to develop their critical awareness and analysis through the study of literature and language. We encourage students to be critical thinkers, to have an enquiring mind, to justify their ideas with clarity and fluency.
You cannot lead without people wanting to follow you. English equips students with the rhetorical techniques, the oracy skills as well as the insight to become leaders in whatever field they chose. On a day-to-day level, we ask that students lead by example, through service and by taking responsibility for their own learning, failures and successes. This is underscored by the texts we look at and discuss, as well as more discreet lessons such as the delivery of oracy. By using the skills developed in English, pupils will be prepared for life beyond school, making a valuable contribution to the world.