It is undeniable that studying English is the most powerful tool pupils can be equipped with- the ability to read and write is the gateway to education. We are a department that fires curiosity in pupils, engages them in a wide range of literature and carefully hones the necessary skills to be outstanding pupils of English. Our department, in designated classrooms in Weymouth House, aims to foster and encourage enthusiasm and passion in the study of English language and literature. It recognises pupils are empowered by an ability to command the language orally, in writing and through being able to understand fully what is written. English is not just a core subject, but at the very heart of our culture, spirituality and interaction with others.
From William Shakespeare, to Charles Dickens, Jason Reynolds to Malala Yousafzai- the Warminster English curriculum provides a rich source of literature for pupils to springboard from, in order to improve and extend their English skills and inspire their own writing. Our brand new, re-designed KS3 curriculum for 2021 sees years 7 through to 9 being taken on an exciting literary journey, beginning with the Ancient Greeks, stopping off at World War I & II, journeying into the realms of both Gothic and Dystopian, with a slice of both canonical and modern texts thrown into the mix, all with the vision to enhance pupils’ love of literature and develop their key skills.
The English Department strives to improve and extend pupils in five key areas of writing: crafting the language for effect; shaping writing to suit the purpose; organising sentences and paragraphs; accuracy in punctuation and grammar; and appreciating and developing vocabulary. For reading, pupils focus on understanding not only what is read, but also how the way a text is written and presented, depending on the context, adds meaning. We teach through discussion and participation: lessons are lively, imaginative and challenging.
Literature and reading are central to our department values. Even before they arrive, Year 7 pupils are sent a book list and encouraged to take part in a summer reading project. Pupils in Y7, 8 and 9 have access to Read Theory, an online programme developing their reading skills. Further to this, they also have a weekly reading lesson in the library space, where they can choose their book to read for not only this lesson, but at the start of every English lesson for 10 minutes too.
At GCSE, pupils follow the AQA and Edexcel IGCSE specifications for English Literature and Language- pupils will be taught a range of texts to best prepare them for their examinations. Teachers are available at lunchtimes for support and help. Pupils will study texts that are carefully selected by teachers in accordance to ability and class preference.
At A-Level, from 2021 pupils will study OCR English Literature which will begin with a study of the Dystopian, focusing on comparing Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale' and Orwell's '1984'. Y13 pupils' study AQA English Language A, which compromises of ‘Modern Times- from 1945 to present day’. Previous texts have included: ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Othello’, ‘Journey’s End’- pupils are pushed to read widely, and at a more academic level through the A-Level course. They have access to a fantastic wide range of resources, from JSTOR, to Digital Theatre Plus and the English and Media Magazine but to name a few. Classes are supportive, yet challenging to ensure pupils strive for their very best.
At A-Level, pupils study AQA English Language A, which compromises of ‘Love through the ages’ and either ‘WW1 and its aftermath’ or ‘Modern Times- from 1945 to present day’. Previous texts have included: ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Othello’, ‘Journey’s End’- pupils are pushed to read widely, and at a more academic level through the A-Level course. They have access to a fantastic wide range of resources, from Massolit, to JSTOR, English and Media Magazine but to name a few. Classes are supportive, yet challenging to ensure pupils strive for their very best.
The English Department at Warminster School is a passionate, and highly qualified department who share their love of literature in all that they do. We encourage all pupils to develop their love of English too, and to remain curious and open in their English studies.
5 classrooms in Weymouth House with access to interactive whiteboards and designated computer suite.
- AQA English Literature A AS and A Level English Literature
- AQA English Language GCSE 8700 and AQA English Literature GCSE 8702
- OCR English Literature A Level English Literature
- Edexcel IGCSE English Literature and Language
- IB English B Language HL
- IB English Literature A HL and SL
There are numerous co-curricular activities run both by the English and Library department. We hope that the co-curricular activities and opportunities serve to enrich our pupils’ knowledge, expand their cultural capital as well as support their learning.
We enter our pupils for numerous national competitions such as: 500 word story (Y7 & Y8), we have visiting authors to discuss their latest novels, we aim to take each year group on a theatre trip throughout the year to further develop their understanding of their texts being studied. We have a fantastic in-house Creative Writing Club, where pupils have the opportunity to have their work published in the latest ‘Heads-Up’ newsletter and on the school website. We enter teams for the English-Speaking Union debating and speaking competitions. Further to this, we try and celebrate as many literary events throughout the course of the year- running Harry Potter Night, World Book Day, National Poetry Day themed events across the school- but to name a few! We also run a termly ‘Drop Everything and Read’ where pupils -whatever their lesson- drop their work and pick up their book for the duration of that lesson. Mrs Parrack runs a fantastic Poetry and Prose evening, where pupils are encouraged to get on stage and express their love of literature in front of family and friends (and enjoy a picnic whilst they are at it, in our beautiful grounds). We hope that this breadth and scope of exciting opportunities will foster a love of reading for our pupils and continue well beyond their school years.