English is a subject fundamental to the entire curriculum. It is a language with worldwide reach through which we express ourselves and come to a better understanding and appreciation of others, as they express themselves.
As well as its importance for persuasive written and spoken communication, English delves into stories and the imagination; to ideas and emotions and what it means to be human. How we use language constructs the world we live in but through story-telling we can also enjoy visions of future possibilities and of worlds different to our own. At Cobham Hall in English we want to inspire students to enjoy using words and to feel confident at evaluating texts in their daily lives as well as escaping into literary worlds in their reading.
Years 7, 8 and 9
In younger years, girls are encouraged to develop their own writing, as well as read a wide range of literary and non-literary texts. A range of poetry is studied, including pre-twentieth century works. A love of Shakespeare is also encouraged, with students reading scenes, and eventually, whole plays. The use of role-play is used to enhance their understanding of scenes.
Years 10 and 11: GCSE
All girls at Cobham Hall study GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. The Language course includes close analysis of fiction and non-fiction texts, and the students’ own creative and persuasive writing. The Literature course is comprised of Shakespeare, a 19th Century novel, Modern Prose or Drama, and Poetry: both an anthology of works and unseen. As with the younger years, students are encouraged to use role-play and creative techniques to explore texts.
Years 12 and 13: A Level English Literature
A Level English Literature provides students with a stimulating intellectual challenge and the opportunity to develop their subject expertise by responding creatively, critically and independently to a range of texts from different time periods and genres.
Studying universal themes such as: gender; politics and power; and fate & free will, students gain a deeper and broader perception of life and, through their reading, an appreciation of history, culture and philosophy. Research and planning skills are also developed as students structure their findings into persuasive and logical essay form.
A Level students can also engage with texts on a more adult level by participating in the Staff and Sixth Form Book Club.