At King’s we seek to convey the “staggering peace” and “blinding lights” of literature; we give lesson time to reading, and monitor progress carefully.
We want our pupils to be meticulous in their study of language, and to be fearless in their creative endeavours. Most importantly, we help our pupils to find their voice, and provide the tools with which to express themselves with confidence, and alacrity. We achieve this through the study of challenging texts taught with passion, but without pretension. In the 3rd Form, we study a wide-ranging curriculum, beginning with the joint History trip to the Battlefields of the Western-Front, and ending with the study of Hamlet, with a great deal more in between. The English Department sits at the heart of the School in the Memorial Building, where we enjoy large, traditional classrooms, and a smaller designated 6th Form teaching room. We take regular visits to dramatic productions, places of literary interest, and in the Autumn of 2016, will undertake our first 6th Form visit to New York.
I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights.
Notes on the Art of Poetry, Dylan Thomas
At IGCSE we follow the CIE English Language qualification. This is assessed through a healthy mixture of coursework, examination, and speaking and listening assessments. The course is challenging, but accessible, and our pupils emerge as confident writers, and communicators. The course is relevant to young learners in a modern world, and tackles the skills necessary to get on in life well beyond the classroom.
For English Literature, we again follow the CIE syllabus - this is assessed through 75% written examination and 25% written coursework. It is a varied and interesting course in which pupils will study drama, poetry, and prose. In the teaching of coursework we also have the opportunity to focus on the subject specialism of individual members of the Department, providing our students with unique and challenging points of literary reference. The texts studied range from Shakespeare to the present day.
At AS and A-Level, we build upon the analytical skills developed at IGCSE and focus the pupils’ minds upon the wider issues of context and literary criticism. Here, they take the opportunity to specialise in a literary genre, and study a range of texts around this. The course comprises of recognised literary greats, and those emerging as such. It is really here that the seeds of a more complex and individual relationship with literary intrigue are sown. Our pupils are developed as investigators, writers, and thinkers; they achieve strong academic results, and emerge with a myriad of practical, real-world skills applicable to many University courses, and careers beyond King’s.