In the English Department, we aim to instil in students a love of Literature and Language. Our students are introduced to Literature in all its forms and from around the world. We study Poetry, Drama, Prose, Short Stories and Non-Fiction texts, allowing students to understand and enjoy how writers create their works and learn to analyse and evaluate language and meaning. We enable our students to explore how language is used for various purposes: to inform, persuade, instruct and entertain. Students are also given multiple tasks to explore and develop their linguistic styles and skills.
In Grades 7 and 8, we introduce students to various literary and linguistic genres and text types. Students get to investigate poetry that explores different cultural experiences or aspects of social injustice. They also study a media unit that introduces them to the world of mass communication, with its biases and use of persuasion. The appreciation of the novel and the graphic novel is a key focus, as is the study of drama - both in terms of local plays or plays from further afield, as well as the work of William Shakespeare. We try to widen the literary reach through diverse classical and modern works that span time and space. Students are also taught communication skills in writing and speech - enabling them to express themselves and their ideas effectively.
The skills developed led to the Cambridge IGCSE English Language and English Literature curriculum in Grades 9 and 10. Students are awarded two grades: one for Literature and one for Language. In the Literature course, students explore a poetry anthology, a novel and a drama text.
By studying these texts, students develop their analytical skills and ability to respond personally to Literature. In the Language course, students practise key literacy skills, including reading for meaning, summarising, identifying writer’s effects, and writing texts of different genres.
The culmination of the English programme is the study of the IB Diploma in Grades 11 and 12, where native speakers of English choose a Language ‘A’ course in either English Literature or English Language and Literature. Both Higher and Standard levels are offered. Students study texts through three key areas of exploration: Readers, Writers and Text, Time and Space and Intertextuality.
Our Approach to Learning
Across the curriculum, we focus on skill-building, including study skills, to equip students with the tools needed to succeed in the examined courses. Close reading, analysis and evaluation are embedded into the teaching of each unit.
Drafting, editing and proofreading are also instilled in the writing process. Our students are encouraged to read widely to develop the skill of reading and appreciate the language and its ability to convey a range of meanings.