Our hope, as a department, is that pupils leave
SPH as keen readers and writers, equipped to understand how language is used as
a tool and enthusiastic to use language creatively themselves. Throughout Years
7-13, we place emphasis on encouraging independent reading and developing
evaluative and analytical skills.
At Key Stage 3, pupils study a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, in line with National Curriculum requirements. In Year 7, for instance, we begin by looking at Victorian London, exploring how authors such as Dickens presented it at the time. In doing so, we focus closely on developing pupils´ ability to write analytically about an author´s use of language. In the first term, pupils will also craft their own writing for descriptive and narrative purposes.
At Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA syllabuses for English Language and English Literature. All pupils study ´Frankenstein´ at the end of Year 9 in preparation for their GCSE course. Further texts could include ´Pigeon English´, ´Lord of The Flies´ and ´Blood Brothers´. In addition, pupils will study a play by Shakespeare and some poetry from the AQA Anthology. For their English exam, they will need to respond to unseen texts and write for a range of contexts and purposes. Pupils will undertake regular exam practice as the course is assessed wholly by exam. A separately certificated award for speaking and listening is also made.
At A-Level, we offer English Literature (AQA spec. B), English Language (AQA), Creative Writing (AQA) and Media Studies (OCR). All four A-Levels are very popular choices for Sixth Form students; we also regularly achieve some of the highest results nationally.
Trips to the British Library and A Level Conferences have recently benefitted students in their studies. Participation in local Rotary Club Public Speaking and Young Writer competitions is encouraged. A wide range of extra-curricular activities and projects for pupils in all years are co-ordinated including BBC School Report, a journalism club, public speaking competitions and transition projects (including the Arun Literary Festival), trips to local and national newspaper headquarters and theatre trips.