In studying English at TWGGS at Key Stage Three, pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts. The study of English helps pupils understand how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Using this knowledge, pupils can chose and adapt what they say and write in different situations.
The English Department believes that the study of English can foster a lifelong love of literature and reading. The importance of English has significant responsibilities for equipping students for life after school, both in terms of working life and leisure time. By ensuring an awareness of the wider world, English can contribute to the development of sensitive individuals able to think and act independently. Seen as a means of nurturing the powers of both communication and appreciation, English encourages articulacy in a world increasingly dependent on the swift exchange of language.It also provides students with an awareness of their own cultural heritage and that of others. It is recognised that literature can bring about profound changes in the individual and the English Department is conscious of its role in delivering texts, exploring language, and encouraging students to write and speak effectively in a way which gives them self-esteem, confidence and control.
Our key aims at Key stage Three are:
- to instil in our students an enthusiasm for and an awareness of the importance of literature and language;
- to enable students to discover, share and examine experiences from different class, cultural and gender perspectives;
- to sharpen powers of response, discrimination and analysis, and the ability to show precision, accuracy and conciseness;
- to enable students to communicate; to explore and express their ideas and feelings confidently, accurately and interestingly in both writing and speech;
- to create an environment of challenge and support where students feel recognised and valued as individuals;
- to enable and encourage students to be creative, individual and imaginative;
- to develop students’ ability to work independently and collaboratively.
In Years 7-9, students follow schemes of work that cover the requirements of the national curriculum but also aim to challenge, enthuse and extend. Over the course of each year, a Shakespeare play, a novel, a modern play, a selection of poetry, short stories and a variety of media and non-fiction texts are studied. There are a number of different writing outcomes that are assessed as coursework in response to these texts, for example, the Year 8 Shakespeare project.
The department offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities that cover the three skills areas of English. We have: thriving reading groups and partake in the West Kent Schools Themed Book Awards and the Carnegie Medal Shadowing scheme; extremely successful debating teams and compete successfully at a national level; a creative writing club and an annual TWGGS poetry competition. We take every year group to the theatre at least once a year: for example, Year Seven go to Regents Park open-air theatre to see a performance of a Shakespeare play, Year Eight see a West End production such as ‘Warhorse’ and Year 9 go to see an evening performance at the Globe, having first been for a tour and workshop with the globe actors. There is also an exciting programme of other events, for example a visiting writer and creative writing workshops for year Eight and World Book Day celebrations. The English and Drama departments liaise closely and work collaboratively for key events such as the Year Eight Shakespeare festival and the Year Nine drama festival.
Also see related pages: Academic Curriculum