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. In September 2017 the Literary enrichment group The Oultonian Society was established, tasked with enriching and broadening literary horizons through a series of academic lectures and seminars.
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
As of September 2018, all 4th Form pupils will follow the AQA GCSE English Language syllabus. This is a challenging, but accessible course which encourages pupils to emerge as confident and able writers. For English Literature, all pupils will study for the AQA GCSE English Literature Qualification which examines pupils on a range of poetry, prose, drama, and unseen texts. Here, pupils will experience literature from Shakespeare right up to the present day.
At the beginning of the 5th Form pupils in Set 4 will focus solely upon the single year CIE IGCSE English Language qualification. This is assessed through a healthy mixture of coursework, examination, and speaking and listening assessments. This is designed to allow pupils for whom the study of both English Language and English Literature proves difficult the opportunity to focus solely on a valued and respected qualification.
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.