English Literature and Language is studied with great enthusiasm at St Mary's! Students learn to express themselves articulately and with confidence in a variety of speaking, listening and written activities. They also develop critical, personal and imaginative responses to a variety of literary genres.
Years 7, 8, 9
In Years 7, 8 and 9 the girls have two and a half hours of English each week. Year 7 students are taught in form groups, while in Years 8 and above, students are set according to ability. Lessons include a session in our Library. We offer a “Reading Passport” scheme, which encourages the girls to read a range of fiction so that they progress with their vital reading and analytical skills. As part of this, we welcome favourite authors to the school to discuss their careers and inspire the students. Recently we have had visits from Fiona Foden, Anne Fine and Cathy Cassidy.
A recent addition to the curriculum is preparation for the English Speaking Board examinations in public speaking, which enhance students' Speaking and Listening skills and encourages the girls to feel confident about forming and expressing their own opinions, giving presentations and speaking in public - invaluable skills for their later lives.
Ready for the Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays, our librarian, Mrs Cassell, compiles a list of recommended reading that she feels the girls will enjoy and benefit from in their free time.
English Language and English Literature are compulsory subjects. The English Language course followed is Edexcel 1ENO. English Literature is Edexcel 1ETO.
For more information about the current GCSE syllabus, please download the latest St Mary's GCSE Options Guide:
Recommended Reading Lists
For the latest recommended reading lists, click on the links below. All titles are available in the Senior Library.
KEY STAGE 3 READING LIST
KEY STAGE 4 READING LIST
Clubs & Activities
Theatre visits are also an important part of our English Curriculum and we regularly attend local and national productions to help the girls with appreciating texts in performance beyond the classroom.
The department also runs literacy intervention sessions to further develop skills in reading, spelling and comprehension. These usually take the form of small group sessions, scheduled at times when they are of the most benefit.
We also offer a reading buddy scheme - younger students are paired with a girl in Year 10 and together they work to build confidence and understanding with their reading.