English

Mrs K D Guy, BA,
Head of English
kguy@colfes.com

English teaching at Colfe’s is focused on developing pupils’ engagement with literature, introducing them to a range of writers and texts and encouraging them to become independent, proficient readers.

In Years 7 to 9 you will enjoy a range of poetry, prose and drama. We update our texts regularly so you will find literary canon texts, including Shakespeare, Eliot and Orwell, are taught alongside modern novels such as The Skylark’s War and the diverse short story collection A Change Is Gonna Come, as well as our Year 9 Poetry Anthology also representing black and minority ethnic voices.

The skills you learn in the first three years form the foundations for GCSE success. We build your confidence so you can communicate fluently and accurately, ensuring your perceptive ideas feature on the page.

You will take two IGCSEs – English Language and Literature – in classes taught by a team of English specialists. Here, our focus turns to further developing your skills of literary analysis, personal engagement with the text and ability to construct a fluent, coherent essay the foundations for which were laid in Years 7 to 9. Currently pupils are studying Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Purple Hibiscus and a collection of poetry spanning the centuries, as well as a play. These texts change regularly in line with exam board’s specifications.

English Literature A-level is a popular course in the school where you are given the opportunity to expand your knowledge, skills and engagement with the subject even further. Lessons are seminar style, featuring informed, lively discussion about texts. You are encouraged to become more independent and more rigorous in the process: researching and reading criticism and, in turn, bringing new ideas and new perspectives to class discussion, which then feeds into your written work.

As part of the department’s commitment to enrichment, pupils of all ages have also enjoyed a rich diet of trips to the theatre, the Globe and the Museum of London and, at A-level, lecture days and other outings. We are hoping to be able to offer the full again range soon. Within school, our Literary Society is open to all 6th form pupils and we have had talks on topics from ‘Feasting’ to ‘Japanese Poetry’. Bookclub meets at least once each half term for pupils in Years 11 to 13 and we invite Year 10s to join us in the summer term. Keen younger readers are encouraged to join the Carnegie Shadowing group, which is based in the Library. We have established an online Creative Writing Club., which is open to all KS3 pupils on an informal basis, and meets in person once per term to celebrate what they produce.

The English department also contributes enthusiastically to House competitions; we promote two House reading challenges each year, for Years 7 and 8, and House poetry recitations, which will now take place in Years 8 and 10 to make space for Balloon Debates in Years 7 and 9. We have had notable success with writing competitions and there are opportunities to enter your creative (prose and poetry) and analytical writing for school, local and national competitions.

A-level course details:

Art & Photography

The Art & Photography department at Colfe’s is an exciting, creative space that values imagination and intuitive responses, group and individual work.

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Classics

The Classics Department provides three ways in to this ancient past. Latin is offered throughout the school for Years 7-13, Classical Greek is an option in Year 9 and off-timetable in Year 10, and Classical Civilisation is available at both GCSE and A-level.

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Computer Science

Computer Science and IT at Colfe’s allows you to learn the principles of information and computation thinking, understand how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through a range of programming languages.

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Design & Technology

Design & Technology at Colfe’s prepares pupils to take part in a rapidly changing world; learning to think creatively, become problem solvers and innovators, and design products to fulfil needs and wants not yet realised.

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Drama

Our aim is to help you learn how to express yourself, to explore your unique creativity and ultimately to become a confident performer.

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Economics

In Economics and Business the emphasis in the classroom is on developing analytical abilities, encouraging argument from different standpoints and critical examination of data.

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English

English teaching at Colfe’s is focused on developing pupils’ engagement with literature, introducing them to a range of writers and texts, and encouraging them to become independent, proficient readers.

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Eudaimonia

Eudaimonia at Colfe’s is the teaching of the activity of wellbeing. Broadly based on the virtue ethics of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, the word Eudaimonia itself is most commonly translated as ‘flourishing’ by practising virtuous behaviour and engaging with what it means to be human.

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Geography

Our planet is a dynamic, complex and beautiful place. As far as we know it is unique. Studying Geography can help you to understand it, but studying Geography at Colfe’s can help you thrive in it.

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History

The History syllabus at Colfe’s studies some of the most significant events and people in British and World History over the past 2,000 years and aims to inspire a passion for the past.

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Learning Support

Learning Support is based in the heart of the Senior School in a well-equipped classroom with computers, ipads, an interactive whiteboard and an abundance of learning resources and educational games.

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Library

The Library is very much at the centre of the school, and is extremely busy at break and lunch times, and before and after the school day.

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Mathematics

Mathematics is the keystone to the modern technological world in which we live. It enables us to understand our physical environment through sophisticated modelling techniques and is the ultimate language of strategical reasoning.

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Media Studies

Media Studies is about understanding how our world is constructed and how we are encouraged to perceive it. If you understand how the media works, you understand how the world works.

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Modern Languages

Our carefully planned Modern Languages programmes of study will lead you to communicate in modern, real-life situations, using real contemporary language.

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Music

The importance of studying music can’t be overstated; it enables pupils to build confidence through performance, nurture creativity through composition and develop critical enquiry through musical appraisal.

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Physical Education

Through the Physical Education and Sport programme, our pupils experience opportunities to develop skills, which enable them to make informed lifestyle choices in adulthood and a lifelong love of sport and physical activity.

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Religion & Philosophy

Giving pupils an opportunity to engage with the rich history of philosophical and theological thought contributes to their personal growth and ethical development.

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Science

The Science facilities at Colfe's include nine dedicated laboratories with access to notebook computers, so that ICT skills can be used to complement learning.

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How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for Colfe's School. Our main entry points are at ages 3, 4, 11 and 16.