Mrs K D Guy, BA,
Head of 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.
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, Coleridge and Steinbeck, are taught alongside modern novels such as The Skylark’s War and our new Year 9 Poetry Anthology 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.
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 also enjoy a rich diet of trips to the theatre, the Globe and the Museum of London and, at A-level, lecture days and other outings. 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.
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 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: