English is a central subject in the curriculum at RGS, and we aim to develop our pupils’ enjoyment of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, knowing that these skills are essential for educational development as well as being supremely worthwhile in themselves.
English lessons aim to be stimulating, and engaging, but also, we hope fun. We expect pupils to be involved as active participants. Group work, discussion, shared reading and writing, drama and debate, give everyone scope to develop the confidence that will enable progress in skills of expression and appreciation within the supportive environment of English lessons.
Central to the nurturing of ability in English is Reading, and our Lower School Reading Passport, with its exciting range of both classic and contemporary fiction, fosters individual tastes in reading for pleasure. By the time pupils are prepared for GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature, written abilities are honed, and there is increasing engagement with more sophisticated texts including literary journalism, travel writing and classic literature. Our hope is that encounters with the best writers of both the present and the past will inspire a lifelong love of the written word.
In the Sixth Form, English Literature, which requires the in-depth exploration of texts from various literary periods, is a popular A Level choice. Students appreciate the opportunity to formulate, both orally and in writing, their own considered views in a subject where texts explore complex emotional relationships, characters and situations presented in a rich variety of periods, contexts and genres.
Every year several students are inspired to study English further at university. Beyond lessons, there are opportunities to pursue interests in the subject with the hugely popular Lower School Book Clubs and the Literary Society. Trips to the theatre and visits by writers enrich appreciation whilst the House Creative Writing Competition and Poetry Slam always attracts a large number of entries.