From Socrates to Spielberg, via Shakespeare and Shelley, English at St Andrew’s takes students on a journey that offers something for everyone. Students study both canonical texts and more contemporary works whose creators aim to challenge readers, viewers and/or listeners to consider the way the world works. In this way, English at St Andrew’s provides rich opportunities to explore issues, gain understanding and develop a set of individual beliefs, values and attitudes.
Through the study of generic conventions, students are encouraged to appraise texts critically so that they can make informed and objective choices regarding the ways in which language is used to position them.
In addition, students are taught to use literary techniques themselves when speaking and writing in order to develop a facility for language and an understanding of nuance, tone, register and style.
They are taught to use language for the purposes of analysis, argument, reflection, persuasion and of course, to use language creatively and imaginatively.
The importance of using language verbally is a vital principle in the teaching of English. Students deliver a range of oral presentations in order to hone their speaking skills and to develop the self-assurance that comes with this ability.
In a world where the media plays a powerful role, adolescents receive much of their information about the world passively. We aim to make them active, independent learners and to help them engage in a dynamic way with texts of all kinds.
Our curriculum offers differentiation in terms of text selection, learning experiences and response choice in order to foster greater student engagement, interest, relevance and ownership.
St Andrew’s English curriculum is designed to help students recognise the liberating and empowering abilities of language, to understand how literature has developed over the course of history, and to give students the confidence that comes with linguistic mastery.
In these years, students consolidate their technical skills with a sequenced program of grammar and spelling so that they learn the importance of writing and speaking with precision and accuracy. They are also introduced to the conventions of:
- Short stories
- Expository texts
- Persuasive texts
- Reflective texts
- Print Media
- Digital Media
We hope to imbue our senior students with an understanding of literary history and of the ways in which literature both shapes and reflects cultural mores. We aim also to teach them to use language themselves to reflect their own developing sense of identity.