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Studying English at Bloxham School

As C. S. Lewis said, ‘we read to know we’re not alone.’ The study of literature allows us to see the world differently and also allows us to connect with the experiences of others. In a more practical sense, the subject offers the opportunity to form and shape arguments, provides us with excellent grounding in our written work and demands that we think carefully about the way language is used to shape meaning.

English in Lower School

Pupils in Lower School have eight English lessons a fortnight in which they study a mixture of poetry, fiction and non-fiction prose and drama texts. Pupils have a number of lessons focused on enhancing comprehension, close reading and literacy skills. The emphasis is on building strong foundations for IGCSE studies and on encouraging students to become confident readers of writing from different time periods and cultures, as well as for different purposes. We encourage pupils to get involved in our School Creative Writing and Public Speaking competitions and Lower School pupils can take part in a weekly reading discussion group. We take teams from our junior book group to the Oxford Kids' Lit Quiz and run annual theatre visits to the RSC's winter productions.

English in the Middle School

Our Third Form students continue to study a range of prose, poetry and drama texts (including a Shakespeare play) in order to prepare for the transition to IGCSE. Our Fourth and Fifth Form sets follow Edexcel's IGCSE English Language and English Literature specifications. This means that students have the time to craft creative and analytical pieces of writing for their coursework folder. It also means they study a range of texts for assessment in the two exams, which are taken at the end of Fifth Form. Where possible, we take students to see productions of set texts and lessons involve a range of different types of task – debating, group work, presentations and essay-writing practice. We encourage students to explore and practise the use of language in a variety of contexts and for a range of purposes, to interpret different kinds of writing – both literary and non-fiction, and to study works of prose, poetry and drama, both from our own time and from earlier centuries.

English in the Sixth Form

Sixth Form students follow Edexcel's English Literature specification. We cover a wide range of texts, from Shakespeare's tragedies, through selected paired prose texts linked by theme, to contemporary 21st Century poetry. The course explores the poetry, drama and prose texts by placing the material in its social, literary and historical contexts. Coursework remains a fundamental part of the two year (linear) A Level course and offers students the opportunity to extend their own literary interests, whilst developing key skills in independent research and extended reading.

Who Teaches English?

Head of Department: Mr Chris Saunders

Other teaching staff: Miss Alison Garcia, Miss Linda Hunt, Mrs Clare Summers and Dr Julian Moyle