English lessons are responsible for making pupils aware of themselves, their language, the world of imagination and feelings, of the demands of written language, and of the skills of exposition and argument.
In these respects English has a unique breadth of thinking and response to offer pupils, and we must do all we can to get pupils involved and contributing positively in class and preps.
Enjoying, thinking, analysing, debating, engaging and dreaming are all central to the subject of English. As a dynamic and exciting department we actively encourage our students to read and to express their ideas and opinions both in oral and written form. From Thomas’s small field, and Shakespeare’s midsummer night’s dream grow ideas and beliefs that we encourage our students to explore and enjoy.
The English Department at Rydal Penrhos is one of the central departments of the school situated alongside Memorial Hall, the spiritual heart of the school.
English lessons are responsible for making pupils aware of themselves, their language, the world of imagination and feelings, of the demands of written language, and of the skills of exposition and argument. In this respect English has a unique breadth of thinking and response to offer pupils and staff; we must do all we can to get pupils involved and contributing positively in class and preps.
All Year 7 and 8 follow a bespoke curriculum, with Edexcel GCSE qualifications in Language and Literature started in Year 9 and completed through linear examinations in Year 11. English Literature is popular in the Sixth Form. The Edexcel A Level course is underpinned by key principles: a scrutiny of interpretation and expression; an insistence on clarity and coherence; a space for confident and individual expression in thinking, reading and writing.
There are plenty of outlets for excellence through a thriving extension programme, often led by the department and visiting speakers (writers, journalists, actors), masterclasses, the Literary Society, publications (creative and academic) and many competitions. The Learning Support & EAL departments also work closely with English and support is always on hand.
A crucial aspect of English is that it should be entertaining, lively and fun. Our teaching attempts to reach as many pupils, and provide as much stimulus, as possible. It is regarded as a priority that we act as ambassadors for our subject, and teach with enthusiasm.
With a department of 5 subject specialists and a designated Literature study area to supplement the school’s main Library, the English Department is a place where we ensure that “not all who wonder are lost”.
Reading is an integral part of the timetable and is supported by class reward systems and a dedicated library.
Our teaching approach approach makes writing purposeful and fun, whilst at the same time it seeks high expectations for all pupils. Underpinning the whole programme is a rigorous focus on achieving accurate basic skills in spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting.
Confidence in communication is considered vital and pupils are actively encouraged to develop their skills through speech and drama competitions, public speaking and through taking part in our ambitious productions.
The Pre-Prep Department encompasses both reading and writing and uses a series of graded reading books, each linked to and emphasising a particular sound.
The reading books have associated writing tasks which help the children to practise spelling the pertinent sound as well as other relevant words, and these spelling patterns become increasingly non-phonetic as the scheme progresses. Included in the writing tasks are graded punctuation and grammar activities.