Our English students are readers, writers, talkers and independent thinkers.

Every pupil studies English for the duration of their time at Sevenoaks. We aim to deliver a broad, exciting and challenging curriculum, where students can develop their knowledge of reading and writing. We also have a profound belief that the subject should stand at the centre of our pupils' intellectual and imaginative development.

The aim of Years 7 and 8 is to fire the creativity and enthusiasm of pupils. We want students to enjoy reading and to be confident in expressing their views. We focus on consolidating literacy skills and essay writing. Year 9 marks a transition towards GCSE. Texts become more ambitious and writing more analytical. Students in Years 10 and 11 take the Edexcel IGCSE course in English Language and pursue our own Sevenoaks School Certificate in English Literature. This course is a stimulating exploration of a variety of literary works from different genres, traditions, places and periods, with significant emphasis on the students' ability to respond independently. A key feature is a bespoke online module, where students are guided through an independent study of a literary movement. This course explicitly prepares students for the IB.

When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke round me I am in darkness – I am nothing.

Virginia Woolf, The Waves

In the Sixth Form, all pupils pursue one of the exciting, varied courses offered by the IB. Pupils opt to study English at either Higher or Standard Level. The course is examined through oral and written coursework and terminal examinations. All students study the key genres across a range of historical periods and cultures. The teaching of literary criticism is also central to the qualification. We pride ourselves on the range of activities offered, amongst which are: extension classes, theatre trips, study trips, poetry circles, creative writing groups, a student magazine, debating and literary societies. We have a wide programme of visiting writers and academics.

Head of Department; Mrs Jane Henshawcjh@sevenoaksschool.org