Head of Department: Mrs S Howgate
Other Members of Staff:
- Ms S Marshall
- Miss H Godsland
- Mrs R McLaren
- Ms H Russell
- Mr S Revell
- Mrs H Shellum
- Mr C Tutty
We hone skills which provide Churston students with an excellent foundation from which to embark upon myriad career and tertiary education routes. They will be equipped with the tools they need to engage in a life of active citizenship, whichever path they may choose to pursue beyond Churston. They will be clear communicators and critical readers with an open-minded awareness of the role that words play in our world, determinedly harnessing the power of language to fight for equality and a more sustainable future.
What we do
Studying English at Churston opens up a universe of experiences and ideas. Exploring poetry, novels and plays enables our students to tap into a wider, collective cultural consciousness. Reading widely enables Churston’s English students to contextualise their unique, subjective experience within the universal, shared experience of humanity. Their individual circumstances are illuminated by an increased understanding of the commonalities they share with those who lived in distant times and places.
Exploring the written world, students experiment with a wide variety of different written forms to communicate ideas with an explicit purpose, to engage their readers with interesting ideas and to express information with clarity and style. Developing confidence in expressing their thoughts in a verbal form; students exchange ideas through discussion, both in small groups and within the whole class; they prepare and deliver speeches on topics of interest to them. Drama enables students to delve deeper into a text and understand the power of verbal and physical communication. They learn to listen with focus, absorb and reflect on a variety of different stimuli and ideas; to embrace and challenge the ideas of others in relation to their own arguments with empathy and compassion. Critical literacy – students examine various texts to understand the relationship between language and the power it can hold. Students critically analyse and evaluate the meaning of fiction and non-fiction texts, exploring different topics such as equity, power and social justice.
Immersed in the world of words, students connect with the universal: the real and the surreal, the mysterious and the pedestrian, the human and the alien, the visceral and the sublime, the microscopic and the immense; enlarging their perspectives to include those of people they will never know.
Our students encounter a stimulating selection of texts, spanning several centuries. From Romantic poetry and Shakespeare to fresh, surprising and sometimes unsettling poetry by writers from diverse backgrounds and identities. Transformative political speeches, poignant personal letters, and polemical pieces which generate lively discussion all form a part of the rich diet of texts accessed through our English curriculum. These works provide Churston’s students with fascinating and necessary insights into distant places, times and cultures, whilst deepening their sense of identity and connection to what it means to be a citizen of modern Britain today.
- Careers link: Careers in English
Evolution of English: Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Modern novel or play
Evolution of English: Romantics and Victorian Literature
Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing
Dystopian Texts: Reading and Writing
Words of War: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Words of War: selection of texts inspired by war
19th Century Literature