To study English is to study life – how we think, feel and behave in many different situations. It asks us profound questions about what it is to be human, about what we value and hold most dear. It is also a technical subject, where the study of language is explored in forensic detail. Mostly, it’s about discovering new worlds, new ideas and learning to develop strong, compelling arguments. The skills learned in English are critical. They help students across all their subjects, and get them ready for life beyond school.
Here at Claremont, we have a dynamic department which has been recognised by Ofsted who commented that our students perform ‘exceptionally well’ in our last inspection. Our Challenge Partners review in 2018 also praised the consistently strong teaching of the team. We aim to stimulate student curiosity, interest and enjoyment in English and our teachers create an atmosphere where students enjoy learning.
We understand that all students have been impacted by Covid and lockdown learning over the past academic year. We have made adjustments to our curriculum across all year groups to accommodate this, and will keep on monitoring students' progress through class and formal assessments. All students will be expected to make use of online resources such as Teams and Educake as part of their core academic activity.
Intent for KS3
Pupils in Year 7 and 8 are introduced to literature that will challenge and interest them. In Year 9, students begin a Foundation year to prepare for Year 10. The Key Stage 3 curriculum has been especially designed to complement and build the skills needed for the new GCSEs.
Developing good reading habits early on is critical to their success, so we encourage home reading through our reading logs, reading challenges and library lessons. We also develop their speaking and writing skills through a series of assessments linked to their texts. Our students are encouraged to enter national writing competitions, as well as College competitions. We are proud of the quality of their entries and it is a joy to see children develop their ‘voice’.
Year 7 and 8 competition winners at the House of Commons with Dawn Butler MP
Intent for KS4
We start our GCSE fully in year 10. Students will cover a number of modern and 19th century texts, not forgetting Shakespeare too. It allows them to understand how ideas in literature cross the centuries and how authors use language to create meaning. Our texts ask us questions about the human condition and students are able to relate to age-old themes about ambition, power, fear, friendship, charity, compassion and love.
Years 9, 10 and 11 at the Globe Theatre, London
We achieve strong results in our English GCSEs and have high expectations of success for all students. We will expect students to purchase their own copies of set GCSE texts, which will be available from our School Shop. We will also give students a wide range of resources in class and direct them to online resources to support their learning.
Intent for KS5
We have a very strong team of teachers at A level, with different areas of interest and expertise. Our focus is to produce independent, resilient, well-read young people who are ready for the next steps.
We have an exciting programme of modern American fiction, poetry and drama, plus staples from the English heritage including Shakespeare, pre-1900s poetry and Victorian literature. Students learn how to research, write and present complex ideas. We also have a programme of events to complement their studies such as writing competitions, theatre trips and lectures.
Year 12 students in the West End to see Othello