English

At every stage of their English education the pupils are taught to write English clearly, purposefully and accurately, developing their existing skills and acquiring new ones.

Our extra-curricular activities are enjoyable, challenging and interesting and deliver opportunities for anyone with an interest in English to pursue their talent further.

We aim for every pupil to enjoy the study of English and to approach it with enthusiasm and dedication. We feel passionate about laying the foundation for essay writing and communication, which eventually our pupils will take on and build from as they go to university and in to the workplace.

Thank you Northwood College for all your hard work. My daughter would not have achieved 11 A grades without your hard work and dedication.

— Parent of Year 11 student

We deliver GCSE English Language and English Literature through AQA and this allows for the teaching of traditional and contemporary texts. We have been preparing our Keystage 3 students for the rigour of the new qualifications through our creative and exciting new curriculum offer.

At A level we offer English Literature through the AQA Specification A which offers the students a wider selection for their more advanced studies and is an extremely popular choice.

Trips are organised frequently: to the theatre to see texts in performance, workshops and academic lectures to stretch and challenge the learning of all of our students. All these trips promote a more ‘holistic’ approach to the learning experience of the subject. The Department is fully supportive of, and involved with the library, timetabling lessons in there and participating in its author visits. On average, 97% of girls achieve 7-9 in their GCSE examinations which is considerably higher than the national average.

  • The emphasis in Lower School is to provide the girls with opportunities to acquire the writing, reading and communication skills that will be needed to underpin the work that they will encounter at GCSE. Pupils are encouraged to develop their thinking skills, through use of the school’s Thinking Skills programme. At Key Stage 3, girls are exposed to the best of literature – old and new.

    Years 7-9 are taught in small groups to enable the girls to build their confidence in English and their personal, emotional resilience by providing them with a secure learning environment.

    Our teaching at Keystage 3 is divided into themes which run for a term in length and within the teaching of each theme the girls are exposed to poetry, prose, Shakespeare, drama and non-fiction writing.

    Themes covered over the Keystage include: Prison and Entrapment; World Literature; Times Gone By and Magical Worlds: this is an innovative and exciting method of delivering the National Curriculum. We also deliver a GCSE preparatory programme which runs throughout year 9 allowing our girls to have the best possible GCSE preparation leading to excellent results.

    The girls are introduced to a wider range of skills which bear cross-curricular links such as the use of ICT, research skills, presentational skills and independence in learning.

  • All girls study to achieve GCSEs in English Language and English Literature and follow the GCSE as offered by AQA.

    The skills that the girls have been taught in previous Keystages are now honed and perfected for assessment.

    Pupils are encouraged to develop their thinking skills, through use of the school’s Thinking Skills programme.

    The girls are taught in smaller groups at GCSE, meaning more individual teacher attention and resulting in very high levels of achievement across the board.

    The girls experience a range of culturally and contextually diverse texts; drama, prose, Shakespeare and poetry again feature highly on the syllabus. The students are assessed through external examination, regular internal assessment points and speaking and listening tasks – all skills which they have been learning since Year 7.

    The committed subject specialists are always on hand to offer advice and support. The department run English revision classes and workshops to help the girls to improve their grades still further.

  • The Northwood College for Girls English Department offers A Level English Literature which is delivered through AQA Specification A.

    During this time the girls will study units on Modern Literature from 1945 – present day and ‘Love Through the Ages.’ as well as completing an independent 2500 word coursework essay.

    Girls are encouraged to read extensively beyond the curriculum, dipping into the canon and critical anthologies and essays to fully prepare them for the rigour of examinations and higher education.

    Both A Levels are rigorous academic courses and help to prepare the girls for the academic demands of university, teaching resilience, organisation, independence and responsibility for one’s learning.

    Small groups and specialist teachers ensure excellent academic achievement across the qualification and this is a very popular A Level subject.

  • Our aim is to offer a wealth of activities enabling everyone to be able to participate fully, regardless of age or interest.

    • Creative Writing Competitions – We teach creative writing from Year 7-13 and there are frequent competitions to enter. Many of our students are very successful and some girls have been published in regional poetry books for schools. The Creative Writing Club runs once a week and is for Years 7-13.
    • Book Clubs – Book clubs are run by members of the English Department and encourage wider reading – essential for success at GCSE and A level. There is a Keystage 3 book club and an Upper School book club.
    • Public Speaking Club – A school public speaking club operated by the Department allows girls to learn oratory and enter competitions with other schools.
    • Oxbridge Preparation – The department offers sessions to help to prepare any students who might like to apply to read English at Oxford or Cambridge. The girls are individually mentored and are provided with guided reading lists in Year 12. In Year 13 the girls meet with a member of the department and embark on a more rigorous course of critical interpretation and essay questions in preparation for their application.
    • We also offer an ‘English Surgery’ to target areas of the subject that the pupils wish to improve, ranging from essay structure to understanding advanced terminology
    • Our amazing student leadership programme of Literacy and Creative Leaders support, create and deliver a wide selection of activities. These range from Literary Debate Club to genre based writing clubs.