At every stage of their English education Northwood students are encouraged to think rigorously, explore new ideas and enjoy discussing literature. They are also taught to write English clearly, purposefully and accurately, in a range of creative and formal styles.
Our extra-curricular activities are enjoyable and challenging, creating opportunities for anyone with an interest in English to pursue their interest further. These include Creative Writing Club, Senior Literary Society, Debate and Public Speaking, Poetry Circle, Book Club and Key Stage 3 Literary Film Club. We also ensure our students have regular opportunities to compete in GDST and public competitions in creative writing and public speaking.
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 AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature and at A Level we offer AQA English Literature, Specification A. We have chosen options which offer the students a wide selection for their more advanced studies and is an extremely popular choice.
Trips are organised frequently. These include taking year groups to the theatre to see texts in performance, participating in workshops and attending academic lectures, which help to broaden the learning of all our students. We also work closely with the librarians, collaborating with author visits and incorporating curriculum time in the library. On average, roughly 75% of students achieve 7-9 in their GCSE examinations, which is considerably higher than the national average.
The emphasis in Lower School is to ensure students develop their skills and confidence in reading, writing and communication, whilst simultaneously introducing them to a wide range of high quality traditional and modern literature. We build their confidence and enjoyment of the subject alongside preparing the foundation for GCSEs. One popular aspect of the course is Let’s Think in English, a small group, discursive cognitive acceleration programme developed by King’s College, London.
Our teaching at Key Stage 3 includes the study of a novel, poetry, Shakespeare and non-fiction elements each year. We also use themes to structure our schemes of work, such as Modern British Poetry and Identity; World Literature; the Gothic and Magical Worlds.
All students study AQA for their English Language and English Literature GCSEs.
The students experience a range of culturally and contextually diverse texts through the syllabus, covering modern texts, Victorian prose, Shakespeare and poetry. They are assessed through regular internal tasks and graded on external examination at the end of the course. Students also complete a Speaking and Listening assessment in Year 11, post-mocks.
Students study A Level AQA English Literature, Specification A.
During the course, they study units on Modern Literature from 1945 to the present day and ‘Love Through the Ages’, as well as completing a 2500-word coursework essay. Students are encouraged to read extensively and independently beyond the curriculum, exploring both canonical and modern texts and academic essays and criticism. This enables them to gain the most from the A Level, as well as preparing them for higher education.
Small groups and specialist teachers ensure excellent academic achievement and this is a 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 regularly advertise external competitions. Many of our students are successful and they have been published in print anthologies and online. The Creative Writing Club runs once a week and is for Years 7-13.
- Debate and Public Speaking – There are regular opportunities for Northwood students to compete against other GDST schools in debating and public speaking competitions. They also represent their House during Great Debate Week. These popular clubs run weekly for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4/5.
- Senior Literary Society – This fortnightly society for Key Stages 4 and 5 meet in the library to discuss texts, authors and literary trends beyond the curriculum. Both students and teachers lead the sessions, pursuing personal literary interests.
- Poetry Circle – A student-led club for Years 11-13, where students bring poetry to discuss each week.
- Book Clubs – Book clubs are run by members of the English Department in conjunction with the Library. There is also a Carnegie Prize Shortlist book shadowing club that runs in the Summer Term.
- Key Stage 3 Literary Film Club – GCSE students lead this engaging club, where younger students enjoy watching literary films over lunch.
- Oxbridge Preparation – The department offers sessions to support students applying to read English at Oxford or Cambridge and students are individually mentored. In Autumn Term of Year 13 they also meet a member of the department regularly to prepare for the ELAT examination.