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Aims & Philosophy of the English Department

The English Department at Queen Margaret’s believes success in English is fundamental to every pupil’s progress in school and in life. We aim to pass on our love of language and literature to all girls, whatever their ability or background, in order to make them confident writers, articulate speakers and informed readers, prepared for whatever experiences lie ahead.

We believe that highly developed skills of communication and expression are vital to success in all subjects at every level of study, and in all future career paths. To that end we aim to encourage the widening of knowledge and understanding in literature, and the sophisticated appreciation and use of language in a variety of contexts.  We are keen to mix the science of language with the art of literature to nurture in all girls the ability to analyse the techniques of language use, to exercise a range of methods to create cogent and effective writing, and to learn to value the best in poetry, prose and drama.

Overview of Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In Key Stage e, Language and Literature are taught as an integrated subject. Each year group studies a Shakespeare play, a 20th century play, a modern novel and a selection of poetry from across the ages. Special emphasis is given to reading, but also writing for a wide variety of audiences and purposes. Speaking and listening skills form an important part of our assessment. Private reading is passionately encouraged, and there is continuous spelling and vocabulary extension work.  Schemes of work are modelled on the requirements for English Language and Literature at IGCSE level. Comprehension skills are developed and encouraged to enhance understanding and analysis; creative writing forms an important part in the development of both language use and the response to literature; and personal and original responses to reading are built on to ensure an informed and evaluative response to the texts studied.  Formally assessed work is used to monitor each girl’s progress throughout the term, and individual academic tutorials are used at strategic times in the year to help each girl discuss her own progress.

What makes the department unique from those at other schools?

Queen Margaret’s is fortunate in having an impressive range of expertise at its disposal for the teaching of English Language and Literature.  Among the teaching staff for English are Chief Examiners, moderators and markers for the AQA exam board, together with Oxbridge-educated experts in a variety of fields in this subject.

All members of the department are contributors to academic journals; they bring a wealth of scholarship to the school and exude a passionate love for English which is consistently inspiring.

To learn about the English Department curriculum
in other Key Stages please choose a link