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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 4 Curriculum

The Literature course focuses on the appreciation of a classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, and the analysis of unseen poetry, which are assessed in the final exam.  The girls will also produce a piece of coursework comparing a Shakespeare play with one other text.

For the English Language course, the girls’ skills in comprehension, summary and analysis, together with their ability to write as if for a magazine article will be honed and refined.  They will also produce a piece of coursework on a subject of their choice and will be assessed on the quality of their research, reading, writing and evaluation of the methods used. A small proportion of their Language IGCSE is devoted to speaking and listening, for which the girls will give a presentation and answer questions on a topic of their own choosing.

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