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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 5 Curriculum

The AS level Literature module focuses on the Victorians and involves the study of the Brontes’ poetry and wider reading in Victorian literature. The Creative Study unit involves the study of novels and plays including Jane Eyre, A Doll’s House and The Importance of Being Earnest, assessed through the production of two pieces of coursework, one a piece of transformational writing, the other a comparison of two texts.

The modules at A2 level involve responses to unseen texts and an extended essay comparing a Shakespeare play with two other texts. The English Language AS focuses on analysing texts from a variety of contexts from travel writing to advertising, and creative writing in the form of magazine or newspaper articles.  At A2 modules include Language Acquisition & Language Change and coursework on investigating aspects of language use.

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