English is at the centre of any school curriculum - the ability to communicate effectively through the spoken word and in writing is fundamental to success, academically and in the wider world. At St Edward's, the English Department places emphasis on reading as a lifelong activity - classic texts, recent fiction, newspapers and a wide range of non-fiction - to encourage our pupils to engage wholeheartedly with the world, appreciating, criticising and questioning what they read, in an independent and confident way.
English classes are set by ability, and the Department has had a record of very good 'value-added' in our exam grades. But exam results are only part of what we do. We offer a rich variety of activities within the classroom and in the extra-curricular life of the school:
- Each year, we organise a poetry competition, in which pupils of all ages are invited to submit their original work to a panel of judges (English teachers and Sixth Form students), with generous prizes for the winners.
- On National Poetry Day, in October, there is an exuberant 'Poetry Slam' in the Main Hall, where pupils stand up and perform poetry of their choice in a variety of styles.
- A Spelling competition, the Readathon, an English Magazine, a Sixth Form Writing group, a Literary Society and the Debating society are all thriving.
- There are regular theatre trips, and A Level and GCSE students participate in academic workshops and after school 'clinics' to improve their understanding of the set texts.