We want all students to develop a love of – and skills in – both language and literature. We also attach great importance to exam results.

In 2014:

  • Over half of our candidates in A Level English Literature earned an A or A* grade
  • The average point score of our candidates in IB English exceeded 6, out of a maximum of 7.

The department has seven skilled and energetic teachers, with a wide range of expertise. Our classrooms are bright and well equipped. We have an excellent stock of texts, as well as SmartBoards, ICT equipment, DVD and CD players. In Years 7 to 9, students learn to speak, listen, read and write in many contexts. They may explore Treasure Island or The Demon Headmaster, The Kite Rider or Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet or Educating Rita

Most students in Years 10 and 11 study both English and English Literature for IGCSE. Assessment is through written exams. Students learn to write persuasively for different audiences. They study non-fiction and media texts, poetry, the novel and Shakespeare. Their texts may include A View from the Bridge or An Inspector Calls, King Henry V or The Merchant of Venice, and Mansfield Park or Silas Marner.

Sixth Form

In the Sixth Form, GCE students do the new linear OCR English Literature course. One AS component covers Shakespeare and poetry pre-1900: options include Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Twelfth Night, and poetry by Tennyson and Christina Rossetti. The other AS component is on drama and prose post-1900. The full A Level comprises three components, two of which build on the AS: drama and poetry pre-1900; a detailed study of a topic such as American literature or the Gothic; and literature post-1900, which is examined through coursework.

IB students can do literature at either Higher or Standard level. For part of the course they study, in translation, texts that were not originally written in English, such as Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children or Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. A separate IB course, for most students whose first language is not English, covers both language and literature – they study writing from various genres and media, with literary texts such as Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

We help talented Sixth Form students to prepare for the IB Extended Essay and for entry to leading universities, including Oxbridge. We encourage students to read widely and to see plays brought to life in theatre performances. Worth Literary Society lectures have covered topics such as 'The Poetry of Empire', 'Who Are the Real Villains in Shakespeare's Comedies?' and 'Certainty and Doubt in Victorian Literature'. Year 10 students have taken part in Shakespeare workshops at the Globe Theatre in London. Students can also enter poetry and essay competitions.