Walking across the school site this week in the warm spring sunshine, I needed a double take as a group of boys appeared to be wearing fancy dress on the top yard.  On closer inspection it was a Y7 English class performing scenes from Midsummer Night’s Dream, under the direction of Miss Ridgway.  The enthusiasm from the boys was self-evident and an example of the many strategies our English Department deploy to engage our boys in literature.  Mr Hazzelby leads a dedicated group of professionals in his team, who seek to inspire in our boys an appreciation of the finer elements of literature, but more fundamentally a love of reading.

This can be a particular challenge with boys, who nationally do less well than girls when being graded at GCSE level.  In recent years there has been a lot of investment by our English department with boys in KS3 to expose them to a range of English literature - beginning with its origins in the ancient Greek myths; tracking key themes and developments through Shakespeare, Romanticism, the Gothic, and Victorian literature through to works by other voices in the Twentieth Century.

They steer our boys through the historical development of British society, the English language and canonical literature so that they can see how and why writers have addressed universal themes differently at different times.  All of this helps build cultural capital and allows boys to analyse texts with confidence and precision. The driving force within the English department recognises their wider responsibility in developing our boys and the curriculum is not solely about passing GCSEs – important though they are. The aim is to develop insightful analysis, critical evaluation, and confident, fluent and carefully crafted written expression – all of which contribute to our school vision.

So the words of the bard remind us that events often impact on our hopes, but we should still believe and strive for what we value.

Mr Owens

Posted by Mr Owens on 23 April 2021

Category: Headteacher's Log Book

Tags: English Headteacher