Visit the English Department at any time and you will find girls engaged in lively debate, collaborative learning, quiet reflection and creative activity. The welcoming foyer sets the tone for the department, featuring regularly changing displays on events such as National Poetry Day or recent visits, whilst up to date notice-boards alert students to forthcoming theatre visits, competitions and creative writing opportunities. Attractive photographic displays highlight residential trips, for example, a College (Sixth Form) visit to Stratford or The Mount's latest Drama production.
The Mount School English Department aims to inspire students to be confident, competent and creative individuals. The Department, located in a suite of rooms close to the Junior Department and School Hall, provides a breadth of opportunities for pupils to discover and develop their unique strengths. The carefully developed curriculum and range of extra-curricular opportunities offered by the department gives each student the opportunity to develop her potential, whether through creative writing, drama or debate. Although we are guided by the National Curriculum, we passionately believe in having the freedom to explore texts and take opportunities to broaden our students' horizons. We are proud of our students' consistently excellent achievements in public examinations. (In 2015, 75% of our A Level students achieved an A* grade.)
The Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to provide a wide and varied programme of study which develops literacy skills through exploration of prose, poetry and drama. Texts studied in class include thought-provoking contemporary novels such as Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful, Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses and Sarah Crossan's Weight of Water, whilst students are also introduced to classic texts such as Jane Eyre or the works of Dickens and Chaucer. We also study a range of modern and traditional poetry and drama. Each year group has the opportunity to experience the work of Shakespeare. Our emphasis is very much on making Shakespeare enjoyable and accessible in the early years, particularly through practical drama and experiencing live productions.
The majority of girls take English Language and English Literature GCSE. We follow the OCR specifications, studying classic texts such as Romeo and Juliet, Great Expectations and Animal Farm, as well as a range of classic and contemporary poetry. We expect high standards of technical accuracy and pupils are taught to write in a variety of styles for a range of purposes.
We currently follow OCR's English Language and Literature specification, which provides a cohesive and exciting course, encompassing a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. These include works by Charlotte Bronte, William Blake and Shakespeare as well as an Anthology of non-fiction texts, ranging from Samuel Pepys to Alan Bennett. Students are also required to write creatively and complete a piece of extended coursework, comparing a set text with a text of their own choice, thus developing skills of independence and analysis. Students regularly go on to study English or related subjects at top universities.
She Stoops To Conquer
A typical term might see students offered the opportunity to go on a variety of theatre trips, work with a nationally acclaimed theatre company or attend a lecture at York University or a poetry reading. We run a variety of extended learning opportunities such as Creative Writing, Book Group, Journalism and Drama activities. We regularly welcome authors to The Mount to talk about their work. Recent visitors have included children's authors Jamila Gavin and Lucy Adlington.
We regularly welcome authors to The Mount to talk about their work. Recent visitors have included children's authors Ann Turnbull, Theresa Tomlinson (shown below), Jamila Gavin and film director Mark Herman.
Theresa Tomlinson, visited the School recently, to give a talk to S7 and S8 (Years 7 and 8) students about her literature and about being a professional writer. The girls have been studying her novel The Flither Pickers and were fascinated to meet her and discuss her novels and the art of novel writing.