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English Language & Literature

Julia Mundawarara

                                                             Head of Department: Mrs J Mundawarara

Members of Staff: Ms Y. Ahsing, Miss C. Hall, Mrs F. Odwee, Mrs D. Birditt, Mrs M. Warren-Codrington,
Mrs L Chimbunde

Departmental Aims

Pupils of all abilities are taught reading at the Secondary School level, drama, poetry and affiliated media in a stimulating environment, with a view to personal and academic growth. In connection with the development of discussion, speaking and listening skills, they are expected to speak and write clearly and are encouraged to participate orally, be creative and think for themselves, having the courage of their convictions, and to develop self-confidence, empathy, and insight into others.

Forms 1 & 2 syllabus

All pupils study creative writing, comprehension skills, grammatical foundations and the application thereof. They are taught report and letter writing, are introduced to novels, poetry, drama and public speaking and are strongly encouraged to use the library to initiate a culture of reference and research.

Forms 3 & 4 syllabus

From form 3 onwards, the syllabus continues developing that learnt in the lower forms but adds to it. At this stage, summaries, discursive and argumentative essay writing are introduced.  Pupils are given an introduction to literary analysis and the development of critical faculties, to deepen their overall literary approach.

AS / A2 syllabus

The compulsory AS English Language examination consists of Paper 1 (Passage for Comment) and Paper 2 (Composition).

The A2 Literature in English examination focuses on Poetry and Prose (Paper 3), Drama (Paper 4), Shakespeare and other pre-20th century texts (Paper 5) and Comment and Appreciation (Paper 7). This year’s set books include: Paper 3 (Wilfred Owen‘s Selected Poems, The Namesake); Paper 4 (Anthony and Cleopatra, A Man for all Seasons); Paper 5 (As You Like It, Othello, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale).

Why Literature?

It is a fact that cognitive discourse occupies almost the entire secondary school curriculum. Affective discourse (the arts) gets scant recognition on the timetable. The imbalance is both huge and frightening … To stop examining literature would be to remove from large numbers of pupils the only affective discourse they are exposed to at school.

  • Firstly, the study of literature is a pleasurable experience.
  • Reading structures and extends experience, provides practical insights into life, and affects what one knows and believes.
  • The vicarious experience of literature leads to personal discovery, providing for the education of the emotions in a way no other subject can.
  • Literature is the vehicle for our cultural heritage.
  • It is morally educative, in the sense that it teaches pupils how to lead their lives and treat other people. They learn to make value judgements based largely on the Judaeo-Christian ethic.
  • Literature alone involves all of the higher thinking skills.
  • It develops comprehension skills.
  • It teaches pupils how to relate to parts of a whole; that is, to see interrelationships.
  • Exposure to literature develops a pupil’s capacity to reason, to analyse, to rationalise and to make decisions.
  • Understanding literature helps pupils to see beyond mere surface meaning to develop interpretive faculties that involve recognising symbol, propaganda, inconsistency, etc.
  • It exposes pupils to the nuances of the language, encouraging critical appreciation and a conscious recognition of artistry.
  • Literature affords a general education unavailable in any other way – pupils have to develop a wide range of knowledge involving allusions to science, philosophy, literature, history, religion, psychology, anthropology etc.
  • Good literature provides examples of good writing, exposing pupils to the best minds of both past and present.
  • Because it requires analysis and discussion, the study of literature leads to the development of advanced verbal and writing skills.
  • The study of literature results ultimately in a well-rounded, balanced human being.