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English Language and Literature

Head of Department: Mrs J. Mundawarara.

Members of Staff: Ms Y. Ahsing, Mrs D. Birditt, Ms L. Chimbunde, Mrs C. Geach, Ms C. Hall, Ms C. Jinya, Mrs J. Mwendamberi, Mrs F. Odwee and Mrs M. Warren-Codrington.

Departmental Aims

Pupils of all abilities are taught improved reading and are introduced to drama and poetry, in a stimulating environment, with a view to personal and academic growth. Through discussion, their speaking and listening skills are developed as they are encouraged to participate orally, to be creative and think for themselves, and to have the courage of their convictions. In addition, they are taught to develop self-confidence and empathy.

Forms 1 & 2 English Langauge 

All pupils study creative writing, comprehension, grammatical foundations and the application thereof. In addition, they are taught informal and formal letter writing, are introduced to novels on which they must write a review and poetry recitation. Use of the Library is taught by the Librarian during Form 1, and in Form 2, there is a Library period during each cycle.

IGCSE Level (Form 3 & 4) English Language/Literature in English

The College ascribes to the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), and therefore the syllabus for English Language is as prescribed: two papers – one Reading Passages, the other Directed Writing and Composition. To this end, the following components are taught: Summary Writing; Writer’s Effects; Reports; Newspaper Articles – both Feature and News; Speech; Dialogue/Conversation/Script; Journal Entry and Composition: Descriptive and Narrative. Likewise, texts studied for Literature are syllabus-based: one Shakespeare play and one other play; a collection of 14 poems and one novel.

AS Level (Lower 6) English Langauge 

This subject is compulsory for all who join L6, and consists of two papers for examination: Paper 1: Reading; Paper 2: Writing.

A2 Level (Upper 6) English Langauge 

Students have the option to continue the subject at this level, although numbers are limited to 20. There are two papers for examination: Paper 3: Language Analysis; Paper 4: Language Topic.

AS/A2 Literature in English 

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 an affective discourse to which 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.
  • 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.
  • Literature alone involves all of the higher thinking skills.

The examination has four components: Paper 1 (Drama and Poetry) and Paper 2 (Prose and Unseen) at AS; and Paper 3 (Shakespeare and Drama) and Paper 4 (Pre-and Post-1900 Poetry and Prose) at A2. The texts to be studied in 2021-2023 are: Paper 1 – Much Ado About Nothing, Gillian Clarke’s Selected Poems; Paper 2 – Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o; Paper 3 – King Lear, Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard; Paper 4 – Derek Walcott or Stephen Spender’s Selected Poems; Persuasion by Jane Austen.

Entry Requirements and Recommendations:

Passes in both Language and Literature at IGCSE Level are essential. Students who do not enjoy self-motivated reading should not try to do AS & A Level. This subject as there is a great deal of compulsory reading. There is a lot of essay writing involved.

Career Prospects:

As well as helping students to succeed in other A Level subjects, the skills developed in both English courses are useful in a number of careers or degrees, for example, journalism, publishing, advertising, law, teaching, public relations, the theatre, the film industry, politics, the media, and writing. It is a complementary subject to all disciplines hence the requirement that all students study this subject.