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    As a core subject, English is central to every pupil's education. We provide a broad and exciting curriculum, incorporating media, ICT and drama while keeping Literature at the heart of the subject. All pupils will be taught the key skills but we go beyond this, making sure that public examinations hold no terrors when GCSEs and A levels are reached.

    The Drama Studio, the Lewis Hall and the William Brown Lecture Theatre are all used as well as the vibrantly decorated classrooms, displaying a wide range of pupils' work.

    Extra-curricular activities are central to the Department and we run trips to the theatre regularly as well as longer excursions to Dorset, Edinburgh and the Battlefields of France and Belgium. Visiting authors and poets are another significant feature our work.

    An English Lesson at Kimbolton School
    A Sixth Form English Lesson at Kimbolton SchoolAuthor Terry Pratchett Giving a Talk to Pupils at Kimbolton schoolPupils in an English Lesson at Kimbolton SchoolKimbolton School English and History Trip to the Battlefields of France


    First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils

    All pupils follow a course which is primarily based around literary texts, including a Shakespeare play in each year. The essentials of grammar and other technical issues are secured during this time.

    Fourth and Fifth Forms – GCSE compulsory subject

    All pupils take two English GCSEs:

    • AQA Specification A English Language.  Pupils study a literary text, the Spoken Language, Media and non-fiction texts as well as creative writing.  Speaking and Listening comprises 20% of the course. 
    • AQA Specification A English Literature.  We study four texts, two for the examination and two for Controlled Assessment.  In addition, a collection of poetry is taught. Texts studied might include Macbeth, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies and First World War poems.

    Lower and Upper Sixth Form – optional A Level subject

    We follow the OCR English Language and Literature course, which has four units:

    • Unit One: Exploring non-fiction and spoken texts using anthology of material (1 hour exam).
    • Unit Two: The language of poetry and plays (2 hour exam)
    • Unit Three: Reading as a writer, writing as a reader (2 hour exam in-cluding creative writing)
    • Unit Four: Independent Study Coursework - mixture of analytical and creative

    The combined Language and Literature course is an exciting option as it combines analytical skills with creativity. You will study literary texts by authors such as Tennessee Williams and F Scott Fitzgerald but will also look at speeches, newspaper articles, interviews and even graphic novels. You will learn a new critical vocabulary and will explore closely the construction of texts through language and other choices. You will also write creatively. You will use different styles and, in the exam, you will write a short piece and then analyse your own writing!

    The coursework task is particularly exciting as you will have the chance to explore texts which are not customarily part of an English course such as The Secret Footballer and Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman. Independence is the key to success in this course and you will be expected to show initiative by leading seminars and reading around your core texts. You need a spirit of adventure to succeed!

    Kimbolton 7th Period Super-Curriculum: In term 1 we look at early American cinema, Silent films and Cinema coming of age. In term 2: Shakespeare on screen. What does Shakespeare have to say to different people, places and times? We compare two versions of Henry V on screen. Finally in term 3: Making meaning on film and an introduction to analysing the use of cinematography, editing and sound; apply your understanding and recreate a storyline from texts studied on English course.

    Extra-Curricular Activities

    • We are central to the yearly Whole School Book initiative, selecting the book to be read.  We give a copy of the same novel to every Senior School pupil (including newcomers) and staff member and ask them to read it during the summer holidays before using it in assemblies and across the curriculum in the following term.  
    • Kimbookworms is a thriving lunchtime club for First and Second Form pupils who love reading and undertakes a wide range of fun reading activities including theatre trips.

    Regular Trips, Visitors and Competitions

    Each year we run regular trips for all age groups:

    • First Form:
      Creative writing visit to Kirby Hall and Rockingham Castle.
      Visit to a Stratford theatre. 

    • Second Form:
      Visit to Oxford to follow in the footsteps of Philip Pullmann's novel, Northern Lights.

    • Third Form:
      Joint History-English three day visit to the Battlefields of France and Belgium looking at sites connected to World War One history and poetry.
      Annual visit, when possible, to theatre to see Woman in Black.

    • Fifth Form:
      Poetry day in Cambridge.
      Regular visits to theatre to see plays being studied such as Journey’s End.

    • Sixth Form:
      Three day trip to Dorset for Hardy study.
      Five day trip to Dublin or Edinburgh for literary studies.
      Trip to the Globe Theatre.
      Trip to Cambridge for Victorian study.
      Trip to London for Dickens study.
      Occasional trips to places as varied as Bronte country and Venice.

    We host regular visits from poets such as Jo Shapcott, Adisa and Charles Tomlinson and from authors including Mark Robson, Julia Jarman, Alexander McCall Smith, Gemma Malley and Geraldine McCaughrean.

    We also run an annual poetry competition for all age groups, plus occasional informal play readings and an annual Victorian Tea Party for Sixth Form students.