Our philosophy is simple: Believe. Strive. Achieve. The English Department is committed to supporting every learner with the core principals of the subject: reading, writing and spoken English. These principals form the basis of our everyday environments and experiences and being able to demonstrate a good understanding of core literacy strands is crucial to success in life. It is this which drives us and as a result, these form the foundations of our curriculum.
Simply put, English is great to study because it informs every other subject. If you get better at English, you get better at every other subject because English is at the core of our curriculum. English not only teaches you about the core principles of communication: oracy, reading and writing, but it also teaches you about life and culture.
English Literature enables you to immerse yourself in a novel set in another country or in the past and learn about it, or you can read a poem set in another world entirely and find yourself transported there. As well as reading for pleasure, you also get to express your imagination and write creatively. The pen really is mightier than the sword as you have the power to create entire worlds with a bit of ink! You will learn to inform, entertain, argue and persuade, meaning the power of language will be your greatest weapon. The possibilities really are endless and that is what makes English great to study.
Miss S Peacock
One of the most crucial things you will need to study English is a keen imagination!
However, as well as that, you will also need:
The English Department offers a wealth of extracurricular opportunities, including, but not limited to:
We are committed to helping you achieve in English and progress to your full potential as soon as you join us in Year 7. To help with this, we have our own website to support you which can be found at www.deastonenglish.com. On the website, you will find resources to support every unit of work you study, all the way from Year 7 to A-Level!
Keeping in touch with social media is also important to us. We have our own Instagram page @deastonenglish, where we post revision tips and feature amazing work. We are also in the process of developing our own YouTube channel ‘De Aston English’ where we will post videos to support revision and class work.
In Years 10 and 11, we study for two GCSEs: AQA English Language and AQA English Literature.
During our study of English Language, we study and analyse a range of fiction from 19th century to modern day, considering closely the use of language and structure. We also look at writers’ techniques and use these language devices in our own original writing, culminating in either narrative or descriptive pieces. Additionally, we study a range of non-fiction from 19th century to modern day, looking closely at writer’s viewpoints and perspectives which we also get to explore in our own opinion based writing.Examination website for GCSE English Language
As expected, we study a range of texts for English Literature. These include our 19th century text, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a gothic tale of duality in Victorian England.
In terms of our modern text, we look at the timeless An Inspector Calls, a play demanding social responsibility through the guise of a ‘whodunit’. Of course, we haven’t forgotten the Bard! We study Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, considering the rise and fall of our tragic hero and his ‘fiend-like queen’.
Finally, we study a range of poems based around the Power and Conflict cluster in the anthology as well as a selection of Unseen Poetry to effectively prepare for the exam.Examination website for GCSE English Literature
We offer A2 English Literature at A-Level and it is a varied course focused on genre study. Students will begin by studying Tragedy, looking at classical Shakespearean tragedy through Othello and moving on to modern tragedy with Miller’s Death of a Salesman. We also look at the wonderfully romantic Keats, studying four of his poems and analysing his discussion of tragic heroes and heroines.
Furthermore, we also study Elements of Crime Writing, analysing the gangs on the seafront in Brighton Rock as well as the complex, postmodern text Atonement. Finally, we explore a range of poems from Wilde’s damning approach to prison reform, to Browning and Crabbe’s take on the psychopathic and immoral nature implicit in human nature. All our analysis of crime writing also serves us well for our Unseen Crime unit, exploring crime writing from a range of forms and contexts.
Additionally, students are assessed for two pieces of essay writing submitted as coursework. These demand students to analyse texts through the lens of a theory, in our case, Marxism and Feminism. We currently study a body of Plath, Sexton and Rossetti’s work for the feminism piece as well as the modern text Fight Club for our Marxism perspective.Examination website for A2 English Literature