Birkenhead School

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Literacy is an essential skill for everyone and the aim of the English department is not only to develop high standards of literacy in our students, but to foster a love of reading, writing and literature.

Specialist teachers work with students to engage, excite, inspire and challenge them in their study of both the English language and associated literature.

Through the Overdale years, work is focussed on developing core language skills alongside those of reading, writing, speaking and listening with exciting texts and topics studied.

As students progress from Overdale to Year 9, the aim here is to consolidate learning and look ahead to the demands of the GCSE. Students develop critical and analytical skills in order to apply these to an ever-widening range of literary texts, both fiction and non-fiction. Students are encouraged to read widely and independently for their own enjoyment.

Year 10 sees the start of the demanding GCSE courses in English Language and English Literature. Teachers guide students thoroughly, preparing them for the demands of achieving both qualifications in their examination in Year 11.

There are two courses offered for A-Level study, English Language, which looks at language acquisition, linguistics, and the power of language and English Literature, which is an academic study exploring a range of genres and periods: drama, poetry and prose. Both courses are of great academic value and are popular with students. The excellent results ensure that many of our A-Level students go on to study English at top universities both nationally and abroad, including Oxbridge.