“There are many rules of good writing, but the best way to find them is to be a good reader.” (Stephen Ambrose)
All IPS pupils are readers. In the English Department we encourage creativity through writing and reading, recognising that our job is to show pupils how to think more effectively. Pupils are encouraged to experiment, challenge concepts and develop well-informed, personal interpretations and pursue ideas in ever-increasing depth. Much of what we do exploits our pupils’ naturally inquisitive minds and has the aim of creating independent learners.
As pupils move through the School they are given both the confidence to express themselves individually at examination level and the ability to take responsibility for their own learning (two skills which are crucial for the Sixth Form years).
With increasing reports of failing literacy standards, we feel it is essential to ensure our pupils are writing to a high standard. This means paying close attention to spelling, punctuation and grammar, and teaching pupils how to structure their writing effectively.
To encourage connections to the world beyond the classroom, pupils’ learning involves activities such as workshops on Shakespeare, theatre visits, and cross-curricular projects. As confident and well-informed learners, pupils appreciate that a command of the nuances of their language enhances much about their present and future opportunities; they enjoy reading, and are eager to take on new challenges.
The Department wants each pupil to leave IPS with a passion for literature and with the knowledge that attention to the detail of communication and clarity of thought and expression are necessary skills.
All pupils follow the Cambridge (I)GCSE courses in English and English Literature.
Competitions, clubs, visits and activities
The Department organises frequent visits to the theatre, some organised by the Senior Literary Society, some in conjunction with the Drama Department. Pupils enjoy the Times Spelling Bee Competition and are enthusiastic participants in the School’s own Public Speaking Competitions for Lower Senior pupils. Authors are encouraged through the Inkslingers creative writing club and IPS awards its own Poet Laureate on an annual basis. The shortlist for the Carnegie and Booker prize awards spawn their own review clubs. World Book Day is part of a significant Book Week held in the Summer Term.