A friendly, vigorous approach, fun, very hard work, examination success, a passion for literature and the theatre all characterise English at Bablake.
The department is located in the English, Drama and Music (EDM) building. There are four large English teaching rooms, three 6th Form seminar rooms, AV facilities and a studio theatre which is used for both drama lessons and for school and outside productions, film showings and presentations. One of the school's ICT suites is located in the English department.
In the first three years, pupils follow a wide and varied curriculum which acknowledges the demands of the National Curriculum without being bound by it. In addition to reading and writing, pupils can expect library and grammar lessons and the opportunity to discuss and debate a range of topics and issues. Fourth and Fifth Year pupils sit IGCSE (Edexcel) examinations in both English Language and English Literature. At A level the Department offers English Literature (OCR) and English Language (AQA).
Children have high expectations in English and the department has high expectations of pupils. Whilst we address traditional texts and topics, showing always a concern for accurate writing and reading, we also embrace contemporary texts and creative and interactive approaches to stimulate, stretch and challenge our pupils. We encourage individuality in the teacher, as we encourage the individual voice of each pupil in critical and imaginative activity.
A significant number of students choose to study English Literature, English Language, Journalism, Creative Writing, Editing or Media Studies at university and go on to take up an increasingly diverse range of careers. Former Bablake pupils have made a name for themselves in the world of journalism and the media, in the theatre and as writers.
The English Department is a busy department. We led a whole school initiative to promote regular reading for pleasure. All pupils read during a weekly form time slot. Recommended reading lists have also been created to encourage pupils to read a diverse range of books. We have three categories: 13 before 13, 16 before 16 and 18 before 18. In addition, we run Reading Societies for pupils from Third Year to Fifth Year; an American Book Club for our A level students; and our KS3 pupils participate in the Power Readers scheme. Theatre visits take place throughout the year to Stratford and regional theatres. The Public Speaking and Debating Society meet regularly and pupils have enjoyed significant success in both local and national debating competitions. There are also A level study days, extension workshops, Oxbridge preparation sessions, support sessions for IGCSE pupils, a creative writing club, a paired-reading scheme and our English support club for Second- Fourth Years: Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.