Saturday 17 April 2021


The English department aims to:

  • Inspire creative and enquiring minds through exposure to a wealth of high-quality literary texts from a variety of cultures.
  • Develop confident and passionate speakers, readers and writers who can go on to make valuable contributions to society.

The study of English gives pupils an appreciation of the world through an understanding of how language works. The English team at Thornhill aim to help pupils to develop their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening so that they can engage with and appreciate the diversity of language they are surrounded by in daily life. English presents the opportunity to be expressive and creative as well as appreciative of the values of others.

Every English teacher at Thornhill has a real passion for literature. Great writers help us to make sense of the world around us. We can lose ourselves in the life of a character which increases our power of empathy. The curriculum has been designed to encourage a love of and an enthusiasm for English. Our overall aims are to develop the skills required to ensure that pupils can confidently write in a range of different styles; access a rich diet of literature and draw on prior knowledge including understanding of a variety of different contexts.

Our three year KS3 programme provides an engaging learning journey, focusing on building upon and consolidating skills introduced in KS2 to ensure GCSE readiness by the end of year 9. Pupils will be supported throughout their time at Thornhill to clearly articulate their thoughts and ideas to their peers as well as in their writing. We aim to cover popular literary canon texts, as well as a vast range of poetry, both contemporary and historic fiction and non-fiction texts, ensuring full coverage of the National Curriculum. There is a strong emphasis on planning as well as recalling previous learning, ensuring that essential knowledge and ideas are retained.

Throughout KS3 we focus heavily on developing the reading expertise of all pupils, at all stages of their curriculum journey. In addition to this we facilitate a culture of reading for pleasure with wider reading and discussions with peers as well as independent reading and use of a ‘Reading Passport’. Our celebrations of National Poetry Day and World Book Day provide pupils with a variety of activities including poetry recitals, sharing of favourite texts, quizzes, competitions and other creative activities. Extra-curricular activities and opportunities to broaden pupils’ minds and build confidence through enrichment activities are frequently offered to our pupils.

“Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke round me I am in darkness—I am nothing.”: Virginia Wolfe