Features of the Academic Curriculum in Years 8-9 of the Senior School
Pupils’ study of English Language students involves strengthening their foundations in grammar, reading fiction and non-fiction for meaning and indicating comprehension through a range of questions, summary and paraphrasing tasks, as well as imaginative and informative writing in response to text. and are exposed to a wide range of informative and persuasive texts and other media, memoirs, autobiographies and creative writing through discussion seminars and are able to choose texts of their interest with which to practice their comprehension skills. Towards the end of the foundation years, pupils also engage with the study of rhetoric – logos, ethos and pathos; train in writing for impact’ produce pieces of persuasive writing to apply the skills of rhetoric and practise the skills of written and oral debate, including evaluating arguments in texts and responding critically to texts.
Pupils engage with key selections of Great British Literature inclusive of texts such as the epic poem Beowulf, Shakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth, the poems of William Wordsworth and William Blake and the prose texts of Charles Dickens. Literature study at our senior school supports students to make connections between literary and spiritual traditions and to link their interaction with texts to matters of ongoing concern relevant to their lives and to the world they inhabit. Pupils study literature in the format of seminar – always interpreting texts in dialogue with their teachers and peers. The programme builds students’ skills of listening and speaking with others, reading for deep meaning and analysis, and writing for purpose with organisation and structure. It is likewise an integral part of wider curriculum aims: developing students as reflective and collaborative thinkers who are engaged with literary ideas and have a lifelong interest in reading, God willing.
Pupils study Arabic Language at Senior School through a carefully curated programme which builds their knowledge of key grammatical structures, develops their skills in using the language in writing and speech and exposes them to a wide range of texts with which they acquire a broad vocabulary bank and progressively advance in their reading comprehension skills. The programme provides pupils with a good foundation with which study classical texts in Arabic, including sacred texts, whilst simultaneously preparing them to access most GCSE Arabic Language programmes.