At all levels, the English curriculum at NLCS is centred around the study of literature, with work on the mechanics of the language integrated into this. The study of English at NLCS is a way of engaging with fundamental ideas regarding what it means to be human and much less about acquiring a discrete skill.
We study literature as a means of questioning our deepest held beliefs, whilst also allowing us to empathise with situations and states of mind we are yet to encounter, so that when we do face them we are all the better prepared. The study of English leads us into diverse areas; philosophy, history, languages, art, drama, religion, social sciences, all have a part to play in the study of English.
The curriculum is therefore centred around the study of literature at all levels, with Shakespeare, poetry and nineteenth-century prose being studied from Year 7 onwards. All girls take IGCSE Language and Literature in Year 11 and, for those who go on to study English Literature in the Sixth Form, both the International Baccalaureate courses and the Pre-U Literature in English offer a rich, exciting and rigorous range of texts for study.
What really defines the English Department is what happens beyond the classroom: the Literary Society holds a weekly book group and runs theatre trips; the Film & Media Society has its weekly Film Club; the Creative Writing Society publishes a termly journal called Weasel Words; and Archipelago Society hosts lectures and performances, and publishes an annual journal. We also run a study trip to Dublin, exploring its rich literary heritage, day trips to places including Heaney Country near Belfast and there are a wide array of literary partnerships with other schools.
Read the latest issue of Archipelago