English is an essential strand running throughout the core of School 21.

Through the study of English Literature and the mastery of English Language, we strive to empower students with fundamental skills that will enable them to engage meaningfully with the world. As a school, we believe that every student has the potential to excel in the study of English. To this end, we actively encourage deep cognitive engagement with literature through a discerning and meaningful curriculum, alongside developing rigour in both readng and writing.


Reading is key. Our curriculum is centred on engagement with texts across history and across cultures, inviting students to ask big questions and wrestle with inspiring, challenging ideas. Developing students as readers is crucial, far more than simply ensuring that students read. In this sense, English is a cornerstone in supporting and developing academic growth.


Our teachers are innovators. The curriculum is based on a series of deeply considered design principles tied to core values and wider ideas of success beyond formal assessment. As such, students experience tailored teaching as part of an ongoing conversation between themselves, the subject and their teacher. For teachers, this absolutely liberates creativity, be it in the creation of beautiful creative outputs, projects that meet actual, real world need or exhilarating academic exploration. Some recent examples from KS3 include:


  • Y7 exploring the delicious menu of non-fiction writing based on food production and food criticism

  • Y7 exploring what it means to be a child in different cultures, at different times in history

  • Y8 going cross curricular with music and media in the production of horror movies based on gothic conventions

  • Y9 teaming up with maths to tackle industrial development in the local area

  • Y9 going deep on modern mass media, exposing that fine line between news and ‘fake’ news

In all of this we believe in autonomy for students and teachers and like, developing the relationships and competences necessary to allow independence to flourish.