English is at the heart of everything we do at Concord. It is the language of communication, of instruction and of exams, but it is also a vitally important qualification in its own right. The work of the English Department reflects this diverse range of demands with 14 specialist teachers teaching across the ability range. We do not believe in ‘one size fits all’: our philosophy is that we craft and engineer our materials and courses to suit the individual.

Regardless of the level of English students have when they arrive at Concord, the English Department looks to support, encourage and develop them to reach their full potential: from students averaging 92% A*/A over the past 3 years in A Level Language and Literature (AQA 7706 7707) and 70% A*/A in GCSE Language and Literature (AQA 8700 8702) to the English as an Additional Language suit of exams – IELTS, Cambridge Advanced and First. We take great pride in the progress students make in their English exams, in their use of English in other subjects and in their confident and fluent use of English in all other aspects of their college life and beyond.

We also recognise the huge importance that extra-curricular activities play in the development of students as independent and confident learners of English. Over the past few years we have had great success with our public speaking and debating teams; reaching a number of national finals. We also run book groups, theatre trips, poetry and creative writing competitions, host visiting authors and poets and work closely with the library in developing a ‘reading culture’ across the school in order to engender a love of English in our students which will last throughout their lives.

Drama plays a vital part in life at Concord. All students study the subject in Form 3 and some go on to take it at GCSE (AQA) where, on average, 83% achieve A*- B grades. But Drama is so much more than an academic subject: students develop their communication and team work skills in a creative and imaginative setting which allows them to explore aspects of life which other subjects never touch on. It is also a subject which develops students’ language skills and confidence in a supportive and fun environment. As well as seeing the production of 3 student plays a year, the college hosts numerous visiting workshops and drama companies and the annual Form 3 outdoor Shakespeare festival is a real highlight.