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 where, on average, 83% achieve A*- B grades. More than any other subject, Drama allows students to explore what it means to be human and to find their voice.
Although we strive for exam success, we see Drama at Concord as so much more than just an academic subject. It is a thriving movement which sees students developing vital skills such as communication, team building, body language, creativity and imagination. Students explore theatre techniques, histories, practitioners and plays as well as having unique opportunities to attend workshops and professional performances both within and outside of Concord.
All Form 3 Students will have the opportunity to study Drama, with many students continuing their dramatic exploration into GCSE. Students follow the AQA GCSE Drama exam specification which sees them devising their own pieces of theatre, performing play texts, analysing live performances and exploring a variety of textual techniques. However, within the GCSE course, students will also have the opportunity to use their knowledge to deliver workshops to local primary schools through the use of Theatre in Education (TIE).