The English and Drama department at Kensington School is a lively, dynamic organism, constantly searching for new and better ways to stimulate the pupils’ interest and fire and fuel their enthusiasm for the subject. Classes are very much interactive affairs as ours is the firm belief that only through the cut and thrust of debate and the frank exchange of ideas can pupils be brought to fulfil their potential.
In Forms 1 to 3, the emphasis is very much on encouraging the pupils to read as much and as widely as possible, and to develop a love and understanding of literature in so doing. Visits to our library are made on a regular basis and students are exposed to a variety of different writing styles and literary genres. The Drama Department makes full use of the Bard’s legacy by introducing Shakespeare plays in story form as early as Form 1. By the time they come to study the original text in Form 3, pupils are already familiar with not only those star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, but also the dark forces of evil in ‘Macbeth’!
Teaching groups in Forms 4, 5 and 6, have low teacher/pupil ratios and, indeed, 6th Form classes are virtually seminar based. At both GCSE and ‘A’ Level, the focus of the work is very much on textual analysis, and the skills involved in literary criticism – already introduced in Forms 1 to 3 – are developed and honed during these years. GCSE also has a substantial oral element which affords the students the opportunity to improve their presentation, debating and theatrical abilities.