students happy

“Brampton’s English Department blew me away”

Posted: 15th March 2023

Last year 75% of our students studying English Literature achieved a grade A*/A in – an incredible result! Michal Bassalian, one of our students who studied English Literature last year, tells us why she flourished in the subject.

Studying English at Brampton was not something I ever thought I’d do. I joined Brampton at the beginning of year 13. I transitioned to study English Literature, Religious Studies and Politics. Politics stayed the same from my last school but for the other two, Brampton helped me complete both entire courses in one year. I carried much of my previous knowledge from Philosophy A level in my old school into RS. English Literature on the other hand… none of the books crossed over!

On top of that, due to the AS and A2 system of the CIE exam board, I had to merge so much into one year. So English Literature A level became the reason I couldn’t sleep at night. I’m smiling whilst writing this as I recall many occasions where I wanted to quit. But before I knew it, English Literature became my favourite subject. I looked forward to the classes! Brampton’s English department blew me away. I’d never felt so supported, encouraged and stimulated. My teachers were Anu and Jo. Both of them gave me the confidence I needed not only to achieve an A* in the A level but also they gave me the confidence to appreciate my skill and aim high. I even formed connections with English teachers who didn’t specifically teach me. The entire department were always keen to guide me and answer my questions despite the fact classes were finished and it was getting dark outside.

Of course, English Literature in Brampton inspired me in the realm of written works. I developed analytical and communication skills that are not only academic but useful for everyday life as well. These are skills I wouldn’t be able to develop anywhere else. But on a deeper level, through reading and breaking apart the literature of Shakespeare, Gillian Clarke, Shelagh Stephenson and other literature giants, the subject in Brampton enabled me to learn about myself. The classes were meaningful, teachers would always dig deep and motivate students to do so as well. This style of teaching taught me about myself, the person I am and the person I want to me. Through analysing individual characters like Gloucester, Sue Bayliss or Serena Joy and by questioning the time period of John Milton, unexpectedly I became a deeper person; a more profound thinker. I never thought I’d gain so much in one year and I owe what I gained to the teachers entirely. Although I never expected to study English Literature at Brampton College, I’m so happy I did.


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