|We pass the word around . . . we read poetry; we meditate over literature . . . we change our minds; we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way, not by shouting each other down, but by the unique capacity of unique, individual human beings to comprehend each other|
|Lewis Thomas, US author, biologist, physician|
Studying for the A level called Literature in English (Cambridge International Examinations Board) will involve you in the study of significant literary texts, both modern and pre-1900, in drama, poetry and prose. Overall, we provide essential training in the skills of close reading, analysis and essay-writing and this will give you a firm base of skills and knowledge if you intend to study Arts or Humanities at a higher level or to add much-valued breadth to your study of the Sciences.
A strong emphasis on class discussion encourages the independent exploration of ideas, which will prepare you for studies at college or university. This is reinforced by the coursework components in English Literature. Testing takes place from the first term to give students practice in examination techniques.
The English Department at Brampton is made up of a highly experienced team of A level specialist teachers, including practising poets and dramatists. We take a very flexible approach to the provision of different kinds of course and catering for the needs of individuals. Results in the Department have been superb.
English Departmental Features
NB: Unlike most new style specifications at A level, Literature in English (CIE) combines a student’s mark achieved at AS level at the end of Year One with the marks gained at the end of Year Two to aggregate the overall pass grade.
Apart from the regular two year A level course, the department also runs other highly successful courses:
- A level re-takes over one year
- Second year A level courses for those who have studied AS elsewhere with individual help for those who make the transition.
- 1 year intensive A level courses
The department has a highly successful GCSE Language and Literature programme, which can also cater for A level students wishing to retake GCSE English Language to improve their grade.
The English department organises frequent trips to the theatre to support students’ learning.
We also offer the very popular monthly PIE (Performance on English) and WOW (Work of the Week) awards.
Sam Adams, Head of Department
Sam Adams joined us in 2016 to take up the Head of English role, a position he previously filled at Bedford School. He has a a strong working knowledge of A-Level, IB and IGCSE English and has worked as an assistant examiner for CIE.
Sam worked as a teacher in central Tanzania and the Far East before taking an English Literature degree at Cambridge and obtaining his PGCE from the University of Buckingham. His literary hero is Benjamin Disraeli, but he is also a particular admirer of Ted Hughes and Thomas Hardy. He’s travelled widely, most notably bicycling across North America and driving his beloved pick-up truck from across Africa.
Martyn is a specialist teacher of English Literature and Language with a wide range of teaching experience at 6th Form level and beyond, including Adult Education and Higher Education. A former Vice Principal, Martyn took his first degree in English and Philosophy at Lancaster University and went on to complete his doctorate at Worcester College, Oxford before gaining his PGCE at Oxford. He has published a number of articles on Romantic Literature and contemporary poetry and has published several collections of his own poetry.
Eileen has taught A level and GCSE English at Brampton College since the inception of the department in 1992. Over the years, she has played a major part in the success of the College’s GCSE department and its provision of help for students with specific learning difficulties. Apart from her expertise in comparative literature, Chaucer and Jane Austen, she is also a highly experienced examiner and TEFL teacher.
“When I first met Bernard Canetti, I knew I had found what I was looking for in a College – an outstanding academic reputation as well as the kind and always available support. Leaving the school I had spent 5 years at was difficult, but I never looked back and to this day, I know the decision had a huge positive impact on my academic career and future.
In my previous school I had issues with time management and stress, but the support I received from my subject teachers as well as Bernard proved invaluable, especially The Exam Anxiety workshop. Admittedly, the work load was challenging with weekly and fortnightly tests, however, I believe it was those rigorous tests that ensured my exam success.
They create an exam environment which made the real exams much less daunting and I found it simply impossible to skip something I didn’t understand, because it was always acknowledged in the tests and the teachers were readily available to devote their time to aid my understanding.
My biggest challenge at Brampton was taking AS/A2 Classical Civilisation in one year – the content was difficult as was managing to learn such a wide expanse of information in a short time. However, the scheduling of lessons ensured that the course was completed ahead of time, and my teacher, Mike Wheeldon, was constantly available to lend a helping hand and provide extra lessons when I felt I needed them.
During my time at Brampton, personal problems became a slight distraction – and this is where I believe I couldn’t have made it through my exams without the support and constant reassurance from my teachers. Brampton College is place where you are not just a student, but a person. I spent many hours with my personal tutor who gave me the strength to pull through difficult times. The parent–teacher communication was excellent, and although I felt I couldn’t get away with anything, in the long run, it proved to be the foundations of my success.
To me, teacher encouragement is vital, if not more important than accumulated knowledge, in allowing a student to believe they can achieve. There were many moments of self-doubt that were washed away by positive and useful advice received through fortnightly reports.
My greatest moment was of course when I received my 3 A’s in English, Sociology and Classical Civilisation. I gained a place to read English Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, and believe that the skills I learnt at Brampton College come into practise every day.
I felt that the College were proud of my achievements, and even awarded me with an ‘Outstanding Performance award’, however, I feel I owe most of that success to my teachers and Bernard.”