Last year it was reported nationally that fewer students are choosing to study English compared to increasingly popular STEM subjects. 

Whilst Derby Grammar School is predominantly a boys’ school and so may not buck that trend, there is no better time to study such an innovative and invigorating subject and nowhere better in which to do it!

Karen Watson is the Head of English at Derby Grammar School. Here she talks about how the school excels in the learning and teaching of English and why our pupils exceed expectations in their exams.

Our small class sizes leads to more effective outcomes: just last summer all A Level English language students achieved one grade higher than their predictive baseline tests indicated, and results included the prestigious A* grade.

English literature is also offered to A Level and with A* grades also awarded here, it will come as no surprise to learn that the students not only perform well but they also enjoy these exciting courses which cover a vast range of texts and topics.

Lower down the school, boys are encouraged to read with their own independent reading records and learn the value of reading through our support of the charity ‘Read for Good’: this year we raised £474.35.

With World Book Day last week, pupils were also encouraged to join the DGS Book Swap initiated by our Junior School; in previous years pupils have also participated in ‘Extreme reading’ competitions and have had a ‘Murder Mystery’ to solve involving visiting speakers and our very own in-house detectives. Students have also benefited from numerous theatre trips and Year 11 have been to Derby Theatre to watch ‘A Christmas Carol’; Year 7 to watch ‘Frankenstein’. In our view, watching texts studied brings them to life, and what could be more exciting than the magic of the theatre?

With KS3 book club, numerous film clubs and such a committed and enthusiastic department on hand to support those who need it, English at Derby Grammar School is thriving. So, whilst English may be falling across the country, English is most definitely rising in our school!