English is one of the most stimulating and enriching subjects in the curriculum, challenging students to make critical, personal responses to a range of fascinating topics. At every key stage, students are taught in small classes by passionate subject specialists. We have a strong record of exam success, with 55% of students achieving A or A* in GCSE English Literature, and approximately 72% of A Level students gaining A* or A. No A Level student has achieved less than a B grade for the last seven years.
We want students to immediately develop a love of how language works in a range of literary genres as well as in the real world of work.
In the past year, students have entered national writing competitions, planned market research to devise new advertising campaigns for Swansea’s Leisure Centre, LC2, and pitched new products to industry experts, who had as high expectations as any judge from the BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
Advanced level & Careers
Many students continue to study English Literature at AS and A Level. The new AQA course focuses on securing an in-depth understanding of the Tragic Genre in Year 12, and Political Protest Literature in Year 13. Most English Literature students find the analytical and effective communication skills they develop are hugely beneficial in other subjects.
English is a flexible, adaptable subject that opens up a wide range of career choices, including roles in marketing, journalism, broadcasting and publishing.
Students often go on to study English in top Universities and pursue stimulating careers, benefiting from the advanced literacy, communications and analytical skills laid down at Ffynone House.
In close partnership with the Performing Arts Department, we ensure the classroom experienced is enriched by a varied programme of interesting parallel activities. All students experience live drama performances in regional theatres as well benefit from visiting Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. We also maximise the wonderful literary and performing arts resources on our doorstep.
Support for non-English speakers
International pupils for whom English is not their first language are particularly well catered for in our small classes with individual attention, tailored tuition and specialist support.
General Election 2017. Years 7-10 are buzzing following the announcement of #ffynoneGE2017. This cross-curricular project enables students to shadow the General Election by participating in our own school election events. The aim is to fire up our young people about politics and encourage them to engage in democracy.
World Book Day had the whole school buzzing about reading. A special assembly, a ‘blind date with a book’ event, stories in lessons, and character costumes, guaranteed a day with a difference. Students particularly enjoyed all their teachers reading an extract from a book in each lesson, revealing the story through the day. Even the teachers fully embraced their fictional characters in their costumes.
Read more about this interesting day.
Author visit. Ffynone House Year 7 students were treated to a fascinating and insightful talk by best-selling author Sam Angus. She spoke about the history behind her novels, her own writing processes and enthused about being part of “a golden age” in young people’s fiction. Pupils listened avidly, ask plenty of questions, and the author signed copies of her books.
Read more about Sam Angus’ visit
Remembering Aberfan. We joined the rest of Wales to commemorate the tragic events of 21st October 1966. Year 9 composed thoughtful and sensitive imagery poems in English and devised a powerful performance in Drama. On the morning of the 50th anniversary of that fateful day, we held a special extended assembly, observed the minute’s silence and watched Year 9’s emotive verbatim theatre piece.
Read more about our Aberfan Remembrance.
Debating. With many of our champion orators leaving for higher education this year, the English Department put some of our future stars through their paces in a three hour debating workshop. Despite being unfamiliar with the rules of debating, students rose to the challenge and particularly enjoyed the competitive nature of the event.
Read more about the thought provoking motions debated.
Dylan Thomas. As part of their studies, Year 7 students have been encouraged to learn more about poet and writer Dylan Thomas by taking a walking tour, taking in Thomas’ Cwmdonkin home and some of his former haunts. Born in the Uplands, Dylan Thomas frequented many places throughout Swansea, including the beautiful Cwmdonkin Park that inspired some of his most famous works.
Read more about this inspiring visit.