Talbot Heath’s English and Drama department is about building communication, either by writing, reading and listening or performing on a stage. We aim to build your child’s confidence using these subjects as the building blocks to a more self-sufficient and bold woman.
The aim of the English Department at Talbot Heath is to develop pupils’ communication skills in all areas of the subject. Girls are encouraged to become fluent critical readers, articulate writers, confident speakers and sympathetic listeners. They are given the opportunity to write for a variety of purposes so that they learn skills such as non-fiction writing, speech writing and letter writing as well as the more formal art of essay writing.
At all levels, girls are encouraged to draft their work so that they may edit, polish and improve it; during this process, discussion with their teachers is always available. In Upper 3, Lower 4, and Upper 4 grammar, spelling and punctuation are taught formally in order that girls write clearly and accurately.
The Department’s aim is also to foster a love of literature for its own sake in the hope that girls will become independent readers and continue to enjoy reading into their adult years. There is close liaison with the school librarian and Upper 3, Lower 4, and Upper 4 pupils are taken into the library regularly during the course of their English lessons. Keen participation in the annual Readathon scheme is now firmly established and the organisers have commended Talbot Heath on the impressive number of books that its pupils have managed to read and discuss.
Visits to theatres are frequent, our trips taking pupils to places such as Stratford-upon-Avon, London, Salisbury and Southampton.
Creative writing is considered to be a very important part of the curriculum at Talbot Heath and girls are able to see their own poetry, stories, leaflets and other literary/artistic achievements displayed in classrooms and corridors
All girls take GCSE (OCR J352 , OCR J352) in both English and English Literature and the results have been very high for a number of years. The popularity of English is demonstrated by the number who opt to take the subject at A Level, several of whom go on to read English at university.
Words, words, words.
Drama and Theatre Studies
Drama is a lively, dynamic subject at Talbot Heath in which students are involved in making imaginative and creative Drama, performing their work and responding critically and analytically to plays they see or in which they take part. It offers the students the opportunity to develop their practical skills and encourages them to work as part of a team. The benefit of increasing confidence is unquestionable and an invaluable transferable skill.
All lessons take place in a specialist Drama studio with a fully equipped lighting rig and sound system. Our U3 and L4 students have one lesson a week and follow a curriculum based on a combination of script work and devising from Shakespeare to creating adverts. In U4, the focus shifts to preparation for GCSE Drama with the students undertaking projects requiring them to use the KS3 skills toolbox to create extended pieces of work.
For those students who would like to extend their studies of Drama and Theatre Studies, we offer both GCSE and A Level courses (AQA Specification). These both provide a good mix of practical and written work. The courses require development and performance of scripted and devised work alongside the study of set plays and live productions. They have academic rigour and A level Theatre Studies is accepted at all universities.
The department provides a number of extra curricular opportunities including Theatre visits, lunchtime Drama clubs and participation in whole school productions to develop their love of the subject and give the students a variety of cultural experiences.
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.
In the Senior School, Talbot Heath boasts an extensive library with more than 10,000 books available for loan and an increasing range of multimedia resources, including podcasts, dvds and online resources.
Open from 8.30am until 5pm, including lunchtimes, the library occupies most of the ground floor on the south side of the school and is a light, airy space for students to research, study and read.
Daily national and local newspapers and a range of periodicals and magazines are also available to support students in their studies.
A team of library volunteers are trained in information and achieve their Library colours. In this way we ensure that the girls are involved as much as possible with the workings of the library.