Greensteds International School
Mar 24, 2018 Senior English Department

 What to expect
Students follow an integrated course similar to that found in the UK. This includes a contemporary and classic mix of fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction and media texts.
The Department aim is to provide a rich experience of English by equipping students with the functional skills needed to communicate effectively. We are also especially passionate about evoking an enjoyment and passion for reading and experimenting with language. Lessons encourage discussion as well as reading and writing to promote self-confidence and to develop communication skills that are fundamental in any Department’s classroom and essential for success in the wider world.
KEY STAGE 3 (years 7-9)
During the first three years of senior school, students are given a wide exposure to English in all of its forms. The focus in these years is to further develop literacy skills so that students are ready to make the transition to GCSE. However, there is also a focus on ensuring that students are enthusiastic about continuing their study of English in more depth. As far as possible, classwork is therefore based around kinaesthetic learning, with an emphasis on talk and play. Poetry, prose and drama units are studied as well as an exploration of media texts which enables students to engage with relevant, up to date subject matter.
KEY STAGE 4 (years 10-11): GCSE
In years 10 and 11, most students will prepare for two IGCSEs (International General Certificate of Secondary Education): First Language English (Cambridge syllabus) and English Literature (Edexcel syllabus).
For those students who may find preparing for two GCSEs at once too demanding, there is the option of sitting the Cambridge exam in First Language English only (and not the literature GCSE).

A few students will instead take the IGCSE Second Language English. This course follows a more functional programme, enabling students to develop their communication skills (both orally and written) to allow them to succeed in the wider world.

KEY STAGE 5 (years 12-13): A level


In Years 12 and 13 students have the option to study English Literature at A Level (Edexcel syllabus). During these formative years, they will study drama, prose and poetry in greater depth. The advanced skills gained in analysis, communication and fluency is hugely beneficial across all curriculum and undeniably advantageous beyond the classroom when students take their next steps into further education and beyond. This ability to express oneself fluently, clearly and persuasively is becoming especially vital when the university market is now so competitive and reliant upon how students come across in applications and interviews.

Both the AS and A level are entirely exam based with no coursework component. Students sit two papers at the end of each year (with each paper making up of 25% of their over-all A level result).


In year 12 (AS level), students sit papers in:


- Poetry and Prose (for examination in June 2015, current students will study ‘ Ted Hughes - New Selected Poems 1957-1994’ and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’).


- Drama (current students are studying William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’).


In year 13 (A level), students sit papers in:

- Shakespeare and other pre-20th Century Texts (this year’s students are studying William Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale’).


- 20th Century Writing (current students are reading L.P. Hartley’s ‘The Go Between’ and Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’).


The exams require students to make connections between the texts they have studied in the classroom and their wider reading. Students will be equipped with the skills to answer questions that require close analysis of specific passages of text as well as developing their ability to write more general essays that draw on their knowledge of texts and themes as a whole.

I.E.L.T.S (International English Language Testing System)

An I.E.L.T.S certificate is often necessary for students seeking to enter an English-speaking university.  For the purpose of immigration, it is also sometimes required when applying to study in an English-speaking country. Generally, students are tutored in terms 1 and 2 in year 13 in order to sit the IELTS exam before the Easter holiday.
Beyond the class room: a focus on reading

The English Department is becoming increasingly active throughout the school and books are more than ever a part of the Greensteds’ environment. 
One tutor meeting per week is devoted to literacy, whether in the form of independent reading, sharing a story together, talking about books or visiting the well-equipped library with its spectacular views. Students also benefit from buddy reading schemes which encourage older students to support those lower down the school with their reading. A similar set up also exists between Greensteds and a local orphanage.
Currently, the English Department is launching a ‘Get Caught Reading’ campaign in time for the upcoming school book fair. Students are issued merits if a member of staff ‘catches them reading’ for pleasure during their free time.
Creative writing workshops are also offered outside of lesson time and students’ personal writing is celebrated through appearing in UK publications and in Greensteds’ own literary magazine.
Greensteds pupils in publication

In April 2012, pupils were delighted to find that their poetry had been selected by the English Imprint Young Writers.

Over forty pupils from years seven to eleven are now published authors with work found in the 2012 publication: ‘Express Yourself’. A wide range of subjects is covered from racism to literary characters.

In November 2012, Year 13 pupils Nicole and Mugane became winners of the prestigious ‘Destination Magazine’ competition. Their feature articles explored how East African life might have been different had they been able to change certain events in history. The pieces have been published on-line and also in the magazine's December edition. 
Book Week

16th – 22nd March: Book week 2014

 Theme: Journeys

 This year, Greensteds students put on their metaphorical hiking boots and set off on a journey through literature.


Exploring the theme through a diverse consideration of physical, emotional and spiritual journeys, the week was jam packed with events and activities that transported students into other worlds, time frames and ways of thinking.


“Book week provided a wealth of knowledge, fun and teamwork.” Rajan (year 11)


The highlights:


The week got off to a flying start with the opening of the customary book fair. A smorgasbord of literature was on sale, covering topics from The Olympics and cupcake decoration to inspirational

autobiographies and classic favourites.


We were also incredibly fortunate to start the week by welcoming Mumbi Kaigwa, one of Kenya’s most cherished actresses and playwrights, nominee for ‘most influential woman [in Africa] in the arts and culture’ and winner of CEO magazine’s ‘Lifetime Achievement award’.  Mumbi    delivered thought provoking workshops and question/answer sessions to our Key Stage 3 students, narrating her journey into acting and her growth as a person along the way.


Our A level literature students and 6th form writers delivered an inspirational and thought provoking assembly, sharing some of their own compositions and providing insight into the mind of a writer.


The year ten debate- This house proposes that the internet causes more harm than good- sparked some very lively discussion and highlighted our students’ talent for public speaking and thinking on their feet.


 Further supporting our connection with Arap Moi Children’s Home, Greensteds students from across all year groups took a selection of books to read to the children at the orphanage. Senior School teachers also visited the junior school at various points throughout the week to read to younger classes and strengthen the bridge between the junior and senior school. The ‘Get Caught Reading’ scheme was also in full swing all week, rewarding children with merits who were ‘caught’ enjoying a book   outside of lesson time.


A true highlight of the week took place in the amphitheatre after dark. Here, along with cups of cocoa and bedtime cookies, Key Stage 4 and 5 listened to stories from members of the senior school staff who were brave enough to share their life journeys in the form of reflective monologues and comical anecdotes. Who knew that Mr Martyn experienced his very own version of ‘127 Hours’? Or that Mrs. Werugia used to wear platform boots and miniskirts?


“I loved the fact that some of the teachers were willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones and share their stories.” Nain (year 11).


Olivia Ambani, Graphic Designer, Model and Stylist, discussing her latest book ‘Aspirations of a Generation with iGCSE and ‘A’ level Media, ICT   and Art Students.


A literature themed fancy dress competition was held on the Friday, allowing students’ creativity to run wild as they designed outfits in their ‘family’ groups based on well known Children’s books.

 Favourites included characters from The Cat in the Hat and a 3D construction of the crocodile from Peter Pan. This was followed by a very comical production of James and The Giant Peach by the Year 9 drama group and an evening screening of Gulliver’s Travels.


 A ‘Great Eggscape’ treasure hunt on the penultimate day saw our family groups race around the school compound solving riddles and earning treasure by completing a variety of team challenges. Their final challenge was to use their treasure to construct a safety harness for their team’s mascot  egg before it made its ‘final journey’ off the balcony of Kinangop House.


To close the week, our awe inspiring writers from years 10-13 planned, produced and delivered their very own spoken word evening. Their ‘Journey through Powertry’ was emotionally diverse and riddled with poetic and lyrical talent that often left its audience stunned. It was a tender and hugely respected opportunity for our young writers to showcase their most personal compositions and life ponderings and was beautifully organized and compered by our very own Naserian Koikai (year 13) and Kyle Flemming (year 11).


“Spoken word showed us that talent can be found at Greensteds in the most unexpected of places and people.” Bert (year 11).


  The English department would like to offer a big thanks to all involved- bring on next year!

Apply Now