'If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand and find the knowledge of God'
Every child is a child of God. The purpose of education is to allow them to reach the fullness of this potential, through recognising their own unique place in the world around them. Giving pupils access to ‘the best of what is thought and said’ provides them with the tools to overcome the barriers they face to flourish into what they can be.
The study of English Literature is a cornerstone of this goal, as pupils experience ‘an engaged conversation between reader and book’ (Eaglestone, 2019), expanding their horizons from what they have lived, to what they can imagine. Through their study of academically rigorous texts, students are encouraged to seek out their own critical responses, and find their own stories reflected in the traditional literature of the past as well as more diverse contemporary writers.
With a focus on the social and thematic contexts of writers, students begin to recognise how, just as literature pushes the boundaries of the possible, their confident sense of identity will also give them the possibility to achieve beyond what they thought possible. They will experience the values and virtues which help them to build character by developing their empathy and emotional response to characters and texts.
The curriculum is ambitious for all, and with practice at expressing ideas in written and spoken modes, students are given the foundations to enter into an articulate conversation in the world around them, recognising the validity of their own opinions and seeking to understand the differing but equal views of other people.
We want our pupils to see the world from other perspectives, and enter into the conversation of other people’s ideas about the world in which they live. The challenging reading which underpins our curriculum for all opens doors for every single child, regardless of background or starting points. This enables students to achieve success and appreciate the universal truth and beauty of literature in their own lives.