"Certainly, I would not be a Harvard student today if it were not for my experience at Bolton School."

Paddy Pender - Harvard Student

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English and Drama

As a department we are an enthusiastic and creative team committed to enhancing the learning of our students throughout their school career. We respect and celebrate their diverse backgrounds and provide a rich, stimulating and varied curriculum that meets their individual needs.

At KS3 our objectives broadly match those of the National Curriculum, with teaching tailored to suit our bright and well-motivated girls. Students study a wide range of texts including: novels, poetry, plays, newspapers, advertising, travel writing and biography. Such variety reflects a range of cultures; provides students with opportunities to transform texts and builds the skills that prepare them for the language demands of their adult lives. We also capitalise on the opportunities new technologies offer us in bridging the gap between our students’ lives and texts from the literary heritage.

In addition to their English lessons, each fortnight students have a Drama lesson in our purpose built theatre where they learn about staging and develop confidence in performing in front of an audience. They also have a library lesson in which they work towards the Reading Reward Scheme, a means of promoting reading for pleasure as a life-long pursuit. A fortnightly creative writing lesson encourages originality, experiment and a playful approach to language.

In Years 10 and 11 all girls take GCSEs in English Language (OCR) and English Literature (OCR). At AS and A2 we offer popular courses in English Literature (OCR), English Language (OCR) and Drama and Theatre Studies (WJEC). We have an extensive programme of enrichment for A level students who wish to extend their learning beyond the syllabus and to support those students who apply for related degrees at university, including Oxford and Cambridge.

We believe strongly in extending teaching beyond the classroom through a programme of trips and extra-curricular opportunities. These include: regular visits to the theatre; our annual creative writing retreat to Patterdale Hall, an extension of our popular creative writing club; attendance of Sovereign study days that enhance our A Level students’ knowledge considerably; drama workshops and debating societies that promote the joy of performance and public speaking; our student written school newspaper that helps girls hone their journalism skills; Middle School and Joint productions that showcase our students’ considerable acting talents and involvement in the Bolton Children’s Book Awards run by our committed team of librarians. 

Bolton School Senior Girls English and Drama Students in the library Joint Senior School Production: The Sound of Music

Joint Senior School Production: The Sound of Music

Middle School Production: Arabian Nights

Middle School Production: Arabian Nights