English Department

James Persechino Eng

The development of students’ English skills lies at the heart of learning at RSB. All students who graduate from Rashid have a high level of bilingualism. It is one of the greatest achievements of the school.

The aim of the department is to make every student a confident communicator in English – both written and oral. This is done by fostering an enjoyment and interest in reading and literature. What's more the department prides itself on delivering enjoyable and effective lessons, utilising the latest web, computer and smart board technologies and building strong positive relationships with students. The challenge is to make every student a lover of language, proud to be bilingual and aware of his rare, prized talent.

Importantly, the department believes that the most successful way to teach language skills is through contextualised learning: creating real-life situations, within a classroom context. Therefore, as well as fun and engaging lessons, they offer all students a wide variety of activities that allow them to use their English skills beyond the classroom: drama workshops and festivals; debating competitions; working with visiting authors; research projects; school productions; as well as theatre, cinema, book and heritage trips.

Students follow a contextual based curriculum in years 7 to 9, which includes fiction, non-fiction, debate, Shakespeare and a bespoke Language and Heritage unit. There are four lessons a week. Literacy is an important aspect of our language teaching and improving student reading ages is a key objective. We achieve this with dedicated literacy lessons each week as well as a focus on the key reading skills of inference and deduction in most lessons. In addition, a further two lessons a week are dedicated to improving SPAG (spelling, punctuation, and grammar) language skills, aimed at supporting student language development across all subjects.

Years 10 and 11 can either do a first or second language IGCSE as well as TEFL examinations. In years 12 and 13 International AS English Language is an option along with an HSD English programme which prepares students for IELTS, SATs and EMSAT examinations. In all courses there is a continued focus on literacy as well as research skills. Speaking and listening are also key components and so group discussions, individual presentations and debates are regular features of lessons.

The department has seven full time members of staff, with a wealth of teaching experience from around the world. They work closely together to provide a flexible, responsive curriculum that caters for the learning needs of all students. In addition, many of the team have additional responsibilities in the school.  What’s more they also have a key role in fostering awareness of language issues and work closely with management, the Primary Section, Learning Support staff and others to exemplify good practice and to foster a coordinated approach to language learning across the school.