Stretch and Challenge in English

There are a variety of fun and interesting ways you can stretch yourself further in English, allowing yourself the greatest opportunity to achieve as well as you can! From taking part in extra-curricular clubs and activities to keeping abreast of news stories from around the world via online news articles and ensuring you choose your reading material from recommended reading lists, the possibilities are endless! Even activities such as visiting the theatre will develop your English skills.  

Please see below a variety of websites, reading lists and extra-curricular activities that you can get involved with to ensure your English skills continue to improve and grow.

Interesting websites:







Poetry Club

Bentley Wood Poetry Club for years 11-13 meets at lunchtimes on Fridays in U6. Join us to read and discuss poems, old and new. Ideal for anyone interested in English, applying for Sixth Form or University, or who loves to read and talk about poetry. 

New Views

New Views is the National Theatre’s annual playwriting programme for 15−19-year-olds. Each year hundreds of students from across the UK learn about playwriting from some of the finest writers in the business and write their own short plays, with one play chosen to be staged at the NT with a professional cast.

In Bentley Wood we aim to have after school sessions each month, along with visits to a National Theatre production and sessions with a playwright. Each week the session focuses on a different part of creating a script, generating ideas and developing your voice as a writer through exercises, discussions and feedback.

Past Bentley Wood success in this competition comes in the form of Lisa Malki who was runner up in 2014 and Rihab El-Hussain whop made the long list in 2015. 

If you are interested in getting invloved in New Views then please speak to Miss Canavan.

The National Theatre's playwriting programme and competition for 15-19 year olds. See the link below for further information.


 How New Views works

Work with the professionals
Students follow our specially created online course for school-based writing groups; see NT productions − in London or in local cinemas via NT Live − and take part in workshops with professional writers (October 2015 – March 2016).

Students write half-hour plays about the challenging issues that matter to them (December 2015 − April 2016), stage readings of their work in school and have a chance to see their play produced by the National Theatre with a professional cast (July 2016).

Teachers visit the NT for training and support to establish and lead thriving extra-curricular writing groups in school or college (September 2015). We encourage participating schools to combine New Views with the Gold Arts Award and we offer Gold Award Adviser training as part of the package (September 2015). There’s also the chance to submit your play to the NT and receive feedback from the Literary Department.

Latin Club

Latin Club meets twice a week, on Tuesday lunchtimes and after school on a Thursday. The club is open to all years in the school, but currently has a range of girls from Years 9-11. Each week the club studies the Latin language and its culture following the Cambridge Latin Course. The girls are currently working towards their Level 1 WJEC Certificate in Latin which they plan to take in Summer Term of 2015. The Latin Club is an opportunity for girls to learn a new language, study ancient civilisations and to broaden their cultural horizons.

Jack Petchey

Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge is the UK’s largest public speaking competition and is open to 50 students from year 10.

The students involved receive a training workshop delivered by an expert, designed to teach the students, in a fast and fun way, the three core competencies for communicating as a public speaker: delivery, structure and material.

Five students are chosen to participate in a school final, from which two go through to be the school’s regional finalists.

From participation students learn to:

  • Deliver and present with confidence and impact 
  • Master the art of speaking without notes or extensive preparation
  • Give and receive written and verbal feedback
  • Understand the secrets of successful public speaking
  • Prepare a speech and source information
  • Understand the importance of structured arguments

 For more information go to: http://www.jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk/

Sixth-form mentoring

Our English department offers mentoring for A-level students as a means of supporting and of stretching and challenging. Pupils meet their mentors weekly after school to discuss homework, course materials, advanced reading, and exam and coursework technique. These sessions also give them the chance to develop their critical expertise, particularly in close reading and effective us of contextual material.