English & Philosophy
We feel that English is the best subject ever. If you love to read A LOT then you will love our courses, which are taught by an enthusiastic and dedicated team that consistently delivers excellent results. Here at the Tallis English Faculty we offer three study pathways at KS5 – English Literature, English Language and Creative Writing.
English Literature is an exciting opportunity to experience some of the greatest works of literature ever written. In the first year of the English Literature course you’ll study four texts from the last four centuries and from a range of genres. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the words of the greatest writers in our language: people who are more sensitive, more articulate, more precise, wittier and wiser than the rest of us. English Literature is the study of (our) culture, and to study culture, as Matthew Arnold puts it, ‘...is to know the best that has been said and thought in the world’. English students develop analytical, critical and evaluative skills which will equip you for further study and beyond. This is why the subject is on the Russell Group’s list of Facilitating Subjects which means it is highly regarded by all universities. English Language takes a different approach to the study of texts. You will study how language is used in the real world, for a whole range of differing audiences and purposes. How do those in power use language in order to control others? How is technology affecting the ways in which we communicate? How does gender influence the way we speak to each other? Why has language use changed so much over the past three hundred years? This course will equip you with the same skills as English Literature, without the need to read long novels! Also, you will learn a lot of really fascinating stuff, including the theories of Noam Chomsky, the greatest living intellectual. Tallis has taught Creative Writing with great success since the start of this decade. We have a thriving online community of current and former students who regularly post and share ideas and advice. The course in 2016- 2017 will be taught for two hours a week and is certified as an Extended Project Qualification. If you take it, we’ll teach you about crafting fiction in a range of specific forms, then you’ll produce a portfolio and write an evaluative commentary alongside it. Tallis has been to the Arvon Foundation writing centre in Shropshire several times, and we have produced a number of creative writing anthologies. Several of our students have gone on to study Creative Writing at university, a vibrant academic discipline of increasing importance and popularity in Higher Education.
Philosophy is the oldest intellectual discipline our civilisation possesses, the mother of all sciences. Philosophy is conceptual engineering, since it studies the deep structures and methodologies of human thought, the basal software you run on your 'necktop' - in Daniel Dennett's fascinating coinage. Put another way, philosophy is the intellectual discipline that specialises in the metaanalysis of concepts and the formation of entirely new ones: 'anything you can do, I can do meta.' In beginning Philosophy you will encounter the extraordinary minds of many of the most intelligent people who have ever lived, and be introduced to many entirely open issues which have been continuously part of the human conversation for the last 2600 years. For example: What’s knowledge? How do we acquire it? How ought we to act? How can we know the difference between good and bad deeds? Are minds material, or etherial? This subject probably involves more completely open-ended discussion than any other. There is a good deal of reading of seriously hard, abstruse and odd material, and a good deal of writing about the same. You’ll need to be intelligent, open-minded, hard-working and imaginative, and to be very tenacious as well. You’ll also need to be at ease with very abstract ideas and very open questions. There are no easy answers in Philosophy, and plenty of titanic intellects - not just 'pale, male and stale' thinkers these days, either - whose ideas have shaped the whole of human civilisation. Humility and hard work are a must: philosophy is a very difficult A-level subject.