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English - Implementing a New Syllabus

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Summary

In 2007, Matthew Arnold School in Surrey took top spot as the most improved secondary school in the country, most noticeably for the performance of its English department.

The department more than doubled its GCSE pass rate in two years, from 28 per cent in English literature in 2005 to 61 per cent in 2007, and from 31 per cent in English language to 64 per cent within the same time.

Head of English Sherry Zand arrived from the independent sector two years ago and has since implemented early entry for the best students, overseen a change to a more modern syllabus, built a good relationship with the students and encouraged more consistent teaching across the department.

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