The English Department thrives on the energy and passion of its staff.
We believe that syllabuses should be chosen and courses designed with ambition and inventiveness at their heart; we stand by the belief that literature is worth studying for its own sake, whilst always ensuring that the boys are confidently exam-ready by the end of it all.
As well as delivering excellent exam results, the Department is extremely busy contributing to the cultural life of the College and the boys. We run theatre trips to Oxford, Stratford and London almost every week; the Literary Society regularly hosts visiting speakers, dinners and staff-student debates; the Creative Writing Group meets every week, produces its own anthology every term, and frequently sends alumni on to Creative Writing courses at university; and the 6th Form all enjoy, and indeed help to deliver, a series of academic lectures on the history of literature, from the Bible to the present day.
We are passionate about reading. As well as the College's main library, we have our own Reading Corner, we give lesson time to reading, we promote it passionately and monitor it carefully, and we are very successful at stemming the drift away from books which can so often be a feature of teenage life. We also take grammar seriously: we believe that it is essential that we equip every boy we teach with the ability to say what he wants, in whatever situation, and to say it well. A core grammar syllabus in the Shells leads on to more sophisticated work on style in the GCSE years and beyond.
In all of this, we retain the conviction that English is a life skill, and that language is both fun and satisfying for those who use it well. We want all our boys to feel the same.