The English Department is housed in purpose-built classrooms on the ground floor of the David Rae Smith building, which is linked to the Drama Studio and Drama Department, and the New Theatre. The Department has six classrooms, a seminar room, and a small reading library in the main foyer. There are 9 teaching dons who teach across the five year groups, as well as delivering Extension English classes, Literary Society events, and Creative Writing workshops. In the Shell Year, there are no public exams: the focus is on fostering a love of reading, and refining written accuracy. English is a core subject through to GCSE, so all boys take IGCSE First Language English, and most also take IGCSE English Literature. Boys have 5 periods per cycle in the Shell year, and 6 periods per cycle in the Removes and Fifths. At Sixth Form, all boys are taught by two dons for 9 periods per cycle. Between 45 and 55 boys take A Level English Literature each year, spread across 5 sets. English works well as a subject choice with any other Arts or Humanities subject, but also provides a good complement to Maths and Science. In recent years, we have seen students with strong science and Maths backgrounds gain places to read English at Cambridge and Oxford. English Literature A Level provides an excellent preparation for any university course which requires analytical skill, especially those which are essay- or language-based, such as Law, Economics, PPE, and Philosophy. Apart from English itself, other obvious Arts-based routes include courses in modern and ancient languages, theatre, film and media, journalism, the social sciences and education, and Liberal Arts.
Head of English: