An introduction to the English Department

We seek to inspire the boys to love reading, to think about what they have read and to become sophisticated writers for many purposes. We also endeavour to develop the boys’ abilities in discussion and to be able to analyse many different types of text – poetry, drama, prose, non-fiction and imaginative writing to name but a few.

Accordingly we use stimulating and inspiring literature as the basis for much of our work. Children’s writers such as Philip Pullman, Gene Kemp and Roald Dahl are followed in later years by Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens. From the fun poetry of the middle years we move into considering the sublime poetry of giants of the canon such as Seamus Heaney, John Keats, John Milton and many others. We have an active visiting authors programme which has included global best-selling writer Eoin Colfer and we also welcome visiting drama companies to put on work which supports our study of Dickens and Shakespeare. In this regard we will welcome back Red Heart Theatre Company before Christmas, both to enjoy the dramatization of some Victorian thrillers and also to experience a dramatic treatment of the life and work of Wilfrid Owen.

All in all we seek to light the fire of a lifelong love of the English language and its literature. We aim for the boys to excel academically and become insightful readers with an appreciation of the aesthetic qualities of literature in all its forms, both classical and modern.