The English Department prides itself on fostering a lifelong love of literature amongst our pupils. We seek to provide academically rigorous teaching while promoting the need for pupils to learn independently.
Reading and research skills are developed from the pupils' first term through our targeted use of the School’s superb library; all Fourths (Year 9 pupils) also complete our Foundation Course as we place emphasis on honing the technical accuracy of pupils’ writing. We cultivate diverse knowledge of fiction and non-fiction throughout their time studying English, always striving to venture far beyond the confines of the syllabus.
Our choice of IGCSEs, A Level and IB Diploma examinations allows us to embrace a vibrant range of both canonical and contemporary poetry, prose and plays. Taught by specialists who live and breathe their subject, English is a popular subject across all year groups.
For full details of the curriculum, please use the link below.
An array of societies are run by the department that cater to all tastes: be they writing poetry, reading plays, discovering non-native literature or debating contemporary issues. There are reading groups in both the Under School and the Sixth Form, which allow pupils to develop and discuss their own personal literary passions. The department also has a strong tradition of encouraging creative writing. There is a flourishing creative writing society and an anthology of Carthusian writing, The Charterhouse Review is published annually.
The department regularly welcomes a number of visiting writers, performers and academics to speak and lead workshops. Recently these have included Paul Farley, Ben Haggarty, Ben Walden, Nicholas Royle, Peter Carpenter, Maddie Geddes-Barton, Peter James, Marcus Sedgwick, Guy Burt, Andy Mulligan, Michael Symmons Roberts and Professor Daniel Brown.
Creativity & Performance
We also follow the principle that every pupil studying English should go to the theatre at least once per academic year and arranges trips to see both plays which are examination texts and those of general literary interest.
Every year there are events that celebrate creativity and performance; for example, the Arts Festival involves collaboration with the Art and Music Departments to produce works connected by themes such as Metamorphosis and Storytelling, and our annual Recitation Competition entails whittling down five hundred or so entrants to twenty-five finalists – who then declaim to a packed house in Hall. Furthermore, there are regular theatre trips to the West End: whole year groups attend productions designed not only to be relevant to their studies but also to nurture their wider appreciation of drama. The Culture Society also runs evenings out to the ballet and opera, as well as more quirky forays to see fringe theatre or contemporary dance.