English is taught at all levels throughout the school. It is compulsory up to GCSE and is a major subject in the Sixth Form.
Experienced and diversely talented teachers aim to produce men and women capable of clear thought and understanding, clear writing and speaking and genuine appreciation of literature. This is achieved by way of systematic training in the use of words as ‘tools of thought’; analysis and judgement of poetry, prose and drama; critical awareness of the environment and the satisfying use of leisure time.
There are many opportunities outside the classroom for pupils to develop their English. There is a good library with a professional librarian. A debating society flourishes and pupils participate in competitions and fixtures all around the country. Creative writing thrives, with pupils frequently entering - and winning - competitions for young writers. In addition, public speaking and reading competitions, the 'Literary Society', special events for Shakespeare's Birthday, National Poetry and World Book Days, and a range of creative and critical guest speakers all help to place English firmly at the heart of the cultural life of the school.
All pupils, regardless of ability, are screened for specific learning difficulties on entry to the school. Able pupils with some dyslexia have the support of a specialist team that is available to diagnose problems and help find solutions. Full provision is made for pupils whose first language is not English.