The philosophy of the English Department at St Edward’s is to encourage a love of literature and an appreciation of imaginative, original and expressive writing.

English plays a key role in promoting intellectual curiosity and academic attainment across the curriculum. Considerable emphasis is placed on accuracy and discernment in the use of the English language, but pupils are also expected to leave St Edward’s equipped to express their ideas with passion, articulacy and confidence.

The subject’s particular suitability for discussing moral, social and philosophical concerns is celebrated and explored by teachers at all levels.

Pupils are encouraged to read widely, with intelligence, enthusiasm and discrimination, and to be lucid and articulate in class discussions and on paper. We exercise our independence robustly in terms of text choices and curriculum, but we are unafraid to respond to the challenges presented to us by the prevailing winds of educational change.

The Department creates reading lists for pupils, one tailored to the senior years and one for the whole School. These are sent out to parents in addition to the specific texts and recommended course requirements set by teachers. You can find the senior school reading list here and the whole school’s list here. In addition, a new list of 100 challenging spellings has also been produced. You can read it and test your knowledge here.

The School’s literary society, The Phoenix Society, regularly invites authors, directors, performers and distinguished academics to talk to pupils. Names from recent times include Michael Attenborough, Andy McNab, Andrew Motion, Simon Armitage, Dr James Methven, Daisy Hay, Dr Raphael Lyne, Dr Emma Smith and Steven Matthews.

We also arrange cultural trips to Stratford-upon-Avon, the Ashmolean, the Globe, Covent Garden and the theatres of the West End.

Head of Department: Jason Edward Clapham


Jason Edward Clapham MA, Edinburgh University; MSc, Kingston University; PGCE, Worcester College, Oxford
Lauren Bray MA, BA, University of York
Charles Davies MA, Open University; BA, University of York; PGCE, Queen’s College, Cambridge
Louise Duffy BA, MA, University of Hull; PGDE, Liverpool John Moores University
Anastasia Elliott BA, Brasenose College, Oxford; PGCE, Institute of Education, London University
Fergus Livingstone MA, Clare College, Cambridge
Milly Pumfrey MA, Birkbeck College, London; BA, St Hild and St Bede, Durham: PGCE, Bristol University
Chloe Riddle BA, University of Exeter
Simon Roche BA, University of Leeds
Edward Scates MA, PGCE, Canterbury Christ Church University College; BA, Bournemouth University
Alexandra Talbot BA, Royal Holloway, University of London; PGCE, Magdalen College, Oxford

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