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 English: Jason Clapham


Jason Clapham MA, Edinburgh University; MSc, Kingston University. Head of Department
Catherine Greves BA, King’s College, London
Nicola Hunter BA, Courtauld Institute, London
Fergus Livingstone MA, Clare, Cambridge
Jonathan Muir MLitt, MA, University of St Andrews
Finola Picknett MA, Peterhouse, Cambridge. Second in Department
Milly Pumfrey BA, St Hild and St Bede, Durham; MA, Birkbeck College, London
Simon Roche BA, University of Leeds
Ashley Somogyi BA, University of Florida; MA, University College, Durham
Sam Lapage BA, University of Washington – Graduate Assistant

Discover more about Teddies

Teddies TV

Arrange a Visit