The English Faculty

  • Mrs JM Hope MA - Head of Faculty
  • Mr JD Bush MA
  • Dr G Evans MA, PhD
  • Dr J Webb MA , PhD


‘Reading allows us to see and understand the world through the eyes of others.  A good book is an empathy engine’ Chris Riddell, UK Children’s Laureate 2016  

Students studying English at Christ College will not only develop the core communication, comprehension and empathetic skills that are essential to life, but they will also gain a lasting love of reading and discussing literature.

English is a core subject for every student. Through our teaching we aim to equip our students with the reading and writing skills needed for other subjects, as well as the analytical skills to engage critically with the wide variety of texts that they read.

In Years 7 and 8 there is a focus on literacy but we also seek to foster the students' imaginations through their reading and creative writing. In Year 9, we continue to develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing, and to study a variety of literary texts. Speaking and listening is practised in a variety of ways, such as debating, small-group discussions, drama and discussion in class. Reading involves the study of texts by the class as a whole - plays, poems, novels and short stories, including the study of a Shakespeare play. Students begin to write more formal analytical pieces in preparation for GCSE study. Writing skills are developed through the study and then completion of a variety of transactional writing forms.

At GCSE, we follow the new AQA specifications following the English GCSE route, preparing for linear examinations in both English Language and English Literature at the end of two years.  The core skills remain the same, as does the preparation and study of a breadth of literature and non-fiction texts.  Speaking and listening remains a key part of English study but receives a separate endorsement and does not contribute to the final English Language grade. 

In the Sixth Form, English is taught exclusively as a literary subject with students following the OCR English Literature AS and A Level. The course affords pupils the chance to experience a wide range of poetry, prose and drama and to explore the texts in small teaching groups where everyone has a chance to give an opinion. As a subject which emphasizes creativity, disciplined thought and communication, together with the ability to synthesize and contextualize ideas, English Literature is excellent preparation for university and is also welcomed as a qualification for a variety of careers.  Pupils who choose English Literature combine it with a variety of other A Level options, from traditional pairings of History or Drama but equally with Physics or Mathematics.  Pupils often choose to study English Literature at University and specific preparation and additional lessons are given to those who do so.  In 2017, pupils have gone on to study English Literature at King’s College, Edinburgh and Birmingham University.

The department runs a number of activities which support and enhance the teaching of English in the classroom, such as regular theatre trips, talks by visiting authors, Literary Lunches and Seminars for the Sixth Form and creative writing and Reading Clubs. We also encourage and support pupils in taking part in debating and public speaking competitions.