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The English curriculum at Pangbourne is designed to develop excellent literacy and communication skills whilst encouraging students to enjoy and appreciate a kaleidoscopic range of literature from the past one thousand years.

As a core subject, the study of English underpins student achievement across the wider curriculum. Accordingly, there is a strong focus on reading for pleasure and the practical essentials of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Our experienced teachers have a wide range of literary interests across different periods and genres and we pride ourselves on our success in examinations and the fantastic progress made by our students. Classes range from around 5 to 20 students, who learn through a varied combination of independent study and group work and discussion.

In Forms 1-3, students follow a vibrant and dynamic curriculum designed around the study of a Shakespeare play, a novel and selected poetry, alongside discrete writing skills and genres in preparation for IGCSE.

All students take the Edexcel IGCSEs in English Language and English Literature, with approximately two-thirds achieving the equivalent of a Grade 7 or higher.

Many students choose to continue their study of English into the Sixth Form. We offer the OCR English Literature A Level, a dynamic course which encourages lively debate and original interpretation of some of the greatest works ever written in English. Every year a number of students choose to continue their study of English at degree level, with many securing places at leading universities.

Outside the syllabus, there are numerous English activities for students such as book groups, creative writing clubs and a journalism society. We regularly invite professional writers to visit the College to run workshops and the students enjoy a wide range of theatre trips that enrich their study of play texts.


Meet the Teachers

Mrs Stephanie Poynter - Head of English

BA (Hons) English Literature - University of Exeter, and PGCE English - University of Reading

Ms Alex Brinkman-Young - Deputy Head of English and EPQ Coordinator

Masters - English Literature (1550-1660) - University of Oxford, and BA (Hons) History and Theatre (Directing Focus) Barnard College, Columbia University 

Mr Benjamin Payne - Teacher of English PGCE

Masters - Renaissance Literature - University of Oxford, and BA (Hons) English Language and Literature - University of Oxford

Mr Alexander Corps - Teacher of English NQT

PGCE Secondary English - Durham University,  MA in Medieval and Early Modern Textural Cultures - University of East Anglia, and BA (Hons) Literature and History) - University of East Anglia

Dr Clare Harraway - Teacher of English, Teacher of Film Studies

BA (Hons) English Literature, University of Exeter, MA Shakespeare Studies, The Shakespeare Institute and DPhil English Literature, Exeter College, University of Oxford

Mrs Rebecca Dickinson - Teacher of English and Film Studies 

BA in English Literature and Creative Studies in English - Bath Spa University, PGCE Secondary English - Brighton University, Master of Arts English - Open University