Our fundamental aim is to create in pupils the ability to respond with imagination and clarity to the rich complexities of English Language and Literature. To deepen their awareness and develop their expertise, we give pupils guidance, facilities and space. The pursuit of high-quality public examination results is a vital element of this teaching, but the fostering of a lifelong love of reading and writing is our greater ambition – Mrs Kate Ledlie, Head of English
POETRY IN THE QUANTOCKS
Without a doubt, one of the best things we do: after end of year exams, the LVI English pupils head for the Quantocks. Stopping points include Nether Stowey, Porlock Weir, Culbone Church, and Tintern Abbey: we read together the great poems and the pupils write some of their own.
On a winter’s night, the sixth form A Level pupils don their fine furs and feathers for a Gatsby- themed evening. A sumptuous dinner is enjoyed in the splendid setting of Dean Close House, followed by readings, mocktails (Prohibition is observed!) and jazz.
THE REMOVE RECITALS
Over the summer term every member of the Remove is required to learn and recite a poem of 12 lines or more. The best 16 go forward to the Remove Recitals, held annually in the sylvan grove that is The Tuckwell Theatre. An adjudicator listens to each of the finalists’ poems and selects a winner of a piece of unseen prose.
To celebrate the Bard’s birthday on (or around) St George’s Day, groups of sixth form pupils burst unannounced into Physics, History and Maths lessons (among others) and spontaneously perform snippets from a Shakespeare play #borntobebard
G WILSON KNIGHT MEMORIAL LECTURE
A prestigious date in the Department’s calendar. A noted academic delivers a lecture on Shakespeare to our sixth form pupils. The lecture is named after the Shakespearean critic, G Wilson Knight, who taught at Dean Close School in the 1930s.
From a discussion of the Gothic horror to laugh-out-loud reads, our Literary Lunches takes place throughout the academic year and involve pupils of all ages who come to share good books and consume vast quantities of Krispy Kreme donuts.
Recent theatre trips include the following: a Lower Sixth trip to Shakespeare’s Globe in London to see ‘The Comedy of Errors’, a Fourth Form trip to see ‘As you Like It’, and an Upper Sixth trip to see ‘Waiting for Godot’.