The English curriculum at all key stages strives to foster a love of literature. Throughout KS3, pupils study one class reader each half-term to support the development of skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening. Stimulating and challenging activities are covered both in class and are set as homework, including: creative writing of prose and poetry; exploring fiction and non-fiction texts; debating key issues; crafting pieces of writing for a specific purpose and audience; and comparing texts to film adaptations. KS3 units include: ‘Adventures and Travels’ in Year 7; ‘Shakespeare’s Monologues and Soliloquies’ in Year 8 and ‘Conflict Poetry’ in Year 9.

English lessonEach half-term, pupils are tested on an agreed aspect of reading, writing or speaking and listening. All QE pupils are placed in sets for English. Drama is taught as part of English, with each year group in KS3 completing a unit of work in which they write and perform scripts, improvise, and are given exercises such as 'freeze-framing' and 'hot-seating' to further their understanding of characters and situations. Outside of the classroom, a weekly Drama club is available to boys and there is an annual School Play.

At GCSE, all pupils study both English and English Literature from the OCR GCSE specification. In the Sixth Form, we offer English Literature from the OCR A-Level specification.

The English Department offers a range of extra-curricular activities for boys, both as internal and external competitions and clubs. Examples of our competitions include: the Poetry Reading competition; the Spoken Word competition; Inter-House Scrabble tournaments; Inter-House Debating tournaments; and a variety of Creative Writing competitions. We run a number of lunchtime clubs which support and inspire pupils as they prepare to enter our competitions.

A weekly English clinic is available for KS3, KS4 and KS5 pupils to help with revision and problem areas. In the Sixth Form, boys who would like to study English at university are prepared on an individual basis, including through further reading supported by the entire English Department.

Poets and novelists are invited to speak to year groups. Theatre companies come in for Key Stage 3 and GCSE to present dramatisations of set texts, while theatre workshops on set Shakespeare texts in Year 9 take place inside of School. Sixth Form groups attend lectures with other schools on their set texts which take the form of talks from university English lecturers. Visits to the London theatres are regularly arranged.

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15/01/2018 - Strong and silent QE boys win the day

QE boys took the honours at a literature quiz, comfortably beating all the other schools in the competition.


20/12/2017 - Rugby: First XV enjoy best season for years

QE’s leading rugby players have excelled this term with a string of seven wins – thanks to the three Cs of commitment, competitiveness and a strong team culture. The First XV’s run of victories marks a sharp turnaround from last year’s solitary win.


08/12/2017 - Bench-marked! Judges praise QE boys as they reach national final of mock trial competition

A team of senior QE boys have reached the national finals of a competition that involves mock criminal trials in a crown court in front of real judges.