We firmly believe at Cranleigh that the study of English should be interesting, stimulating and enjoyable. Our teaching is designed with these objectives in mind; we aim to produce students who have been genuinely engaged by the material they have read and who have developed a passion for the written word which will stay with them for life.

This a subject wonderfully rich in ideas, nuances and possibilities and we want our students to discover this for themselves. To this end, therefore, they are exposed to all sorts of texts and stimuli: the department is an experienced and talented one, with a wide range of interests, which they are actively encouraged to share with their students.

The tangible results of this philosophy are clear: we regularly have between 70 and 80 students studying English in the Sixth Form, making it one of the most popular subjects in the school.

The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.

Alan Bennett, The History Boys

Lower School

Upper School

Trips and Events

We frequently take theatre trips to London, which is easily accessible from Cranleigh. We also run the Minot Society, for sixth form enrichment. There are two creative writing competitions each year, prizes for which are awarded at Speech Day: the James Harpur Poetry Prize and the Stacy Aumonier Prize for Short Story Writing.

Beyond School

English is regarded very positively by universities as a facilitating subject. Our A Level students go on to study a wide range of subjects; as well as a significant number reading English, others have gone on to study Law, Politics, Classics, History, International Relations, Sociology, Philosophy, Marketing and Journalism amongst others.

Head of English

Gordon Neill

Head of English