English Introduction


“Books, like landscapes, leave their marks in us.”
Robert McFarlane

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the great romantics and member of the Lake Poets, wrote: ‘Language is the armoury of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.’ Here at Keswick School, we understand the importance of language skills for success in the workplace and in the rest of life. Keswick’s English department is one of the highest achieving in the country, consistently obtaining 80-90% A*-C grades.

Students have the opportunity to explore a broad range of texts that challenge students and expand minds. Our students are encouraged to see how respected critics have approached literature. They tackle theories about how language develops and how it helps build the world around us. Our teachers enjoy helping students reach their potential and get to grips with language and some of the best literature ever penned.

Keswick English Department is always trying to innovate in order to grasp new opportunities for our children. Year 7 students enjoy a dedicated lesson each week in the school’s library, devoted to reading and expanding the pupils’ knowledge base and literary understanding. This is part of a cutting edge Accelerated Reader programme that tailors reading challenges to individual students and tracks their progress. Students across Key Stage 3 continue this reading programme, but in line with the school’s focus on developing independent learners, they have fostered a reading habit that will stay with them for life.

Outside the classroom Keswick School also offers a myriad of English based extra-curricular activities:
Students love our ‘Shakespeare Week’ which allows creativity to flourish and students of all abilities to engage with the Bard’s greatest works. 

The department organises theatre trips for students across the year groups including visits to Stratford RSC theatre, The Globe on London’s South Bank and more locally Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, where workshops and behind the scenes tours help lift the words from the page in an exciting, truly dramatic fashion.

We attract a steady stream of visiting authors who offer inspiring talks and workshops. At Keswick you can expect to see BAFTA winning actors providing unique insights into important literary characters; poets putting on workshops and professional writers helping students write their own novel – this year our Writers and Illustrators Club has produced ‘The Reader’, a novel which is now on sale on the high street and online via Amazon.

English is an exciting, vibrant language that has produced some of the world’s most challenging and thought provoking literature. We want to reflect that in our studies by encouraging our students to actively appreciate  language and literature through a bright curriculum brought to life through opportunities inside and out of the classroom.


Teaching Staff
Mrs T Messenger, BA, PGCE (Head of English)
Miss J Railton, BA, PGCE (Deputy Headteacher)
Mrs A Allport, BA, PGCE (Assistant Headteacher)
Mr J Hurrell, MA, PGCE (Assistant Head of English)
Mrs M Avery, BA (Hons), PGCE
Mr M Baillie, BA, PGCE
Mr R Down, BA (Hons)
Mrs H Halliburton, BA (Hons), PGCE
Mrs A McGuire, BA, PGCE (p/t)
Mrs R Melling, BA, PGCE (p/t) (Head of Media Studies)
Mrs C Phillips, MA (Hons), PGCE
Mrs H Robinson, BA, QTS (English and Library)
Mrs S Simpson, BA, PGCE (p/t)
Miss H Stephen, MA, PGCE
Mrs H Westle, BA, PGCE (p/t)