Our vibrant and dynamic English Department aspires to engender a love for the written and spoken word and fundamentally believes in the power of literature to engage young minds. English is taught in a relaxed, friendly, open-classroom atmosphere based on the foundations of good discipline, high expectations and hard work.
The Department provides something for everyone. From etymology to exegesis, we offer the full range of linguistic and literary opportunities.
The past few years have seen record exam results in the English Department.
How English is taught at Hampton
In the First to Third Years, English teaching takes place in ‘mixed ability’ form groups. In the Fourth and Fifth Year, boys are setted into smaller teaching groups of around 16 based on ability. Students are offered every opportunity to stretch and challenge themselves in the smaller groups under the guidance of their teacher.
A Level English Literature, alongside the A Level English Language course, retains its high prestige among universities and is well served by the highly qualified teachers at Hampton. There is a real focus on the importance of the essay as a means to explore texts and we offer writing clinics on a weekly basis to help students hone their skills. We are also keen to further reading and scrutiny beyond the syllabus and boys are encouraged to participate in discussion groups at both AS and A Level.
There is no setting at A Level and we tend to limit the size of each group to a maximum of fourteen students, in order to ensure that discussion work and preparation are as efficient as possible. Extension lessons are provided for those with the intention of studying English beyond A Level.
Creative Writing Awards
The English Department runs annual Creative Writing Awards for the Junior, Middle and Senior pupils. In 2017, author Saci Lloyd judged the entries. A shortlisted selection of poems, short stories and scripts entered into the competition can be viewed here:
For a further taste of creative writing at Hampton, read the publication Lion Print below:
THE BOOK GROUP
Open to younger students, the Book Group foregrounds modern fiction and stimulates discussion of texts at the margin of the taught curriculum. Each year, pupils from First and Second Year also read and discuss all texts on the Carnegie short list. Their experiences of the texts are then shared with pupils from neighbouring schools.
Hampton has a vibrant Debating Society run by the History Department Find out more
The Young Reporters programme is run in collaboration with Newsquest Media Group in schools across London and the South East.
It enables teenagers to gain some industry experience, hone their writing skills and develop the discipline of meeting deadlines, while still at school.
Students who sign up to the scheme will be expected to complete eight different journalism assignments in a range of categories across the year. Their articles will be published online and those who complete all of the assignments by the deadlines will be awarded Certificates of Recognition. Prizes will also be awarded for the best writing within different categories.
Boys who join Young Reporters will have a chance to experience what it is like to be a journalist, and to have their articles, on the local issues that interest them, published for a real audience.
Lion print creative writing club
Lion Print is a relatively new Creative Writing Club launched in 2016 to enable students to share ideas for poems, prose and plays. Boys from First Year to Upper Sixth contribute their writing for the annually published Lion Print Magazine which was launched in Summer 2016. It showcases the imagination, innovation and inventiveness of our students alongside artwork by students across the age range.
Arts Hub is open to all year groups and is open for boys who are interested in the world of the creative arts, media or journalism. Boys are given the opportunity to share their work with professionals in their chosen field, receiving useful feedback and career advice in return. See Miss Smith in the English Office for further details.
Launched in Summer 2016, the magazine enables boys to showcase their imagination in the written word, alongside artwork by creative pupils across the age range.
HAMPTON SPORTS CHRONICLE (HSC)
Overseen and run by a team of Fifth and Sixth Form aspiring journalists, the HSC is published twice a year. Written in newspaper style, it covers all aspects of the sporting calendar at Hampton and considers wider national and international sporting issues.
The English Department is committed to offering a broad spectrum of opportunities to enrich boys’ experience of the written word. These include: theatre trips to London and Stratford Upon Avon, visits to writers’ houses and museums, drama based workshops, seminars and lectures.
In particular, First Year pupils enjoy an annual trip to The Globe theatre in London which includes a tour of the auditorium and a drama workshop led by professional actors, and in the Second Year, boys enthusiastically participate in Book Character Day, dressing up as their favourite literary character to raise money for charity.