Highgate’s English Department aims to develop an enduring engagement with, and enthusiasm for, English literature and language amongst all our pupils. Our School has a long and distinguished literary tradition: the poets Nicholas Rowe (Laureate 1715-18) and Gerard Manley Hopkins were educated at Highgate, and John Betjeman was taught by T.S. Eliot in 1915.

You all study English Language and English Literature in the core curriculum up to Year 11, where we follow GSCE English Language and IGCSE English Literature. Within our Sixth Form, we offer the Eduqas A level in English Literature. Standards are high and a considerable number of our sixth formers study English at universities in the UK and in North America.

Our English Department offers new and innovative ways to study. For example, in 2018 we introduced Highgate 21, a list of five challenging and rewarding books, per year, that are outside the curriculum. The aim is that everyone reads at least three texts during each Senior School year. We place a strong focus on creative writing, with an annual writer-in-residence, and we oversee our annual Lyttelton Competition for the declamation of poetry, which attracts diverse offerings from all age groups. We also publish The Windhover, an annual pupil-led creative writing and arts magazine.