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English

There’s a lot more to English than the words we speak. Understanding the rules of spelling, punctuation, grammar and sentence constructions, lie at the heart of effective communication and enable us to express ourselves clearly. When trying to persuade, inform, or debate with someone, a firm grasp of the English language can set you apart.

Studying English Literature develops a valuable and complementary skill set. Examining texts sharpens analytical skills and encourages students to think critically. Students develop strong research and essay-writing skills, while gaining insight into different cultures and philosophies.

“Studying English sharpens our ability to be analytical and critical thinkers.”

Lindsay, Subject Specialist

Our Approach

We assist students from Early Years to University level. Within our network, we have teachers who specialise in supporting dyslexic students or students with other special educational needs. We work patiently to build students’ confidence and use a range of teaching strategies to help them to progress in lessons. For students seeking academic challenge, we place experienced GCSE or A level teachers to introduce new ideas and take them beyond the curriculum.

We conduct an initial assessment to understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses. For younger students, lessons focus on reading and comprehension tasks, balanced with imaginative creative writing. At GCSE and A level, we support students to analyse the set texts and anthology poems, structure arguments and develop strong essay-writing skills. As exams approach, our focus is on timed questions and honing exam technique.

Exam Boards

We have experienced teachers with knowledge of the following exam boards:

  • AQA
  • Edexcel GCSE
  • Edexcel IGCSE
  • CIE IGCSE
  • OCR
  • International Baccalaureate

At A level, we also provide subject specialists for Cambridge Pre-U courses. We help tutors to stay up-to-date with curriculum changes. In addition to teaching, many of our tutors are also GCSE or A level examiners.

Reading Lists for Children

We encourage students to read widely, listen to audiobooks, and attend theatre productions. This is particularly important for primary students sitting 7+, 8+ and 11+ exams. Our English specialists have recommended some of their favourite books and poems to spark the imagination of children aged 7 – 12:

Classic Fiction

  • Burnett F,  The Secret Garden    
  • Carroll L, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Dahl R, Going Solo
  • Dickens C, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and others
  • Forester C S, Hornblower Series
  • Grahame K, The Wind in the Willows
  • Hope A, Prisoner of Zenda
  • Hughes T, Tom Brown’s Schooldays
  • Hughes T, The Iron Man
  • Kipling R, Jungle Book, Kim and others
  • Lamb C and H, Tales from Shakespeare
  • Lewis C S, Chronicles of Narnia
  • Lofting H, Dr Dolittle       
  • London J, The Call of the Wild
  • Montgomery LM, Anne of Green Gables              
  • Nesbit E, The Railway Children and others           
  • Orwell G, Animal Farm
  • Pearce P, Tom’s Midnight Garden
  • Ransome, A, Swallows and Amazons and others
  • Serraillier I, The Silver Sword
  • Sewell A, Black Beauty
  • Stevenson R L, Treasure Island  
  • Tolkein J R, The Hobbit
  • Twain M, Tom Sawyer
  • Westall R, The Machine Gunners and The Kingdom by the Sea
  • White E B, Charlotte’s Web

Contemporary Fiction

  • Adams D, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Adams R, Watership Down
  • Almond D, Skellig
  • Boyce F C, Cosmic
  • Boyne J, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas and Noah Barleywater
  • Dahl R, Matilda, The Twits and others
  • Dempster M, The Trials and Tribulations of Lily Tripitaka
  • Gaiman N, Coraline and others
  • Gavin J, Coram Boy
  • Haddon M, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
  • Jacques B, Redwall (series)
  • King C, Stig of the Dump
  • Magorian M, Goodnight Mister Tom
  • Morpurgo M, War Horse and others
  • Pratchett T, Truckers, Diggers etc
  • Pullman P, His Dark Materials
  • Reid Banks L, The Indian in the Cupboard
  • Riordan R, Percy Jackson series
  • Sachar L, Holes

Poetry

  • E. Carle, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
  • Edward Lear, Miscellaneous Poems
  • H. Belloc, Jim, Cautionary Tales and other Poems
  • R. L. Stevenson, Child’s Garden of Verses
  • T. Hughes, The Iron Man
  • W. de la Mare, Rhymes and Verses
  • I. Serraillier, Beowulf
  • L. Carroll, Jabberwocky and other poems
  • T. B. Aldrich, Poems
  • W. de la Mare, The Listeners and other poems
  • R. Kipling, If and other Poems

Our Subject Specialists

See all our subject specialists

Lizzie

"English is the foundation of communication: the ability to articulate oneself with fluency, confidence and creativity."
Lizzie is a qualified English teacher and received an 'Outstanding' rating for her Teach First PGCE qualification. She has two years of classroom experience and tutors part time, preparing students for the 11+, 13+ and GCSE exams. She holds an English Literature and History degree from Birmingham University.
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Chris

"The study of English adds depth to our perception of the world. It teaches us to find symbols, make connections and read between the lines."
Chris is an experienced English teacher. He has 5 years of classroom experience and was awarded an Outstanding rating for his PGCE teaching qualification. Chris currently teaches KS3-5 students at a school in South West London, where he holds the role of Literacy Coordinator. Chris holds a BA English Literature, and first-class MA Literature and Philosophy from Sussex University.
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Anita

"English teaches students how to form and defend their own arguments."
Anita holds a first-class degree in English Literature from the University of Warwick. Following this, she completed her PGCE teaching qualification through the Teach First programme, specialising in Secondary English. Anita also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership. Anita holds 2 years classroom experience as a teacher of English, across KS3, 4 and 5.
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