English 11-16

Why become a teacher of English?

As an English teacher you will help students develop their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, enabling them to express themselves confidently and effectively. You will have the opportunity to inspire and educate young people in the language and literary works that have become global tools for communication and cultural understanding. With your guidance, students will delve into the rich world of literature, exploring classic and contemporary works, discovering the power of words to shape ideas and emotions. Teaching English is not just about imparting knowledge; it’s about making a positive impact on the lives of your students and shaping their future.


Being a teacher of English means you will support young people to: 

  • develop a love of reading;
  • learn how to respond critically to a text;
  • communicate ideas effectively – both creatively and analytically;
  • reflect on shared human experience through literature.


What are the key concepts that underpin our approach to the teaching of English?

  • World literature – the ability of writing to communicate different world views
  • A writer’s conscious use of language, structure and form to shape meaning
  • The plurality of interpretations open to a reader, and different readers
  • The relationship between text and context
  • How students learn in English, including misconceptions and preconceptions

Being immersed in thinking about the unique contributions that English makes to the school curriculum and the specific ways in which pupils learn it was one of the many highlights of the programme. The subject sessions were brilliantly structured and were a great help in linking the theory and the practice together. It was a privilege to learn from outstanding practitioners.

How is our English course constructed?

The English course is built on an extensive research base in teaching creative arts and it is closely interwoven with our Central Curriculum Sessions as part of our overall Integrated Curriculum approach. Each year we review all aspects of our courses to ensure that they cover the most relevant components of the subject as well as introducing you to the most commonly taught ideas and concepts. Mentors and specialist teachers in our partnership schools also play a crucial role in reviewing the programme to ensure that it gives the very best preparation for becoming a great dance teacher.

Our carefully designed curriculum is structured so that you will have approximately one Subject Curriculum Session a week across the 2024-25 academic year. Alongside this, subject specificity is carefully woven throughout all aspects of the course, including the ongoing assessment process and the optional PGCE assignments, so that all content is relevant to you and your teaching. Subject Curriculum Sessions will develop on the ideas and theory raised in your general Central Curriculum Sessions so that you have expert guidance on how best to deliver strategies and techniques in your specific subject area. 

Our English course prepares you to teach across the 11-16 age range, and you will be formally assessed in those key stages. In addition you will also have the opportunity to observe and teach KS5/ A level in at least one of your placements and your Subject Curriculum Sessions will include training that prepares you to teach KS5/ A level.

The links below will provide you with information about the curriculum and programmes of study for Key Stage 3 and 4 that schools are expected to deliver, these shape the content that your Subject Curriculum Sessions will cover, to ensure that you are able and confident to teach across the full range of topic areas included.

Professional Subject Association

As well as introducing you to a wealth of relevant books, articles and research papers from our own resources and library, you will also have funded access to NATE, the National Association for Teaching English.

Membership will be set up and arranged for you at the start of the course and your Subject Specialist will guide you on how best to use the resources, professional learning community and events from the subject association to support your subject development and the lessons that you will prepare and deliver. 

Meet the Subject Specialist

Britt has been fortunate to have lived two lives related to language, writing and communication. Previously he served as a writer and editor for magazine and online publications in New York, mostly in music and fashion, with some time spent in film and radio broadcasting. Not long after Britt began teaching in high needs schools in The Bronx, New York in 2007, which led him to earn a masters in Teaching. For more than a decade Britt has been teaching in a local secondary school in Oxford and has worked as both a Subject Specialist and a Visiting Tutor for the SCITT during this time. 

Teaching English is a passion for me. I believe empowering students with opportunities to improve their reading, writing and spoken communication allows them to not only understand our complex world more deeply, but also to be more richly connected to it in all its great diversity. English teachers are vital and they should be instructed in the best ways to find the most effective version of the teachers they will become. My favourite texts are the ones that are emotive, creative and richly told. Examples include Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and Jack London’s The Call of the Wild.

Britt Strickland: Subject Specialist for English