Bolton School Senior Boys


If English is about language and expression, then it is equally about thought: good English goes hand in hand with clear, coherent thinking. We challenge pupils to think sensitively and carefully about issues in their own lives, in the world around them and in the books we read with them and we encourage them to explore their ideas in a variety of forms: spoken and written, creatively and analytically, in both fictional and transactional forms. We want our pupils to enjoy exploring language through creativity, performance and analysis and aim to encourage sensitive listening, fluent speech, discerning reading, precise writing and independent thought. 

In the Lower School (Year 7-9) our syllabus encourages boys’ reading for pleasure as well as expressing themselves with clarity and precision in the spoken and written word. Each half term pupils do a core skills test to ensure coverage of the essentials required at IGCSE. We frequently use Drama in our English lessons and have our own Drama Studio. In Years 7 and 8 pupils develop their acting skills with a focus on Shakespeare. We also have an excellent Lower School Library where we teach research skills and have a fortnightly reading lesson.

We regularly invite writers and performers into school to enhance the boys' appreciation of the literature they study. There are also regular theatre visits at all levels of the school. We also take the Sixth Form students to Shakespeare's Globe in London in the Summer Term of Year 12.

We teach English Language and English Literature to GCSE and A Level. At IGCSE we teach the Cambridge International Examinations IGCSE First Language English (0500) and English Literature (0486) specifications. At A Level we offer English Language (AQA) or English Literature (OCR). From September 2015 we will be running OCR English Language and English Literature specifications. We regularly send boys on to University to study English at a range of top universities, including Oxbridge. Bespoke assistance is available to those boys wishing to read English at university. 

The English Department is a dynamic and highly-qualified team who bring a wide range of expertise from independent and state schools. We are able to convey this enthusiasm to the boys both in the classroom and also through the range of extra-curricular activities we offer, which include Drama Club, Film Club, Lower School Reading Club, Senior Wider Reading Group, Scrabble Club, Lower School Magazine (The Bolt), Creative Writing and Old English.

Head of Department:

Ms H Thomson BA, MA

Members of the Department:

Miss K S Brearley BA
Miss E M Harper BA
S P Heald BA
Dr S W Holland BA, PhD (Director of Higher Education)
Miss A F Holroyd BA
Mrs J M Johnson, BEd
Miss N R Lord BA (Drama and Key Stage 4 Coordinator)

Boys in the Senior Library

Boys in the Senior Library

Boys Division English students

The Lower School Library where boys hone their research skills

Authors regularly visit the School - photographed here is Curtis Jobling offering a workshop to boys

Authors regularly visit the School - photographed here is Curtis Jobling conducting a workshop with boys