The inordinate number of great writers who have emerged from Dulwich over the years is a testament to the importance of English both within and beyond the curriculum. Our founder, Edward Alleyn, was an associate of William Shakespeare during one of the most inspired periods of literary history and enshrined his love of the written word in his instructions to the College to teach, ‘wryting, reading and grammar’ as core subjects.

All pupils take English and English Literature at IGCSE and a significant number continue with Literature to A Level. Reading is vital to the development of creative, informed and independent thinking. The boys are therefore introduced to a wide range of texts from key works in the English literary canon (such as Shakespeare and Dickens) to contemporary writing, world literature and non-literary texts which includes the media.

Writing is equally important for accurate, imaginative and confident self-expression. In addition to regular debates, discussions, play-readings and talks, the boys are able to explore ideas and develop their literary skills by contributing to ‘17’, an annual volume of their creative writing, and ‘The Alleynian’, our magazine-style news publication produced entirely by the boys. The Edward Alleyn Theatre, meanwhile, provides numerous opportunities to engage with the theatrical arts.  Outside of the classroom, we encourage the boys to attend the many literary events and theatre trips organised by the department.

An EAL teacher is attached to each Department, working with pupils for whom English is not their first language.

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