Lancaster Royal
Grammar School


Our aims are:

1  To provide our pupils with a keen understanding, interest and proficiency in their use of language, both written and spoken.

2  To show them the nature of the society and world in which they live, both through direct observation and through the books, plays and poetry which we teach and which we encourage them to experience independently.

3  To inspire a love for the material they have studied - which will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

4  To enable them to obtain examination results which will allow them to make their own career choices.

5  That the pupils will enjoy our lessons and find them worthwhile and stimulating.

English as a subject is unique in that its borders are so wide. Our interests cover traditional Literature and all forms of media, as well as the teaching of grammatically correct Standard English. It is hard to say where the classroom stops and where extra-curricular activity begins. Lesson-time debates can lead on to debates in local and national competitions. The good speaking and reading encouraged within the timetable appears in readings during the carol services. The teaching of a play is, where possible, accompanied by seeing it performed.


Staff Profiles

Miss Mitchell, Head of Department
Miss Mitchell joined LRGS in 2014. She previously taught at Ripley St Thomas Academy and has also worked for other organisations delivering training to teachers, in addition to her role in the classroom.  She is a regular member of a pub quiz team and enjoys fine dining; they are currently spending their winnings eating out at restaurants featured on the television series ‘The Trip’.  Miss Mitchell has a degree in English Literature from Lancaster University.

Mr Rafferty joined LRGS in 2015. He has previously taught at Ripley St Thomas Academy after having completed a BA in English Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University. As well as an interest in reading and writing, he is a keen cricketer, playing for local team Shireshead and Forton. Other hobbies include playing and watching football, writing and playing music, quizzing, going to the cinema and eating out.

Mrs. Gibson joined LRGS in 2017, having spent the previous nine years teaching English at LGGS, where she worked as Head of English, Head of KS4 and as a part-time English teacher.  Previous to this, she was Head of English at St. Thomas a Becket Catholic College in Wakefield, after having gained a BA in English Literature and History of Art, and a PGCE at Leeds University.  She enjoys choreographing the joint school productions and also sings in a local choir.  She is a keen potter and loves to bake cakes, read poetry and attend story-telling events and music gigs in her free time.     

Mr Davies-Taylor joined LRGS in 2020. He has previously taught at Morecambe Bay Academy after completing a BA in English at the University of Liverpool. As an old boy of the school (2008-2015), he is passionate about his Rugby both as a coach at LRGS and a player at Garstang RUFC. Other interests include cinema, reading, volleyball and cooking. He is currently developing an interest in the staffroom cryptic crossword!

Miss Hudson joined LRGS in 2020 having spent fifteen years working in the book and publishing industry. Her experience includes bookshop management and literary events organisation. Having studied at Lancaster University for her BA Hons in English Literature and then a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Management Mrs Hudson is interested in contemporary British fiction and creative writing. In her spare time she enjoys reading, attending live events and walking her very excitable dog. 

Mrs Hall joined LRGS in September 2022 having previous taught for 9 years at Ripley St Thomas Academy. She obtained a BA in English Literature from Lancaster University where she went on to complete an MA in Ruskin Studies. Aside from her literary interests in reading and visiting the theatre, Mrs Hall is a keen amateur artist and enjoys painting in both watercolour and oils. She also enjoys outdoor activities with her family such as walking, cycling and bird watching. 

Mrs Fyson joined LRGS in 2019 following fourteen years at Kirkham Grammar School. Previous to this, she taught at Runshaw College and various schools in Kent and Bristol, having obtained a BA in English Literature & German Studies from the Universities of Birmingham and Tübingen, a PGCE from the University of Sussex, and an MA in English Literature from the Open University. She loves languages, is particularly passionate about poetry and creative writing, and enjoys going to the theatre and storytelling events. Other interests include camping, birdwatching, tending to the family allotment, visiting art galleries and playing saxophone with LRGS Big Band. 

Email English Department staff

Key Stage 3

At LRGS in Years 7-9 pupils study a different literary text each term which is designed to give them a broad experience of genres, time periods and writers. They will get a balanced diet of plays, poetry, literary prose and factual writing so there’s something to interest every type of reader.

During each term in Years 7 and 8 pupils also study in more depth one type of writing which will be one of the tasks they’ll be asked to produce for the writing section of their end of year exam. By the time pupils reach Year 9 they’ll revisit these text types, this time one every half term, to consolidate their knowledge.

In addition to completing reading and writing tasks pupils will work on developing their oracy, working with others as well as presenting information individually or even taking on roles in dramatic works, to ensure we are creating confident competent speakers of the future.

We are fortunate at LRGS to have an excellent library run by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic librarian. Pupils in Years 7-9 have one lesson a week in the library to pursue their own interests and develop reading habits that we hope will last a lifetime.

In Years 7-8 pupils follow the Accelerated Reader scheme and at the beginning of a term will complete a reading age test. They are then given a points target that they work towards for the rest of that term based on reading for 20 minutes per night. Each book they read is worth points and when they’ve finished reading they complete quizzes to earn points towards their target. Every week class teachers will discuss the boys’ reading material and their progress along with being able to monitor their understanding of texts. The pupils get very competitive and it’s not unusual to see boys achieving their targets many times over!

In Year 9 we encourage pupils to move beyond children’s fiction if they’ve not done so already and to extend their reading into more sophisticated titles. Pupils take part in book group type reading sessions and recommend more advanced reads to one another. We also enjoy shadowing a number of book awards throughout the year.


Every pupil will study for two GCSEs, one in English Language and one in English Literature, from the Eduqas exam board.  Both GCSEs offer exciting opportunities to develop analytical thinking, detailed critical appreciation of language and to further refine and polish communication skills needed both in the classroom and way beyond.

The English Language qualification tests a number of skills.  Pupils need to be able to read and interpret texts, offering their own opinions based on evidence and they are also expected to be able to write accurately for different purposes and audiences. As part of a separate grade (pass, merit, distinction) reported alongside the English Language GCSE pupils will also give an individual talk and respond to questions from an audience.

English Literature is the study of different genres and writers and pupils will read and comment on a variety of different texts, with four set texts in total and a further unseen element to the exam. Pupils could go back as far as Shakespeare and be studying something as recent as Blood Brothers and it’s not unusual for us to combine this element of the course with trips to the theatre to bring the texts alive.

Sixth Form

English Literature A-level:

Students who respond well to new ideas, embrace challenging texts and enjoy lively classroom discussions thrive on this course which, is an excellent preparation for university study and very well regarded amongst academics.

The taught elements of the course encourage the study of a wide range of texts with a focus on two particular genres. Our students enjoy investigating Crime Writing and fully immerse themselves in Tragedy, both of these options are ideal for people with an inquisitive and enquiring mind. On top of this, the “Theory and Independence Unit” allows the exploration of texts the pupils have chosen alongside a “Critical Anthology” which opens their eyes to thought provoking ideologies such as feminism, Marxist theory as well as post-colonialism and eco-criticism. This gives students the skills and confidence needed to tackle similar tasks at university and is really an excellent chance to develop an interest in and passion for almost any aspect of the subject.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities:

The Whewell Society dates back to the early twentieth century and is still going strong, debating the weird, wonderful, thought provoking and amusing most Friday lunchtimes.

Older pupils are also training the younger years in the lower school debating society, continuing this proud tradition.  In addition the students run the Literature society, enjoy numerous theatre visits as well as talks from guest speakers including writers and academics. 

We enjoy participating in a wide range of competitions and cultural events including: staff and students coming together to shadow the Man Booker Prize, entering nationwide debating competitions, inter-form reading competitions, Poetry by Heart and taking part in the Kids’ Lit Quiz. At lunchtimes we also have a Cryptic Crossword club and a Word Games club.

With so much going on there’s bound to be something you can get involved with during your time at LRGS.