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Nestled in Dry Hill House, the English department at Tonbridge offers every student the chance to embark on the captivating intellectual journey of reading and exploring profound literature.

From their initial lessons to their final ones, boys receive dedicated and inspiring guidance in navigating the realms of literary expression. The department plays a pivotal role in enriching the literary and cultural life of the school. Sam Farmer spearheads the highly successful Creative Writing Society, a forum that regularly convenes to nurture the considerable talents of our students. The society's success is evident, notably through the accolades received by our students. Conor McKee, the most recent Foyle Young Poet of the Year, follows in the footsteps of other accomplished Tonbridgians such as Joseph McManners, Daniel Webb, and Andrew Wynn Owen.

The English Society, a dynamic forum, convenes several times each term to broaden the literary horizons of our students. The society hosts various guest authors and poets, who conduct workshops and feature readings. Notable visitors have included luminaries like Germaine Greer, Simon Armitage, Gavin Knight, poet and photographer Martin Figure, Professor Kevin Jackson, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and Christopher Reid, an Old Tonbridgian and winner of the Costa Book Award for his collection "A Scattering."

Complementing classroom experiences, the English department organises a range of theatre trips to London and beyond. Annual excursions to the Cheltenham Literary Festival and the Arvon Foundation further contribute to providing a rich and immersive experience in the realm of English Literature. The department's commitment to cultivating a love for literature and fostering creative expression ensures that Tonbridge students leave the School with a profound appreciation for the written word and a wealth of literary experiences.

Department Staff

Dr Jonathan Reinhardt

Head of English
PhD, Cornell University
MA, Loyola University Chicago

Mr John Bleakley

Teacher of English, Second Master, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
BA, University of Dublin

Ms Lucy Clubb

Deputy Head of English (Novi - Third Year)
BA, Swansea University

Mrs Kate Crowley

Teacher of English
BA, University of Durham

Mr Richard Evans

Teacher of English, Housemaster of Welldon House
MA, University of Leicester

Mr Sam Farmer

Deputy Head of English (Sixth Form)
BA, University of Cambridge
MA, Royal College of Art

Mr Peter Houston

Graduate Assistant
MA, BA, University of Durham

Dr John Shafer

Teacher of English
PhD, MA, BSc, University of North Carolina & Durham University

Mr Nicholas Waywell

Teacher of English
BA, University of Oxford

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