The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.Roald Dahl, Matilda
When you study English at Caterham School, we hope that this is what your English lessons will be: exciting, adventurous, challenging and mind-expanding.
Of course, we arm our students with the skills to perform at their very best in English and across the wider curriculum, but we aim to make sure that everyone’s experience of English is an enriching one. Indeed, it is the department’s ethos that students will leave the school as better human beings, through the study of English.
Our enrichment programme is developing all the time – we have Junior and Senior Literary Societies; Writer’s Block; English Extension; coursework clinics; whole-school Poetry Recitation; enrichment evenings (such as ‘An Evening with Tennessee’ or the upcoming ‘Dystopian Night’); and so much more.
In addition, we publish ‘Cat Among the Pigeons’, a creative magazine produced with the Art Department.
If you have any questions about the study of English at Caterham School then do get in touch with us. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram (@CaterhamEnglish) or on email: [email protected].
The English Department is made up of a number of deeply committed teachers who love their subject and have high expectations of the students they teach.
Mr Nicholas Crombie BA (Hons), Head of English
Nick joined Caterham in 2016 as Second in Department, after completing five years at Repton School, Derbyshire. After two years in the role, he was privileged to be asked to step up and lead a thriving and committed team in the teaching of a subject he loves. He balances his time in English with coaching the U15A team for both cricket and rugby. Nick is in charge of the enrichment programme for our students which sees him run the weekly Junior and Senior Literary Societies, the Upper Sixth Form Revision Clinics and Coursework Clinics for the GCSE cohort. He also supports Dr Gray in her ‘English at University’ sessions.
Ms Hannah Wildsmith MA, Second in Charge of English
After graduating from Magdalene College Cambridge in 2011 and spending several months exploring Asia, Hannah worked in Fundraising Events for the charity The Prince’s Trust. Alongside this she volunteered as a Progression mentor, helping young people to build confidence and employment skills. Feeling the call to teach but not yet ready to finish charity work, she moved to Tanzania where she volunteered for a year as an English teacher in an isolated, rural secondary school. Hannah joined Caterham in September 2015 and brings with her a delight in all things dramatic, a strong belief in pushing students to think for themselves and a rather raucous cackle. After three year’s in the department, Hannah was promoted to Second in Charge of English, a role where she will oversee the running of KS3 within the Department.
Ms Lauren Angeli BA, P.G.C.E, Teacher of English
Having graduated from the University of Nottingham, Laurie then completed her PGCE at Goldsmiths University, London. She taught in inner-London schools before fulfilling a long-held desire to move abroad. Teaching in a Portuguese language school, Laurie was able to share her love for the English language whilst also enjoying the delights of sunny Lisbon. She joined Caterham in 2019 and is passionate about nurturing a love for literature, ensuring all students feel able to access wide-ranging texts. Aside from English, Laurie is a keen sportswoman and can be found coaching on either the netball court or hockey pitch.
Miss Angela Cox BA, P.G.C.E, Teacher of English
Angela brought with her not just an enthusiasm for her subject, but a love of equestrian sports as well, which she has promoted very successfully within school. With a BA and PGCE from the University of Sussex, Angela teaches Fourth Year, Fifth Year and the Sixth Form. Angela is a firm believer in enriching students’ experience of English Literature and she frequently organises theatre trips for all years. Angela is a deeply committed teacher, ensuring that her students do as well as they possibly can, irrespective of ability.
Ms Catherine Drummond BA (Hons), Teacher of English, Deputy Head (Co-Curricular)
Cath graduated from Cambridge in 1995 and took her PGCE course at the UEA. She also has a counselling qualification. She is motivated by the power of literature to help us to see the world in different ways and from different perspectives and particularly enjoys Medieval Lit, American works, modern poetry and feminist criticism. She has taught in a range of schools in both the state and private sector; she also worked in France and for French companies for some time, and so enjoys French literature. Aside from reading, she enjoys singing, learning new languages and umpiring netball.
Matthew Godfrey MA, Teacher of English, Deputy Head (External Relations)
Matthew joined Caterham School in September 2013 as Deputy Head. A graduate of Durham University, he started his career in business before moving into teaching. He completed his teacher training at the University of London (Institute of Education). Caterham is the fourth school in which Matthew has taught; most recently, he was a boarding housemaster as well as an English teacher at Brighton College. He has a great love of Shakespeare and modern American literature. He is a keen sportsman – especially tennis, squash and skiing.
Miss Jessica Hookway BA (Hons), PGCE, Teacher of English
Ms Catherine Stedman MA (Cantab), Teacher of English
Having graduated from King’s College, Cambridge with a degree in English Literature with Italian, Catherine worked in both drama and documentaries at the BBC and ran media training courses across the Commonwealth with the charity Scriptnet. This culminated in an MA in Screenwriting at the University of London and a career change.
She re-trained at Exeter University with a PGCE in English and Drama and started teaching at Guildford High School for girls. Catherine brings a passion for literature and theatre to her lessons and runs the school creative writing group ‘Writer’s Block’.
Adam Webster MA (Oxon), Teacher of English, Deputy Head (Innovation)
Adam is a graduate of Oxford University and has previously taught English at Trinity School. He brings with him a suitcase full of creative ideas for teaching the subject which varies as widely as wooden spoon puppetry to high-resolution movie projects, but always with the aim of instilling a deeper understanding of literature and the use of language. In his role Director of Digital Learning he has ensured the smooth introduction of iPads throughout the school and continues to train staff in the use of technology in the classroom.
Mrs Alexandra Yankova BA (Hons), Teacher of English and Drama
A graduate of the University of Bristol with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the University of Cardiff and a PGCE from Roehampton, Alex has previously taught English and Drama at Hinchley Wood School, Esher, The British International School in Cairo and St John’s School, Leatherhead. She has a passion for both subjects and all elements of performance, and has been involved in school productions since she arrived at Caterham in 2008 including ‘Toad of Toad Hall’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Alex also runs the LAMDA Drama examinations which have proved very popular.Back to Academic Departments