At Caterham School, our aim is to make your English lessons: 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 – our programme currently offers Junior, Intermediate and Senior Literary Societies; Writer’s Block; English Extension; clinics and drop-ins; whole-school Poetry Recitation; enrichment evenings and so much more.
In addition, we publish ‘Cat Among the Pigeons’, a creative magazine produced with the Art Department.
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.
Ms Hannah Wildsmith MA (Cantab), Head of Department
After graduating from Magdalene College Cambridge in 2011, having written three dissertations on Austen, Mervyn Peake and the academic value of children’s literature, whilst also specialising in Shakespeare in Performance, Hannah worked in Fundraising 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, 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, qualified as a teacher, became 2i/c in 2019 and Head of Department in 2021. She brings a delight in all things dramatic and a strong belief in pushing students to think for themselves.
Dr Anthony Bromley, PhD, BA (Hons), PGCE, Second in Charge of Department
While studying for a BA at Durham University, Anthony felt that there was more he wanted to know and more that he wanted to say about his favourite poet, John Milton. Initially studying for an MRes at Exeter University, Anthony upgraded to a PhD, and passed his viva with a thesis entitled ‘Milton’s Utopian Millennium: Ideal Society and Eschatology in Seventeenth-Century England’. Anthony brings with him a passion for poetry and the early-modern period, and an interdisciplinary desire to see texts as a vehicle through which we can better understand the times in which they were written – and thereby our own. In his role as Second in Charge of the Department, Anthony oversees KS4 and runs the Intermediate and Senior literary societies. Within the School CCF, Anthony also promotes his other major passion: target rifle shooting.
Miss Angela Cox BA, P.G.C.E, Teacher of English
With a BA from the University of Sussex and PGCE from the University of Roehampton, Angela teaches pupils in Key Stage 3. Angela is a firm believer in enriching students’ experience of English Literature and is a deeply committed teacher.
Ms Catherine Drummond BA (Hons) (Cantab), Teacher of English, Senior Teacher (Operations)
Cath read English Literature at Cambridge and took her PGCE course at the University of East Anglia; she has taught in a range of schools in both the state and private sectors. Her particular areas of interest include Medieval, Modernist and American Literature, and feminist criticism.
Mr Dan Gabriele – MA (Oxon) – Principal Deputy Head
Dan read English and History at Oxford and has taught at Latymer Upper, Eton and Brighton College, where he was Head of English prior to being Assistant Head (Director of Sixth Form). His areas of specialism include metaphysical poetry, the Romantics, the nineteenth century European novel, literary theory and the works of J G Ballard.
Miss Jessica Hookway BA (Hons), PGCE, Teacher of English, Assistant Director of Partnerships
After graduating with a degree in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Brighton, Jessica completed a PGCE at the same institution. She joined Caterham in 2018, having previously taught at Lingfield College. Jessica seeks to promote curiosity in her students through developing a love of literature and a fascination with the English Language. She has a love of all things creative, incorporating aspects of art and drama in her lessons wherever possible. Placing a strong focus on technology, she uses this to both enthuse students and encourage them to be independent learners. She has a passion for language and learning about the latest developments and neologisms in this field. Alongside her teaching, Jess is the Assistant Director of Partnerships and is involved in a range of outreach projects.
Miss Chloe Hurton BA (Hons), PGCE – Teacher of English
Since graduating from UCL with a BA in English, Chloe has thrown herself into teaching with zest and enthusiasm. She began her teaching career during the pandemic, endeavouring to support students who had suffered from school closures. Simultaneously working at Kingston College and Reed’s School during this period, Chloe amassed experience in the maintained and private sector, transmitting her wealth of knowledge, and ardour for literary brilliance, to as many students as possible. Most recently, Chloe has obtained QTS status, as well as a PGCE, from the University of Buckingham, inspiring an interest in pedagogical psychology. For the department, she further enriches student experience by planning trips to lectures, theatrical productions and literary festivals.
Miss Megan McGlashan BA, Teacher of English
Megan studied Liberal Arts at Durham University with a primary focus in English Literature. She loved the interdisciplinary nature of her degree and continues to incorporate the History of Art and Classical Studies into her lessons. After graduating, she moved to France where she lived and taught English for a year. Having always known that she wanted to teach English Literature, she returned to the UK to start work in Caterham’s English Department. A lover of music and the arts, she has also enjoyed working with the Performing Arts department on Dance festivals and the annual MADlive event. She has always found inspiration in the vast and varied nature of Literature and seeks to encourage the same enthusiasm and curiosity in her students.
Mr Benedict Reekes BA (Cantab),QTS
Ben graduated from Cambridge University in 2008. He spent five years teaching English as a Foreign Language in Bari, Italy, where he learned Italian to a near-native level and obtained a Masters-level qualification in TESOL. He has taught English language and literature in a variety of schools since being back in the UK, achieving his QTS from the University of Southampton. Particular interests and areas of expertise include: the challenges of translation; forging cross-curricular links between English and (especially) cinema, history, music, and visual art; T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land; and crime fiction, especially the work of Chandler and Highsmith.
Ms Catherine Stedman MA (Cantab), Teacher of English, Editor – Cat Amongst the Pigeons magazine.
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’ as well as the magazine “Cat Amongst the Pigeons”. She is an ardent Aldercombe supporter in her role as Assistant Head of House.
Adam Webster MA (Oxon), Teacher of English, Deputy Head (Innovation)
Adam is a graduate of Oxford University with a deep love for literary giants like Oscar Wilde, Joseph Conrad and John Milton. He has always taken a creative approach to teaching the subject and hopes to inspire students to explore the realms of their imagination. In addition to teaching, Adam has strategic oversight for the school’s innovation strategy which looks to foster a culture of creativity and forward-thinking, redefining the pupil experience of education in the digital age. Beyond the classics, he has an affinity for science fiction and fantasy novels and has written several novels in these genres.
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 been a constant figure in the English and Drama Departments at Caterham since 2008 and also runs and teaches the LAMDA Drama examinations which have proved very popular. She has a passion for both subjects and all elements of performance, and has put on over 20 productions whilst at Caterham and can often be seen on stage herself at her local theatre. She particularly loves sharing this passion with her pupils and developing strong pastoral relationships with her classes.
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