“Oh! It is only a novel! … only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda!’ or, in short, only some work in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in its best chosen language.” - Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Cheltenham Ladies' College pupils walk down the Marble Corridor in fancy dress for World Book Day

Like Jane Austen, the English Department at College believes that through the study of literature we will help to enrich a girl's emotional and imaginative life; allow her to develop an awareness of herself, other human beings and their relationships and widen her knowledge of experiences, periods and places other than her own.

A girl will discover a pleasure in thinking critically about the language she finds all around her and will learn how to express herself stylishly in reflective, fictional or poetic writing. In addition, she will be taught different modes of writing: journalistic technique, formal reporting, speechmaking and scriptwriting.

We encourage oral communication skills, including effective collaboration, public speaking, debating and discussion.

College regards vocabulary development, awareness of literary tradition and historical context as essential. We encourage an acknowledgment of the different critical assumptions each reader brings to her own reading and analysis.

We have a lively programme of Shakespeare workshops for both Lower and Upper College as well as author visits, storytelling and creative Saturday activities. Successful and well-attended clubs include the Fanthorpe Society, Creative Writing Club, Classic Cinema Club and Debating Society.


Girls are encouraged to read widely, study a rich variety of texts, develop skills of literacy and oral expression, and write for differing audiences.


Girls study GCSE English Language and English Literature. The English Language GCSE includes writing, speaking and listening tasks, and language analysis and textual comparison of fiction and non-fiction texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The GCSE Literature course includes close study of 19th Century literature, poetry, a modern novel or drama text and Shakespeare.


English Literature is studied at A Level and as part of the IB. Girls study a wonderful range of canonical texts and write coursework on texts of their choice.


Head of English: Mrs Laura Siller BA MSc

Mrs Heather Richens BA
Ms Gayle Bennett
Miss Cassie Brown BA CELTA
Dr Charlotte Campton BA MA PhD
Mrs Rachel Dallibar MA
Miss Xara Davies
Mr Nicholas Garrard
Miss Sarah Hadfield MA
Dr Nichola Haydon BA MA PhD
Miss Elizabeth Lomax MA
Ms Amy Meyrick
Ms Hannah Seward
Miss Alice Thomson BA MA CELTA