DCGS recently held the UK Regional International Boys’ Schools Coalition conference in the new Milton Library. Once again the teaching of English Literature is at a turning point and imminent reforms to the GCSE and a new National Curriculum will set the tone for the subject and, therefore, this conference aimed to challenge the way English is taught. We invited two speakers; Professor Nicholas Roe from University of St Andrews who gave an insight into the poet John Keats and why he is so popular with 6th Form English students, and Gabrielle Cliff-Hodges, Senior Lecturer in Education at University of Cambridge whose work seeks to stimulate debate about ‘why reading literature still matters’.

A variety of different workshops were led by DCGS and the City of London School with a focus on raising the status of English. These workshops covered suggestions to curriculum changes and extra-curriculem innovation, renewed focus on drama through to how literature can contribute to pupils’ broader development during adolescence, shaping a sense of self-identity. Discussions were had over how to choose unusual but engaging texts to help challenge students and what strategies could be put in place to raise achievement at GCSE.

Combining the theoretical with the practical, everyone left with ideas on how to raise the profile of English within their schools and how to create a culture of reading to engage boys of all ages past early teenage years.