Category Archives: Interesting Information

English Language Reading List


Are you looking to study English Language at A level or at university? This reading list will give you a great head start! 

English Language

‘The Stories of English’, David Crystal

‘A Little Book of Language’, David Crystal

‘Language and the Internet’, David Crystal

‘The English Language: A Guided Tour of the Language’, David Crystal

‘Listen to your Child’, David Crystal

‘Mother Tongue: the story of English’, Bill Bryson

‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’, Lynn Truss

‘Can You eat, Shoot and Leave?’, Lynn Truss 

‘The Adventure of English’, Melvyn Bragg

My Grammar and I (Or Should That Be ‘Me’?): Old-School Ways to Sharpen Your English’, Caroline Taggart

The Five-Minute Writer: Exercise and inspiration in creative writing in five minutes a day’, Margret Geraghty

AQA English Language B AS: Student’s Book’. Alan Pearce, Marcello Giovanelli and Mark Saunders

Usborne Guide to Better English: Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation’, by R. Gee

Through the Language Glass: Why The World Looks Different In Other Languages’, Guy Deutscher

Language Change: Progress or Decay? (Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics)’, Jean Aitchison

Child Language: Acquisition and Development’,  Matthew Saxton


English Literature Reading List


Are you looking to study English Literature at university? Do you love reading and want to push yourself further? Give this extensive list a look! Don’t be intimidated – pick a small selection, do some quick research and give it a go!

Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide’, Tory Young


The Oxford Companion to English Literature (Oxford Companions)’, Dinah Birch


AQA English Literature B AS Second Edition (Aqa As Level)’,  Adrian Beard and Alan Kent


The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Comedy (Cambridge Companions to Literature)’, Alexander Leggatt


Comedy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)’, Matthew Bevis


The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories’, Christopher Booker


Modern Criticism and Theory’, Prof David Lodge and Dr Nigel Wood


The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (Oxford Paperback Reference)’, Chris Baldick


Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings)’,Peter Barry


York Notes Companions Gothic Literature’, Dr Susan Chaplin


The Art of Fiction’, David Lodge



140 of the best literary works to prepare you for University!

Beowulf :  Seamus Heaney’s translation (Faber) is currently the most popular translation

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (ThRiverside Chaucer edition)

Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy (Penguin)

Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron (Penguin)

Francesco Petrarch, Canzoniere (Carcanet)

English Religious Lyrics. (Norton)

Medieval English Lyrics (Faber)    

Sir Thomas Wyatt, Poems (Norton)

Edmund Spenser, Amoretti (Norton)

Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophel & Stella (Norton)

Everyman (New Mermaid)

Christopher Marlowe, Dr Faustus (Norton)

William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus (Oxford)

William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (Oxford)

William Shakespeare, Richard III (Penguin)

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (Penguin)

William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Penguin)

Thomas More, Utopia (Norton)

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (Penguin)

John Donne, Poems (Penguin)

William Shakespeare, King Lear (Penguin)

William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Arden)      

John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (Norton)

Cyril Tourneur, The Revenger’s Tragedy (Penguin)

Ben Jonson, Volpone (Norton)

Robert Herrick, Poems (Norton)

George Herbert, Poems (Norton)

John Milton, Paradise Lost (Penguin)

John Milton, Samson Agonistes (Longman)

Andrew Marvell, Poems (Norton)

William Wycherley, The Country Wife (New Mermaid)

John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress (Penguin)

John Dryden, Poems (Norton)

Samuel Pepys, Diary (Norton)

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin)

Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal (Norton)

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (Norton)

Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (Penguin)

Lawrence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey (Penguin)

Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (Penguin)

James Boswell, London Journal (McGraw-Hill)

Samuel Johnson, Rasselas (Norton)

Daniel Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year (Norton)

Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock (Norton)

Alexander Pope, The Essay on Man (Norton)

Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno (Norton)

James Thomson, The Seasons (Norton)

Thomas Gray, Poems (Norton)

Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (Norton)

Richard Sheridan, The School for Scandal (New Mermaid)

Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility (Oxford)

Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice (Oxford)

Jane Austen, Emma (Oxford)

Jane Austen, Persuasion (Oxford)

William Wordsworth, Poems (Penguin)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Poems (Norton)

John Keats, Poems (Norton)

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Poems (Norton)

William Blake, Poems (Oxford)

Robert Burns, Poems (Penguin)

Thomas De Quincy, Confessions of An English Opium Eater (Penguin)

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Penguin)

Alfred Tennyson, Poems (Everyman)  

Robert Browning, Poems (Everyman)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets (Norton)

Christina Rossetti, Poems (Norton)

Edgar Allan Poe, Poems (Penguin)

Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (Penguin)

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (Penguin)

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (Penguin)

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Penguin)

Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers (Penguin)

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (Penguin)

George Eliot, Middlemarch (Penguin)

George Eliot, Silas Marner (Penguin)

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (Penguin)

Ivan Turgenev, Spring Torrents (Penguin)

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime & Punishment (Penguin)

Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Penguin)

Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (Penguin)

Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge (Penguin)

Henry James, What Maisie Knew (Penguin)

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (Penguin)

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House (Oxford)

August Strindberg, The Father (Penguin)

James Joyce, Dubliners (Penguin)

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin)

D.H. Lawrence, Sons & Lovers (Penguin)

E.M. Forster, A Passage to India (Penguin)

E.M. Forster, A Room With A View (Penguin)

E.M Forster The Machine Stops (Penguin)

James Joyce, Ulysses (Penguin)

T.S. Eliot, Poems (Faber)

Ezra Pound, Poems (Faber)

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (Penguin)

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (Penguin)

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Penguin)

W.B. Yeats, Poems (Norton)

Wilfred Owen, Poems (Norton)

Robert Graves, Goodbye To All That (Penguin)

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (Penguin)

Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin (Vintage)

Graham Greene, Brighton Rock (Penguin)

W.H. Auden, Poems (Faber)

Louis MacNeice, Poems (Faber)

Keith Douglas, Poems (Oxford)

George Orwell, 1984 (Penguin)

George Orwell, Animal Farm (Penguin)

Hermann Hesse, Strange News from Another Star (Penguin)

Primo Levi, If This Is A Man (Abacus)

John Osborne, Look Back in Anger (Faber)

Arthur Miller, The Crucible (Penguin)

Arthur Miller, All My Sons (Penguin)

Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire  (Penguin)

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (Faber)

Harold Pinter, The Caretaker (Methuen)

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (Penguin)

William Golding, Lord of the Flies (Faber)

William Golding, The Spire (Penguin)

Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim (Penguin)

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (Penguin)

Brian Moore, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (Panther)

Philip Larkin, Poems (Faber)

John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Vintage)

Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (Faber)

John Updike, Rabbit Omnibus (Penguin)

Joe Orton, Loot (Methuen)

Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea (Penguin)

Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (Picador)

Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast (Penguin)

Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera (Penguin)

Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (Picador)  

Isabel Allende, The Stories of Eva Luna (Penguin)

Brian Friel, Translations (Faber)

Philip Roth, The Human Stain (Vintage)

Seamus Heaney, Poems (Faber)

Ted Hughes, Poems (Faber)

R.S. Thomas, Poems (Bloodaxe)

Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities (Picador)

Martin Amis, London Fields (Picador)

Graham Swift, Waterland, Last Orders (Picador)

Author Daniel Blythe Reveals the Writing Behind Doctor Who

Daniel Blythe 1

Daniel Blythe, author of the best-selling Doctor Who book ‘Autonomy’ and the recently released novel ‘Shadow Runners’ (aimed at children aged 11+), visited our school this term to work with Year 7 pupils.

All Year 7 were given the opportunity to listen to Daniel talk about his journey as an author, his passion for all things Doctor Who and his love of writing. They then had an opportunity to ask him questions – and quiz him they did: testing his knowledge of Doctor Who and tapping into his expertise as a writer. Many were fascinated by the process of getting a book to print and, over the course of the day, they interrogated him relentlessly about book deals, publishers and money.

In the afternoon, Daniel led two writing workshops for pupils, giving one group an insight into the formation of convincing characters and the other a lesson in how to create an engaging opening – sharing with them top tips for success, including the importance of a focused perspective. Samples of the pupils’ work will soon be showcased on our English blog:

Our Year 7 were an impeccable audience in the morning and the pupils chosen for the workshops demonstrated their skills as writers superbly. All were a real credit to the school.

Our Doctor Who novels in the library have since leapt of the shelves, surely proving that Daniel Blythe that day succeeded in inspiring a generation of readers who have an eye to becoming writers themselves.

Mrs Collins

Daniel Blythe 2

Daniel Blythe 3

Huntington English & Media – ‘Making the Learning Visible’

In September of 2012, Wilberforce block at Huntington School, housing the English and Media classrooms, was redesigned. We didn’t have a glossy new building, but money was invested in giving the classrooms a new lick of paint, de-cluttering the classrooms and storage spaces and significantly enhancing the technology provision, including a set of twenty-four iPads and a wireless infrastructure, for the newly branded English and Media Faculty – HuntingtonEMF.

There was a great deal of thinking that went into the building redesign. At the centre of all our thinking was how to improve pedagogy. We reviewed what were the best tools to enhance our pedagogy, eliminating any distractions from the core business of learning in the classroom – such as clutter and unnecessary furniture. Some core principles of how we work as a department was central to our design. We have a system whereat each classroom  has six group tables to enable better collaborative learning. It also allows for real consistency of seating when classes and teachers use different classrooms. It is something we have developed over a few years and is integral to our approach to teaching and learning.



Another key aspect of the redesign was to make a simple addition of multiple whiteboards on the classrroom walls to allow for greater flexibility in using the walls for different teaching and learning strategies. The concept of ‘making the learning visible’ emerged from the idea to improve how we use the classroom spaces, including the walls – not simply as wallpaper, but as something more active. We had the idea for using multiple whiteboards to allow for more flexibility; for example, guided writing; or to allow for writing lesson objectives, key words and ideas that could be used throughout the lesson up on the different boards, whilst allowing for the projector and the ‘main whiteboard’ to be free and clear at all times. We also had the idea to subtlety de-centre the classroom – again linking back to the use of group tables – to move away from the fixedness of facing the ‘front’, and to encourage us as teachers to use the whole classroom space more actively. It also has had attendant benefit in allowing for ‘competitive writing’ between the different whiteboards; drawing contrasts between the ideas on the different boards etc. These ideas and teaching strategies are still developing and we have embedded sharing our ideas and pedagogy into our coaching programme to ensure we can all develop using the simple new tools.

Main Whiteboard

Extra whiteboards

Another integral aspect of the classroom design was embrace the best of technology as a tool to enhance learning. After undertaking a great deal of research, we invested in twenty-four iPads – giving us the best tools on the market – allowing us to continue to be flexible with our teaching by using these mobile devices. We undertook our research and formed our own clear focus for using the tools. Our research document (with suggested apps):

iPads at Huntington School

English & Media Faculty iPad Project.apps to buy

To further embed the concept of ‘making the learning visible’, we invested in Apple TVs and our Head supported us by invested in a robust wireless system (crucial in supporting tablet devices for truly ‘visible learning’). This has allowed us to ‘mirror’ student work through the iPads directly to the projector instantly – a truly powerful tool for learning. With many of the EMF owning their own iPads (and with an investment in two faculty iPads), we have been able to embed the iPad as a ‘visualiser’ amongst many other things, to show examples of students work, such as: iMovie, ExplainEverything presentations, or images of students prep book work, immediately through Apple TV to the projector. Plenaries that involve sharing the work from the lessons have been taken to another level, with students taking even more pride in their work knowing it could appear projected at any moment.

Some of our iPads with their sturdy tyre-style covers:

With the new design changes and the new technology we are busy learning every day, whilst keeping focused on the core business of great teaching and learning. In many ways, there has been an enhanced sense of pride in our English and Media lessons, from students and hopefully teachers alike, and we have shown a willingness to try to keep getting better. More exciting times are surely ahead!