The aims of the English Department are to develop within each boy the ability to think clearly and logically and to express these thoughts orally and in the written form. On leaving school he should be able to detect falsehood and manipulative techniques. He should be able to read fluently and to write creatively and for business and transactional purposes. He should have a grasp of style and of the basic rules and conventions of English grammar, spelling and punctuation.
To achieve these aims composition and editing skills are taught and assessed, oral competence is encouraged and reading programmes and introduced in all grades. In addition the boys are exposed to the literature of a number of traditions within the history of the English language, including the British tradition of poetry and fiction, and American and South African literature. There is a film study component which also includes analysis of TV presentation. Teaching methods include lecture-style classes, discussion (both free and structured around worksheets), group work, oral and role-play situations. As most classes are on lap-top programmes these methods make full use of modern computer technology allowing for internet research and web page development and presentation.
Other than work in the classrooms there are extra-mural activities which include planned lectures, debates and attendance at plays and cultural activities. Boys are encouraged to take part in dramatic productions; to participate in the English Olympiad; in interschool Literary, Debating and other society activity; and to contribute to literary magazines such as English Alive.