Whether you are a voracious reader, an aspiring writer, a debater, a public speaker, a theatre-goer or just someone who loves the subject, the English Department provides many avenues for you to explore.
THE ARNOLD POETRY PRIZE
This is an annual competition which aims to encourage aspiring poets. Entries in response to a given theme will be welcomed by all Sixth Form students.
BBC 500 WORDS WRITING COMPETITION
Year 7 and Year 8 students may choose to enter the BBC’s 500 Word short story competition. We have enjoyed success in promoting pupils through the rounds in this prestigious contest for budding wordsmiths!
BERKHAMSTED CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITIONS
There are two major creative writing competitions (Years 7-9 and Years 10-11) where students are encouraged to compose an imaginative response of around 500 words on a given theme.
A wider reading opportunity for all Year 7 students. Challenge yourself to read a group of texts, from classic novels and prized adventures. Write a review sharing your thoughts about the narrative. Complete a ‘street’ and earn your prize – complete 34 books across the categories and you shall earn your place in Berkhamsted Library’s Hall of Fame.
ENGLISH AND MEDIA CENTRE PROSE COMPETITION
A Level students enter this national competition which requires a student to write a critical commentary on an excerpt of prose.
ENRICHMENT READING SOCIETIES
The English Department hosts a junior reading group in the Monday’s Clubs and Societies programme. For those in Years 10-13, after school sessions are led by students who elect to share thoughts about their favourite writers, movements or aspects of narrative.
Earn house points in the Senior School Handwriting Competition.
THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE PANEL
This panel is formed by Year 10 students who champion one of the Man Booker Prize nominations.
THE OLD BERKHAMSTEDIANS’ READING COMPETITION
All students in Years 7 to 11 are encouraged to enter this annual public reading competition. The best reader from each class moves forward to the semi-final. Reading with understanding is essential, as are poise, confidence and clear diction. Simply choose a piece of prose or a favourite poem and practise reading aloud. In the Sixth Form, five students from each A Level class enter this public reading competition. Although you enter as a team, individual prizes are also available for the best male and the best female reader – again with prizes to be presented on Prize Day.
Run by Peterhouse College, Cambridge, The Thomas Campion Prize is a prestigious annual competition which requires applicants to research and write an extended essay on an aspect of literature. Over the past few years, several of our students have gone on to study at Oxford or Cambridge, having impressed the judges with their submissions for this award. In addition, students enter the Woolf Essay Prize (Newnham, Cambridge) and the Christopher Marlowe Essay Prize (Corpus Christi, Cambridge).
THEATRE TRIPS / FILM SCREENINGS
Often these will be organised to give you the chance to see the production of a text you have been studying or a similar one to enhance your appreciation of a genre.