English Department

Miss Amy Cooper, BA, MA
Head of English      



Mr Samuel Levien, MA
Second in English


Ms Lauren Austen, BA, MA
Teacher of English and Drama
Head of Second Year 


Mr Matthew Bulmer, BA
Director of Performing Arts
Head of Drama
Teacher of English

Mr Bulmer came to Brentwood as Director of Performing Arts having led the Drama departments in two large independent schools in London. His teaching experience has been exclusively in the independent sector where he has developed curricula and an approach to live performance that encompasses the nature of independent schools. It is his belief that an independent education should encourage all students to seize every opportunity offered to them and, once mastered, go looking for more. It is the then the school’s job to provide those opportunities. Indeed, an independent school that is not looking to move forward year on year, term on term, needs to drastically consider its modus operandi. 

Mr Bulmer's time at Cambridge University dramatically furthered a passion for Literature and Theatre that was planted and nurtured in his own school days somewhere in the vast rural splendour of North Yorkshire. It is his dream that all students can enjoy and feel inspired by Literature and live performance just as he was. 

Mr Bulmer continues to balance teaching with work in the industry with a professional production of Twelfth Night to be staged in January 2015 in London. Other recent work includes two shows that were nominated for the Edinburgh Fosters Award, a 120-student production of Sweeney Todd, two school productions that played at the Edinburgh Fringe, one an adaptation of Junk, by Melvin Burgess and a European tour of Hamlet. He has worked as an actor, director, producer and theatre company manager all across the country over the past decade. 


Mrs Mary Callender, MA
Teacher of English

Mrs Callender's appetite for literature is wide ranging and far reaching and consequently she struggles to pinpoint a particular aspect as being her favourite.  She does however have a soft spot for Thomas Hardy and considers him a much undervalued poet as well as an inspiring novelist. Her enthusiasm and excitement for her subject frequently spills into her lessons.


Miss Michelle Choate, BA, MA, AMTLA
Head of Dance
Director of Wellbeing
Teacher of English 

Miss Michelle Choate is the Director of Wellbeing, as well Head of Dance and a teacher of English at Brentwood School. She has a BA (Hons) degree in Dance and Culture from the University of Surrey and a Master’s degree in Dance Studies from Roehampton University. Miss Choate joined Brentwood School in 2015, having arrived from working at Gable Hall School, where she worked as a Head of Year. In addition to her duties, she has led numerous trips to South Africa, Paris and New York, as well as directed a number of performances and productions in school and professional theatres, including Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, and Disneyland Paris.
Miss Choate comes to Brentwood having worked at prestigious arts institutions, including the Royal Academy of Dance and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. More recently, one of her papers was also published in the educational dance magazine; Dance Matters.
Miss Choate is also an AQA GCSE Dance Moderator and an Associate Member of the Teaching and Learning Academy.


Ms Kerri Corcoran, BA, MA
Teacher of English 


Mr Rob Higgins, BA, MA
Teacher of English
Director of Sixth Form and IB


Mr Ryan Irvine, BA
Teacher of English

Mr Irvine was raised on the works of Lewis and Tolkein and his guilty pleasure has been fantasy and science fiction literature ever since. He thoroughly recommends the haunting My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgewick and the epic Belgariad series by David Eddings. Currently in the middle of an experiment to write a novel in a year, Mr Irvine values creativity and a deep enjoyment of literature of all types. He believes that there is a surpassing value in literature to reveal truth where reality sometimes fails to do so.


Miss Ania Kwolek, BA, MA, UGDip
Teacher of English


Mrs Philippa Moriss-Jeffery, BA
Teacher of English

Mrs Moriss-Jeffery has a passion for feminist literature, and specialised in the Girl in the Book. She enjoys poring over the pages of Little Women, The Mill on the Floss, Alice in Wonderland and Atonement, and exploring the world of the female protagonists. When she is not reading Mrs Moriss-Jeffery can be found on the netball courts or singing – hopefully not both at the same time. 


Mrs Tracy Oldland, BA
Teacher of English


Mrs Katie Pike, BA, MA
Teacher of English
Head of Careers and University Admissions


Mrs Alexandra Roberts, BA
Teacher of English
Head of Sixth Form (L6) 


Miss Freya Spriggs, MA
Teacher of English


Mr Steven Taylor, LLB, PGD
Teacher of English
Hough Housemaster

Mr Taylor has a keen interest in Gothic fiction old and new, in particular the vampire genre. This grew out of a love of old Universal and Hammer horror films which he still watches. He loves Chaucer and thinks that Christopher Marlowe is a better playwright than Shakespeare. Alan Bennett, David Sedaris and Dylan Thomas also feature heavily among his favourite writers. Mr Taylor has a passion for musical theatre, too.