In teaching English we set out to enable our pupils to become effective communicators and to foster in them an appreciation of language that goes beyond the merely practical. The aim is to equip the children with the skills necessary to speak clearly and articulately, to write accurately and creatively and to explore ideas and feelings in their reading of prose and poetry.
Where possible we teach within themes or through literature, although we do ensure that proficiency in spelling , punctuation grammar and handwriting remains a priority throughout Junior School. IT is used a great deal and pupils often find the practice of typing , editing and then e-mailing their writing convenient and helpful, especially in Years 7 and 8.
Events such as our annual celebration of National Poetry Day together with poetry workshops and visits by authors help to keep the children’s enthusiasm for the subject high and talented pupils are always encouraged to enter competitions.
Pupils leaving Junior School at the end of Year 8 will normally have taken an exam with the English Speaking Board. This will have entailed ‘learning by heart’: a valuable skill and an undoubted resource for later life, and it will also have provided an opportunity to do some formal speaking. When they leave us it is hoped that pupils feel confident, first to access the entire Senior School curriculum, which will require a good standard of reading and writing, and secondly to start out on a wider exploration of the wonders of language in its different forms.