The aim of the English Department is to ensure that our pupils learn to love reading and writing, communicate effectively, develop their own opinions positively and analyse literature imaginatively.

The Junior Department uses a very tight literacy scheme that solidifies and reinforces basic literacy skills. By the end of Year 4, the pupils will have read widely with class readers and individually at their own level using the Accelerated Reader and Oxford Reading Tree programmes. At this point, word study, spelling and grammar are approached in a fun and interactive style, helping the pupils to identify the complexities of English syntax whilst not being intimidated. Critical thinking, group work and personal reflection are gradually introduced to develop a well-rounded and communicative pupil who has been exposed to different genres and styles, through analysis and their own creation.

The Senior Department aims to help pupils read and write more independently. There is a greater stress on group discussion, debate, the formation of personal opinions and how to communicate them effectively. Pupils will explore, analyse and write a host of different genre and styles, both creatively and analytically. Drama activities are also used to help comprehension of a text and to improve the vocalisation of ideas within a group. The writer’s craft is approached more thoroughly and key terminology and vocabulary are expanded.

By Year 7, the essay writing process is honed in preparation for the Common Entrance Exam. Poetry and Prose extracts are studied in depth, whilst challenging class readers, including Shakespeare, are explored thematically as a source for the collection of evidence that can be used in analytical essays. Likewise, the pupils’ creative writing skills are developed further as they become more adept at using poetic technique and adding flare to their work.