We believe great English teaching should inspire a love of literature and language.
Reading allows children to dive into new worlds, discover people who are just like them and those who are different, helping nourish their empathy. Reading deepens children’s cultural capital and gives them access to rich vocabulary that they are unlikely to encounter elsewhere. It is the cornerstone of the English department, and for this reason we put carefully selected novels, poems and plays at the heart of our curriculum.
By weaving core skills into a thematic scheme of work that is centred around compelling literature, pupils are better able to see the relevance and purpose of their learning. This approach also offers them a different perspective on the world, viewing life through a different lens, which fosters an understanding of other people, cultures, and the past. Be it writing a letter to persuade the farmer to spare Wilbur’s life in Charlotte’s Web, or analysing Shakespeare’s use of metaphor in Romeo and Juliet, the right text can inspire, motivate, and harness huge potential.
In a rapidly changing landscape, the ability to communicate effectively has never been more important. Whether a child is sharing thoughts and feelings with a friend or form tutor, writing imaginatively, or delivering a persuasive speech to an audience of their peers at one of our public speaking events, we recognise the power of communication. Alongside a whole host of live events and competitions, we encourage our pupils to explore different ways of conveying their ideas. Podcasting, for example, allows them to distil their message into a broadcast that can help inform, entertain, or persuade. Enjoyment is key!
Of course, all of this is underpinned by an ethos of academic rigour, where scholarship candidates are further extended with carefully chosen resources. Ultimately, we aim to help our pupils become effective communicators – confident speakers and receptive listeners who are emboldened by a solid skillset that has been given shape and purpose by high quality literature.