English is taught as a discrete subject from Form I (Year 4) and the boys are taught by a specialist English teacher throughout. We recognise that English is both an important subject in its own right as well as literacy being a key tool for accessing all other subjects. We therefore ensure that there is a balance between the teaching of literacy and literature.
Most of the boys sit either the ISEB Common Entrance Exam or individual school entrance papers, so we cover all aspects of these exams, but the curriculum is enriched and extended to challenge and interest the boys beyond mere exam preparation. We cover a wide range of disciplines including: creative writing, poetry, historical and contemporary fiction, non-fiction, dictation, spelling, grammar and drama. We aim to develop in each child a real enjoyment of reading and a love of writing creatively.
As a small school, all teaching is in mixed ability groups. The boys receive a huge amount of individual attention, however, and we pride ourselves on the individual feedback we are able to give. Another benefit of the small class size is that we are able to teach in a variety of styles: children work independently, in pairs, or in small groups with an adult, depending upon the task or their ability. We endeavour to tailor the curriculum to each child’s needs, thus enabling him to reach his potential.
We have a well-stocked, comfortable library with both a large table for working and a cosy area with sofas and bean bags for relaxing with a book. The boys are free to use the library at any time and they are encouraged always to have a reading book.