English

Overview

The English Department at King’s House School aims to provide a varied, stimulating and engaging scheme of work, which will help all pupils to fulfil their potential.

We help pupils develop an understanding of how language works through an understanding of, among other things, parts of speech, grammar, punctuation, and literary devices such as metaphor simile and tone.

We encourage pupils to develop powers of self-expression and to produce authentic writing, which reflects what they feel and experience. We give pupils the basic building blocks to enable them to develop an understanding of Standard English, along with how to write appropriately for different audiences.

We help pupils experience a wide range of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry and encourage them to be open-minded and to accept literature on its own terms. We encourage pupils to be confident in their own responses to literature, and motivate them to base those judgements on an understanding of what the writer was trying to do.

We recognize that every pupil is an individual and we aim to help each one to fulfill their potential, to improve in those areas that are weak and to excel in areas of strength. We strive to give pupils the tools to write well and to express themselves authentically. Pupils are given the opportunity to write in a range of formats and encouraged to write with feeling and imagination.

We help pupils to develop as confident speakers and they are encouraged to speak in class, both to the teacher and to fellow pupils. We foster an atmosphere in which each pupil feels that his opinion is valued and listened to courteously. We also encourage pupils to offer rigorous constructive criticism so that they become used to justifying and supporting opinions with coherent argument.

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English encompasses all aspects of learning. It covers basic literacy skills, including spelling and punctuation. These are taught formally throughout the school. Basic sentence structures and grammar are taught formally, extending to more complicated grammatical concepts higher up the school.

English involves looking at a range of written texts, from novels and poems to non-fiction of all kinds. Children are given opportunities to read a wide range of texts and to respond to them, orally, in writing, individually and in groups.

The study of English involves the use of logic, rational thinking, deduction and inference.

The study of English also involves aesthetic responses and pupils are encouraged to derive pleasure from a variety of writing, for example, rhyme, rhythm and alliteration.

Pupils are given opportunities to enjoy English and to develop aesthetically. For example, they can enjoy theatre trips, poems, short stories, without necessarily having to do ‘work’ connected to this.
Speaking and listening are essential aspects of English and pupils are always encouraged to be good and active listeners, as well as confident speakers.

Skills and habits developed and learned at school can have lifelong effects, for example, a love of learning, and an understanding of grammar. We encourage pupils to read widely and to derive pleasure from reading. A wide range of strategies is employed to foster a love of literature.
The study of English can help pupils to develop creativity. Throughout the school, pupils are given opportunities to think, speak and write creatively in a range of formats.

The teachers in the department aim to:

• ensure that all pupils develop key literacy skills
• build a love of learning
• foster a love of reading and literature
• help each pupil to fulfil his potential to the maximum
• produce schemes of work that are challenging, varied, enjoyable and suited to the needs of all the pupils and;
• share a selection of literature from a variety of authors and genres.