- Junior english and drama
English & Drama
We are delighted to have been recognised with the ‘Artsmark Gold’ award by the Arts Council for our “excellence in arts and cultural provision.” Click here for more information on Artsmark.
English is delivered as an exciting integrated programme of speaking, listening, reading and writing activities, following the school’s scheme of work. This is based on the Framework for Learning and The National Literacy Strategy. As a subject that underpins the curriculum, many skills are practised in other subject areas, Humanities, in particular.
We aim to produce confident, articulate communicators and thoughtful, attentive listeners, able to respond constructively and sensitively to others. To this end, speaking continues to be an important part of the curriculum, with opportunities for individual, paired and group discussion as well as whole class activities. Discussion is valued as a means for preparing girls in their writing, allowing them to think through their ideas, before they begin writing.
Girls experience a variety of writing, and the focus is on the development of reading and comprehension. Both enable the girls to appreciate and evaluate a variety of written materials. Pupils are taught formal comprehension skills, as well as the ability to be critical readers.
Grammar and punctuation work continue to be taught systematically. In addition there is a structured scheme for spelling.
Shared class reading and guided reading continues to be wide and varied in form and content, including non-fiction, fiction, poetry and play texts.
Reading for pleasure is encouraged, with girls borrowing books from the school library which keeps a large stock of classic and contemporary fiction. Additionally, girls are permitted to borrow books from their class libraries. Girls in Year 6 are able to borrow books from the Senior School library. There is an annual Book Week in the Spring term, with activities to enthuse the girls in their reading.
Pupils are given opportunities to write in a variety of styles and are taught to think about the purpose and audience of each piece of writing. They also learn that they must employ a style and layout appropriate for the task. Girls are encouraged to aim for excellence and to be self-critical through the effective use of planning, drafting and editing techniques. Pupils are taught to take pride in the appearance of their work and a cursive handwriting scheme is followed, to encourage fluent, neat work.
Drama is an exciting and popular part of the curriculum allowing all pupils to shine. We are very proud of the girls who audition successfully for West End Shows, putting to good use the skills they have learned. In school there are three main productions every year: the Nursery, Reception and Year 1 Nativity play, a Year 3 and 4 production at the end of the spring term, and a Year 5 and 6 musical show at the end of the summer term. All these productions bring together the girls’ love of singing, dancing and drama, and in the newly refurbished theatre, the technical wizardry now helps with those special effects. As well as these large events there are also opportunities for classes to demonstrate their acting skills to parents and friends in a more informal setting.
Visiting playwrights and actors are welcomed regularly into the classroom to run workshops and the girls are taken on theatre trips.