Language Skills

English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English teach our pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.

All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.

Attainment Levels

By the end of their Prep School education we aim for all our pupils to:

  • enjoy reading a wide range of materials fluently and with understanding and confidence
  • write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes, using spelling and grammatical knowledge accurately and confidently
  • use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work
  • listen to the spoken word attentively with understanding, pleasure and empathy
  • speak clearly and fluently adapting their speech to a range of circumstances and demands.



The Reception class follows the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum. English work is related to the objectives set out in the practice guidance working towards Early Learning Goals (ELG) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. All pupils are given the opportunity to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations, to respond to adults and to each other, to listen carefully, and to practise and extend their range of vocabulary and communication skills. They have the opportunity to explore, enjoy, learn about, and use words and text in a range of situations.


In Key Stage 1 (Years 1-2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) units of work have been adapted to meet the needs of the pupils. These units are structured to form a scheme of work for each year group with an appropriate balance of fiction and non-fiction work units.


The Development of Speaking and Listening is achieved by:

  • providing a range of opportunities for children to talk and listen in formal and informal settings
  • the use of drama and role play to explore imagined and real situations e.g. Class Assemblies, KS1 and KS2 annual productions and other informal productions when appropriate
  • regular lessons and story times when quality texts are shared by the teacher, an adult or the children
  • class discussion and debate on topical or contentious issues, both local and worldwide


The Development of Reading is achieved by:

  • providing a wide range of reading materials to encourage enthusiasm for reading
  • use of structured phonic and whole word reading schemes for all pupils until they are capable and confident when reading independently.
  • regular one to one support for all children who have not yet reached the stage of being able to read fluently and independently
  • a programme of phonics, word recognition and graphic, contextual and grammatical knowledge
  • independent, guided and shared reading
  • the use of the Infant Library and Learning Hub to support and widen children’s fictional reading and to encourage individual research of factual information
  • close liaison between school and parents, who are so important in supporting reading and sharing and discussing books with their children


The Development of Writing is achieved by:

  • providing work at word, sentence and text levels
  • providing a wide range of contexts for writing from a variety of cultures and genres
  • a progressive emphasis on the skills of planning, drafting, revising, proof-reading and presentation of work with the use of word-processing
  • paying increasing attention to grammar, spelling and legibility as children grow in confidence and ability
  • the provision for collaborative writing and evaluating each other’s work, as well as independent writing


The Development of Spelling is achieved by:

  • phonics, letter patterns and the rules of spelling being taught and learnt in a structured, progressive way with regular assessment of phonic patterns
  • regular learning and testing of spelling lists allocated according to ability encouraging the use of word banks, wordbooks, dictionaries and Spellmasters


The Development of Handwriting is achieved by:

  • pupils learning the joined cursive script
  • pupils having the opportunity to practise handwriting skills regularly