The fundamental aim of English teaching at Lockers Park is that ‘all pupils should be taught to express themselves clearly in both speech and writing and to develop their reading skills. They should be taught to use grammatically correct sentences and to spell and punctuate in order to communicate effectively in both written and spoken English’.
Teaching styles are dynamic and staff aim to inspire boys with varied poetry and literature including modern and classic fiction and non-fiction. The basics of written language are ever present within targets and classroom objectives and are reinforced as boys move up through the school. Regular and diverse competitions throughout the year cement learning in an expressive way; poetry recitals, short story and debating competitions, junior and senior plays, and ‘Any Questions’ (an all-school open forum) encourage boys to demonstrate their learning and ability in a stimulating yet relaxed confidence-boosting environment.
Ultimately, boys are examined at 13+ Common Entrance in poetry and literary prose, comprehension, creative writing, and writing for a purpose (persuasion, arguments, explanation, advice, informative, and writing about books). Our teaching aims reflect these writing standards and boys are assessed regularly to ensure that progress is being made in these development areas.
In the classroom high standards of effort, presentation and accuracy are encouraged; this is essential in a subject that requires a great deal of writing in response to a wide variety of textual stimuli across different media. It is not uncommon for boys to spend time in class reading novels and poetry (or extracts thereof), watching external acting companies in the school theatre or film adaptations, learning about irony via The Simpsons (!), listening to authors reading their work, or analysing poetry rhythm with the assistance of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.
It is extremely important that boys are provided with an atmosphere in which they want to question and to learn. At Lockers Park we are adept at massaging teaching styles to reflect this, and some of the Year 8 scholarship classes more closely resemble university-style tutor groups. From top to bottom, the Department aspires to provide variety and we work hard to introduce the boys to different styles and genres across classic and modern literature.
Learning Support and Differentiation
The English Department maintains extremely close links with the Learning Support Department and boys’ individual support plans are central to our diverse and differentiated teaching plans and the Heads of both Departments meet regularly to monitor the progress of individual boys.
To download a copy of our Suggested Reading List click the link below.