English lies at the heart of our academic curriculum: we work with every child to develop and encourage a genuine passion for the subject.


We strive to create confident, passionate, independent readers and writers who develop a unique narrative voice, individual perspective and discerning judgement. Pupils are encouraged to exercise their imagination and express themselves in all forms, including the written word, oral debate and visual media.

With the English department committed to exciting and enthusing all pupils using a variety of teaching techniques and environments, classrooms are well equipped with interactive whiteboards and a wide range of resources. We also make good use of the school’s IT suite and performing arts centre, and the wonderful outdoor spaces provided by our 100-acre grounds.

English Assessment

CAT, PiE tests and half-termly Rising Stars assessments ensure pupil progress is tracked and carefully monitored. Further up the school, practice Common Entrance and senior school exam papers are introduced to prepare each child for their future senior school.

English Curriculum and Teaching

We use a wide variety of texts to support and inspire, ranging from non-fiction diaries, biographies and travel writing to modern and traditional fiction and poetry; genres range from science fiction to travel, introducing our pupils to everything from persuasive articles to comic play scripts.

Literary analysis and creativity in language can only flourish after a strong grounding in grammar has been established; this is why improving spelling and punctuation lies at the heart of our curriculum.

The child’s form teacher teaches English in years 3 and 4. Subject specialists then teach pupils from Year 5 onwards, where the children are streamed into initially two and then three ability sets. Pupils receive a 50-minute lesson of English each day and the vast majority are deliberately timetabled in the morning. The breadth of the curriculum is covered, with grammar and punctuation, speaking and listening, spelling and handwriting, reading and writing skills all taught throughout the year.

English Department Staff

Richard Fulton Head of Department
Heidi Pedlar Year 3
Beth Cox Year 3
Jo Foster Year 4
Gail Nicholls Year 4
Annaliese Ashton Years 5, 6, 7, 8
Lesley-Ann Pidsley Years 5, 6, 7, 8


Our library is a beautiful room overlooking the school’s terrace and the Solent, with a computerised system allowing children independent and unrestricted use. We actively encourage all pupils to develop a lifelong love of reading and teach the skills required to research and manage information. Pupils have access to around 8,000 books: a mix of contemporary and classical fiction and up-to-date non-fiction. Our comfortable sofas, chairs and beanbags are usually occupied by children curled-up enjoying a good book.