We believe that the study of English, often integrated with drama skills, should develop pupils’ abilities to communicate effectively and expressively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding. It should also enable them to be enthusiastic, reflective and knowledgeable readers and communicators.
At West Hill Park, we believe that English should be engaging, collaborative and creative. We are constantly adapting and enhancing our practice to ensure we are committed to this objective. Our hooks for engaging with the pupils are exciting and ambitious texts which form the basis for our work. We pursue inclusive goals which are designed to facilitate the learning of pupils of all abilities. This includes providing additional support for those who need it as well as creating opportunities to stretch and challenge more academic candidates. Our programme of study combines a variety of innovative and stimulating activities with the fundamental disciplines of spelling and grammar. Our class and set sizes are ideal for English work: small enough to permit individual attention, yet large enough to provide stimulating discussions or group activity. Sometimes these sets are combined for certain activities such as drama or project work. By the time they leave West Hill Park, all pupils will have studied at least one Shakespeare play in detail and have knowledge of one or two more. They will also have learnt and recited several poems and presented talks or speeches to the rest of their group.
Speaking or reading in public or presenting work orally in class demands self-confidence and we place great emphasis at West Hill Park on developing this valuable skill. Pupils will be asked to give a talk about a book they have read, or a topic they have researched, or to collaborate on a first draft of a piece of creative writing before proceeding to a second draft. Senior pupils are asked to present the readings or lessons at our various chapel services and we have helped the leaders of tomorrow develop debating skills at Model UN conferences.