All our English teachers are highly passionate and work diligently to make lessons creative and engaging.
English is taught through literature. The school does not use abridged or simplified texts for this purpose, but rather through books appropriate for the age and ability of each individual pupil. Emphasis is placed on regular writing; and imaginative, descriptive and reported genres are introduced. Spelling and grammar rules are taught and practised regularly. Higher up the school, a love of language is fostered through open-ended investigations into the origin of, and relationship between, words. In years 5 and 6, the girls are taught by the head of English, allowing for a consistent approach in the preparation for 11+ exams.
In KS1, the girls read one to one with an adult every day, allowing them to foster a love of reading, as well as a confidence with texts, from the moment they join the school. For the past two years, we have been training our year 6 pupils to enable them to read with the younger girls once a week. We are also very fortunate to be visited by our school reading dog, Becca, who has proved immensely popular with pupils and staff alike!
Our school library contains a huge range of exciting literature, and we are lucky to have a school librarian, Mrs Spreag, whose knowledge of books knows no bounds. The younger pupils have a timetabled library slot each week, and in KS2, girls may visit the library during break and lunchtimes, which proves extremely popular.
Secondary Education and Beyond
At St Christopher’s, we pride ourselves on the flexibility and creativity of our curriculum, and our ability to incorporate topics about which the girls feel passionately into our teaching. As such, we do not ‘teach to the test’. However, the girls are thoroughly equipped to sit various 11+ exams, being exposed to the full range of skills required from a young age. In the Autumn term of year 6, a more rigorous programme of mock tests and exposure to past papers ensure that they feel amply prepared for a different range of exams.
Post January, the girls in year 6 embark on various projects, which allow them to foster their independence and to study texts in greater detail. The girls spend the summer term studying a Shakespearean play in depth, which is both stimulating and invaluable preparation for secondary school.
At St Christopher’s, we aim to foster a love of learning both inside and outside the classroom. Whole school celebrations such as National Poetry Day or World Book Day allow the girls to come together as a community and get enthused about all things English. In the past, we have run very successful poetry slams, exciting school-wide competitions, and have had visits from a plethora of award-winning authors, including Teri Terry, Holly Smale and Caroline Lawrence.