Hereward House’s mission is to prepare boys, ‘not just for senior school, but for life’, and English skills are central to this objective. Confident control and creative use of written and spoken English is essential for success, and supports effective learning in other key subject areas. Consequently, English at Hereward House is led and delivered by specialists, who are committed to instilling a love of reading, an appreciation of literature and the freedom of self-expression in every child. The English team uses an holistic and supportive approach, which utilises a blend of traditional and up-to-date pedagogical methods. Our aim is for your children to develop independence in the written and spoken word, and the confidence to be creative with language, thereby enabling them to transfer these skills to any situation they may meet in life.

English teaching at Hereward House focuses on the importance of spelling, punctuation and grammar within all written genres and styles of writing. Your son will be able to explore all forms and styles of writing and develop his individual skills. Material studied covers a range of literary and non-literary texts, which mirror those in life and those set for external examination. Spelling ages are monitored using regular, moderated spelling tests.

Speaking and listening skills are valued equally at Hereward House, and boys are actively encouraged to practise and extend their spoken language, in a full range of contexts, from informal debate to prepared presentations. This is also hugely beneficial for interviews and day-to-day life.

Opportunities are routinely offered in class and in extra-curricular activities, which allow boys to question, explore and work collaboratively to challenge conventional ways of thinking. A wide variety of teaching methods are used to help the boys on this journey, including group discussions, debates, development of project work using technology, where appropriate. The boys are actively encouraged to present projects, deliver speeches and PowerPoint presentations to their peers, in order to build up confidence in public speaking.

Teaching methods are varied, and blend traditional approaches with individualised action planning, which takes into account the specific characteristics of each child, while acknowledging the importance of English and the need for the rigorous and effective control of language, including analytical skills for use in comprehension, and the development of original and creative forms of writing and speaking. Progress is assessed monitored closely through regular homework assignments twice a week.

Throughout the year, we run internal and external writing and speaking competitions to challenge and stimulate our young minds. We celebrate World Book Week and have had writers visiting the school, notably David Walliams, twice winner of The National Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year, and by dressing as famous characters from books. Classroom teaching and extra-curricular activities across the school aim to foster an enjoyment and love of books and literature, which the boys can take with them to enhance and enrich their lives.

Although senior boys are prepared rigorously for Common Entrance examinations and a number will be assisted with preparation for scholarship papers, our mission is to develop each boy as a whole, so that he is fully prepared for the demands he will face in senior schools and demonstrate skills and resilience in the face of the many and varied challenges, which will lay ahead of him.

Above all, our aim is for each boy here at Hereward House, to have a real love for the English language, to write and speak it with accuracy and confidence, and have a lifelong thirst for reading and literature. Working in partnership with parents, this will in turn, contribute to success, not only in English, but in all aspects of education and life.