The aim of the English team is to develop in all children an intellectual curiosity and well-developed critical capacity, alongside a love of all forms of written text and an enjoyment in using language for different purposes and audiences.
Our objective is to encourage children by doing rather than watching, by inspiring rather than by regulating and by setting high individual expectations of excellence. We reward them by recognising the value of co-operation, team-work and competition in achieving high standards, by praising children regularly in their achievements to increase self-confidence and motivation. Overall, our purpose is to challenge and to arouse critical thinking by offering a wide variety of relevant and appealing, child-friendly approaches to learning, whilst also promoting the practice of reflection.
Children study and enjoy novels, plays, short stories and non-fiction as a class each term. They are actively encouraged to participate in group work, to prepare talks, discuss issues and viewpoints discovered within texts. Every child is helped to develop their full potential in comprehension and expression, both written and oral. As importantly, all children learn how to listen carefully and considerately to the views of others. Much of this work is extended during 'drama' sessions.
Children are shown how to experiment with different styles of creative writing, ranging from personal experience, narrative, and description to letter writing and discursive material. Emphasis is placed on weekly testing of spelling and a regular review of common grammatical and punctuation issues which arise in children's own writing.
Each year group is provided with a stimulating reading list appropriate to its level and children are given a full induction in the use of the library. Regular library research and presentations (covering such areas as non-fiction, poetry, newspapers and current affairs) occur from Year 6 upwards and assists with public speaking and critical thinking skills.
Drama is incorporated within the English Schemes of Work, with opportunities for speaking and listening arising in at least one English lesson each week. Weekly LAMDA Drama lessons are also undertaken by a large number of children as part of the enrichment curriculum (after-school programme). In addition, Godstowe has a very good commitment to Drama, with a major termly production taking place each term. Many successful and colourful musical productions recently have included Oliver, Bugsy Malone and Mary Poppins. Periodic visits to professional theatre productions form part of the learning experience.