English Language and Literature
‘If you want children to be intelligent, tell them fairytales. If you want them to be more intelligent, tell them more fairytales.’ Albert Einstein
At first a focus on storytelling together with recitation of poems and songs, all carefully selected for their rhythmic sounds and rich vocabulary, leads to a love of language. Well crafted stories are recited from memory by the teachers – this engages children’s interest and stimulates their imaginations to create their own images for the words they hear, it also provides them with an early feeling for punctuation and sentence structure. This oral approach provides a firm foundation from which good reading and writing may naturally follow.
In the early years the emphasis is on fairytales, nature and folktales in order to delight & fuel the imagination. As children grow these are exchanged for fables, Celtic tales and Norse legends. Through these stories the children come to a personal feeling for the secrets of nature and the laws of life. From Class 5 children will be reading and listening to literature from the many differing civilisations of the world throughout history. This will include material from ancient eastern cultures (Hindu legends, the Sumerian legends of Gilgamesh, Egyptian & Greek mythology), Roman & Medieval history, stories from the Age of Discovery & the Renaissance. By Class 8 they read materials such as Dickens, Hardy, non-fiction works of Darwin, Chief Seattle’s Speech and the speeches of Martin Luther King.