English is a major cornerstone of learning and as such it plays a central role in the education offered by Barnardiston Hall School. Reading, writing, speaking and listening all play an important part in the curriculum and opportunities are provided for pupils to develop their skills in all four areas. An emphasis on the teaching of accurate spelling, grammar and reading underpins work done by all pupils from their very earliest days in the school and reading and spelling are assessed at the beginning and end of each school year. In addition older pupils take examinations in English once a year in Forms I and II and twice a year from Form III. We are always aware of the special needs of particular students at both ends of the learning spectrum and we aim to help all pupils, including those from overseas, to develop their abilities as confident language users through a range of activities and learning styles. Prep is used to support learning in the classroom.
The wider curriculum seeks to make children aware of many text types including poetry, play scripts and fiction of various genres such as myths and ledgends, mystery stories, classic stories and fiction based on texts being studied. It also covers areas of non-fiction such as media texts, travel writing, biography, balanced and biased arguments and reports of various types. Pupils are encouraged to write for a variety of real reasons in all subject areas and are also asked to contribute to school newsletters. We also enter pupils' writing for appropriate competitions. Recently our students have had poetry, stories and travel writing accepted for publication.
Spoken English plays an important role in the curriculum and students are given ample opportunity to use spoken skills to develop their confidence as users of English. All students from the youngest to the oldest also have the opportunity to take part in a drama production at least once during the school year and trips to the theatre are also encouraged.
We believe that being able to use the English language confidently is one of the most important life skills a child can aquire and our teaching is planned to ensure that all our pupils suceed in this vital area.