English lessons at St Edward’s harness the talent of each and every boy. We feed these talents by playing with words, reading for pleasure and being adept in grammar and punctuation. In short, English lessons, here, are empowering!
In the Pre-prep the initial focus is to encourage an enjoyment of sounds, learning how to match letters with those sounds. The joy I have witnessed when a boy recognises a sound and matches the letter is quite something to behold! With this knowledge comes the confidence to ‘word build’, and begin to recognise patterns of letters as words. With constant support and encouragement from the adults and children around them, reading becomes something to inspire new ideas and learn new things about the world in which we live. After that, the boys are flying high and books become an adventure of epic proportions! The boys discover pirates, dragons, machines and stories, peeling off each enjoyable experience and building on these skills all the time.
Alongside these visual and aural skills comes the knowledge that they can commit these letters to paper and create words and stories themselves. From simple sentences packed with meaning in Reception, through extended sentences using punctuation in Year 1 and, in Year 2, adding further layers of writing using the mechanics of description, the stories become expanded and more adventurous. Then watch out! The imagination runs riot and soon we have some exciting, if sometimes exacting, magic adventures to read. By the time the boys leave Pre-Prep they are articulate, enthusiastic, inspired storymakers!