Confidence in reading and writing, speaking and listening is built through varied and stimulating activities designed to give children a passion for using language. Writers of the Week are regularly celebrated in assemblies.
Every child from Years 3 - 6 takes part in the BBC 500 Words Story Competition each year and we simultaneously run our own in-house competition. Free rein is given to the children, and they are encouraged to write about their own interests, explore their deepest imaginations and journey through their own wonderful ideas. Winners, runners up and highly commended awards are given in each year group. These pupils are then recognised in assemblies, with the winning stories being read out to the whole Prep School. It is a wonderful competition which celebrates creativity and imagination, and an event that the children and teachers look forward to.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.— Dr. Seuss, 'I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!'
Children’s imaginations are developed and we extend their skills in comprehension, grammar and creative writing; the National Curriculum objectives are followed to ensure that the basics are covered; however, our independence allows us to let children go much further in:
Speaking and Listening – group discussions, presenting work, drama.
Reading – strategies, reading to understand text, reading for information, appreciation of a range of different literature.
Writing – composition, planning and drafting, punctuation, spelling, presentation, spelling and grammar rules and language structure. Understanding features of different styles of writing.
Beloved children’s author Jacqueline Wilson came to spend the morning with us a few months ago as one of our Year 4 pupils had entered a writing competition, and her super story ‘The Secret’ had won! The incredible prize was for Jacky to visit school, speak in assembly and to be interviewed by our Year 4 winning writer and four of her pals! Author visits are a regular feature of the Berky calendar, often to coincide with World Book Day.
We enjoy celebrating World Book Day, Shakespeare Week and Poetry Week, and encourage our pupils to love literature from the very start of their education here.
Children from the youngest age can find a quiet space to sit and enjoy a book. This habit starts in our Kindergarten and continues through the Prep Department, where daily reading for pleasure is encouraged.
During lessons, we use set texts to help develop children’s understanding of different literature, as well as using them to inspire and develop written work. Selected books are wide ranging, they extend the children’s interests as well as introducing them to new genres.
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”— Stephen King