The English department seeks to nurture a passion for language, both written and spoken, recognising the power of the word to engage, inspire and uplift both the spirit and the mind.
As our young people develop through childhood and into their adult lives, they need to confidently take this creative and thought-provoking pathway. Pupils experience the choice and power of words as writers themselves and also through the study of literature and non-fiction. Through this, they come to know more about the world they live in and more about themselves as individuals. Our pupils are ready listeners who are easy to talk to and unselfconscious with adults.
Just as reading, writing, speaking and listening skills provide the cornerstones for the curriculum, the links between oracy and cognitive development are undeniable. Building from a foundation of encouragement, we aim to recognise every pupil as an individual and seek to diagnose and meet reading, writing and oracy needs accordingly. Using a variety of engaging texts, both classic and contemporary, pupils become increasingly analytical in their understanding. Their reading as individuals for pleasure is greatly valued and acknowledged and Ditcham definitely has a positive ethos in this respect. As writers, they are encouraged to feel a sense of value and purpose in their work, and are motivated towards increasing levels of accuracy and sophistication. In discussion, lucidity and self-confidence are valued.
Reading and writing skills are taught explicitly. There is an appropriate balance established between them and at all times, oracy provides support for this learning. Pupils are given time to plan, draft and proof-read their work and emphasis is placed on presentation.
We believe that:
‘Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention,
sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution’ (John Ruskin – 1819 – 1900)
Of many approaches and alternatives to education, this is the wisest choice.