At King's Hall, we recognise that literacy is fundamental to maximizing pupil achievement and, as such, pupils are taught to express themselves correctly and appropriately, and to read accurately.

To facilitate each child's learning we use a phonic approach to teach reading, writing and spelling. Telling stories gives our Pre-Prep pupils the opportunity to think for themselves and use language to convey their thoughts, as well as listening to each other and the teacher. A focus on storytelling, acting out favourite stories and adapting well-known tales, all help provide a firm foundation for this. All of this leads pupils into the Prep years of school, where they develop these skills constantly through to the age of 13.

The philosophy of the English department is, 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful' (William Morris). As such, in addition to emphasising the importance of language skills (spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting) the English department seeks to develop an active and creative learning environment. The curriculum, from the earliest stage in the Pre-Prep to preparation for Common Entrance and Scholarship in the Prep, is formulated as a spiral to ensure a more developed, profound and integrated approach to learning. It is kept vibrant and meaningful through the introduction of new texts, ICT, cross-curricular activities and trips, drama and theatre trips. Further, the curriculum is invigorated through creative activities such as the shadowing of the Carnegie Book Prize, entry into writing competitions, and all the activities included in our annual celebrations of National Poetry day and The King's Hall Literature Festival.

The King's Hall Literature Festival in particular, is an opportunity for our pupils to extend the horizons of their creative imaginations through a wide range of workshops, projects and experiences. During the week, pupils throughout the school meet storytellers, authors and poets, and are able to participate in a range of storytelling, poetry and creative writing workshops. Each year, fantasy becomes reality, as children and staff in both the Prep and Pre-Prep dress up as their favourite fictional character, with each Year group taking a different genre as its theme.

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