The Arnold House English Department is responsible for the teaching of English Language and English Literature. In Years 1 to 4 English is mostly delivered by the class teacher and from Year 5 onwards it is taught by subject specialists. Pupils are prepared either for Common Entrance or scholarship to senior schools.

The broad aims of the department are:

  • To develop a love of reading, introducing students to a wide range of fiction and non–fiction, both contemporary and classics
  • To encourage the emotional and spiritual development of students through reading, reflection, thinking, debate, writing, research and drama
  • To encourage critical thinking about both the written word and other media
  • To develop students' imagination through a range of creative writing exercises
  • To encourage the use of the computer as a tool for research
  • To enable students to write accurately and stylishly, in a range of forms, for a range of purposes
  • To foster the habit of regular independent reading
  • To enable students to express themselves orally with confidence

The heart of the English curriculum lies in reading real books. We focus on the class reader as the fundamental tool for looking at language. These readers vary from “Diary of the Killer Cat” to “Macbeth” (currently studied by Y8 as preparation for sitting their Common Entrance examination). The work that is done in English is complemented by regular library lessons in which the boys browse and choose books as well as being recommended books that are suitable for their ability.