At The Downs Malvern, we believe that the study of English should develop children's abilities to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding. It should also enable them to become fluent, enthusiastic and responsive readers.

We feel English should be fun and we work with commitment towards that objective. We pursue goals which are designed to support the less capable children, whilst stretching stronger academic candidates. By the time they leave us, all children will have studied at least one Shakespeare play in detail and have knowledge of one or two more. Our study programmes combine a variety of innovative and stimulating activities with the fundamental disciplines of grammar.

The encouragement and regular use of word processing and research skills using a computer form an important part of our work, whether for drafting and improving compositions, producing work for display or completing exercises or activities on appropriate websites.

Reading and speaking in public, or presenting work orally in class, strengthens self-confidence and we place great emphasis on developing this valuable skill. Children will be asked to give a talk on a book they have read, a topic they have researched, or read aloud a first draft of a piece of creative writing before proceeding to a second draft. Children from Year 3 to Year 8 are asked to read lessons at our various chapel services and to take part in morning assemblies.

We also hold our own House Poetry Competition where every child in the Prep school learns a poem to perform to their House. The whole House also learns a poem to perform as a group and the final is held at the end of the Lent term. It is judged by the Head of English or Head of Drama at Malvern College to ensure absolute fairness and no conflict of interest!

Advised reading lists

Head of English - Kate ReidContact