English is the medium through which all our learning is undertaken at Westbury House. Its importance, not only as a subject in its own right but also as a means of accessing the curriculum, cannot be over-emphasised.

It is a truly creative subject where abstract areas can be investigated, problems solved and ideas expressed. Our aim is to create a love of the language as well as an understanding of the power it has to influence those around us. We want children to be confident in expressing themselves in a language where even the sounds of words have intrinsic meaning.

We aim to encourage children to be proficient in reading, understanding, writing, listening and speaking English. To this end, all children learn to read by having one-to-one sessions a minimum of four times a week in Reception and Key Stage One (Years 1 + 2). This is not only about decoding words but also about understanding implied and inferred meanings. As children become more and more proficient, we move them on from the formal reading schemes and allow them space to become independent readers.

During the autumn and spring terms of their final year at Westbury House, pupils in Year 6 sit a number of entrance examinations for senior schools with a selective intake. These English examination papers test reading and writing skills. An interview is usually an integral part of the selection process.

English teaching at Westbury is geared towards preparing pupils for all aspects of competitive, senior school entrance requirements enabling them to enter the school of their choice on the basis of good examination results. We offer a course that is in line with the aims of the ISEB and their assessment objectives at 11+. We also ensure that we cover all aspects of the National Curriculum.

English as an additional language (EAL)

If a child starts at Westbury House and is not completely fluent in English, EAL support is readily available. This is offered on a specifically tailored programme designed to match the needs of the individual.