Years 4 to 8

In the Prep School up to and including Year 8, the pupils follow a scheme comprised of several elements. They read a variety of non-literary and literary texts, both extracts and complete texts read in class. They are asked to write responses in a variety of forms, i.e. short answers in response to comprehension passages, articles, reviews, poems and short essays. There are weekly spelling tests of subject specific and high frequency words. All pupils are encouraged to take an active part in reading out loud and speaking in class. Pupils are guided to be sympathetic listeners who listen carefully to the teacher, each other or the audio material we use to complement our teaching and learning. Whenever possible, the study of literature, especially drama is supplemented by watching adaptations of literature for the screen. Weekly prep exercises will essentially reinforce and supplement work done in class with a strong focus on the comprehension of non-fiction, fiction, poetry analysis and planning written responses to build towards examinations at Michaelmas and Trinity for years 5 – 7, and C.E. and scholarship for year 8. The Accelerated Reading Scheme operates in the school and our children are encouraged to read as widely as possible. We have a purpose-built library and resources room to support the pupils in their independent reading. Reading skills are the foundation of a good education and reading is at the centre of English at Witham. Outside the classroom there are occasional trips to enhance the pupils’ experience of the subject. Such excursions have included in recent times, visits to Stratford and Cambridge in conjunction with the drama and music departments as well as trips to the local Oundle Literature Festival. Competitions such as a Spelling Bee, Short Story Competition and Handwriting Challenge are an additional feature of the department’s profile within the school.