We believe that the study of English should be undertaken with enjoyment and rigour.
It is a language widely spoken around the world and one of the most flexible with its wide vocabulary and possibilities of nuance. Its use and abuse is a fertile ground for debate: the difference between the vernacular (as heard in everyday speech and broadcast on radio and television) and the formal register required for examinations is one of the many challenges we face. However, as the main purpose of any language is communication, there is justification for a wide range: from the language of the street to the complexities of Milton and Shakespeare.
We believe that enthusiastic study of English literature can only enhance and enrich our pupils' experience. One skill we try to develop is that of knowing what is appropriate for the 'audience and purpose' in each situation.
It is vital that the children enjoy their lessons which should not only provide a skills base, but also give them a chance to explore a wide variety of texts. Most importantly they should engage with ideas and learn to communicate their own thoughts and feelings effectively. We aim to make them confident speakers and receptive listeners. During their time at Cheam we also aim to broaden their knowledge and foster a love of literature.
Personal engagement with texts enables them to analyse, to respond positively and to process information efficiently. Carefully planned schemes of work in the early years lead to the ISEB Common Entrance syllabus for 11+ and 13+ exams. Scholarship candidates are given further challenges and need to have a relatively high reading age and a good vocabulary. Personal reading is encouraged in a variety of ways at every stage.
Dramatised poetry and prose readings are popular as are balloon debates, 'Division' spelling and the junior and senior reading competitions.
The English department at Cheam holds events that are often recorded. These can be viewed below as an archive.
Below are a series of documents that showcase some students' English work.