There can be no underestimating the importance of English in the Pre-Prep and Prep School years. Put simply, we are responsible for teaching core literacy skills that will stay with our boys for life.
Basic skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are learned in the early years, honed through the middle school and it is our aim that boys leave Moulsford with a passion for reading and a love of the subject; all of this achieved within a syllabus that is specifically created with boys in mind.
As the boys progress through the school, the English Department continues to prioritise the core skills of reading and writing, with a strong importance placed on speaking and listening. We work closely with the Drama Department and where possible try to create cross-curricular work.
A love of reading is central to everything we do, and the boys have access to the very latest children’s and young adult fiction. Similarly, accuracy over grammar and spelling, as well as due diligence with regards to handwriting and presentation are strong messages that emanate from the English classrooms.
Boys who require Learning Support enjoy differentiated provision both in English lessons and in the Learning Support Department. This could be a Spelling Booster group in Years 4 to 6, Friday morning reading with parents, or the presence of a Classroom Assistant in a number of the lessons. Common Entrance is equally tiered so that boys can work towards a level that is appropriate to their specific learning requirements.
English at Moulsford should be a fun and positive place to be. Lessons are dynamic, active and varied: a Year Six class might be in the Sports Hall hurling Shakespearean insults at one another; the Year Fours may be using a recent App on the ipad to learn about nouns; the Year Eights could be battling out a poetry slam to help with their understanding of poetry; and Pre Prep could be being heard read out on the adventure playground. There are events throughout the year to promote the subject and World Book Week has become a week-long celebration of all things bookish with a real literary festival atmosphere taking place in school. In addition, we have authors and poets visit the school each term and each year group enjoy an English based trip.
Again, put simply, English is a central subject on the curriculum. A life-long passion for reading and the subject is the ultimate goal, and we aim to create a dynamic, inspirational and hugely enjoyable environment where boys’ English learning will thrive.
Head of English
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To quote Nick Cave, “I’m kind of old school and love nothing more than sitting, opening a book and reading.” For the full profile however, this love of reading would be combined with a passion for sport, the outdoors, music, and spending time with my family.
Whilst Scandinavian crime fiction is my recent literary genre of choice (Steig Larsson, Jo Nesbo etc.), Cormac McCarthy’s The Road continues to be the most amazing book I have read. However, as a prep school English teacher with two children (Raffi and Juno), the last couple of years have been spent buffing up on children’s literature. So whilst I may not be quite up to speed with the latest Pulitzer Prize winners, I can tell you all about Simon Mayo’s foray into children’s lit, or how Postman Pat ‘saved the day’, or even the difference between the happy dog and the sad dog!
Sport has been a passion throughout my life, and after moving from Bahrain to the UK (Torquay, Devon) as a child, I played rugby and cricket through school and university. A highlight of my time at Moulsford was representing the staff in the Slough 7s tournament and knocking out The Met Police to reach the final … of the bowl! I also like to think that I know a thing or two about football, although being an ardent Queens Park Rangers supporter may suggest otherwise!
In 2010 I completed an Iron Man and continue to love the outdoors. As a family we have spent the last few summers travelling through Scandinavia, cycling along the Danube, and enjoying the stunning surrounds in Slovenia and the Dolomites. A usual Sunday in term time will see the Martin family cycling along one of the National Trails.