Julie DooleyRose PatersonHead of Upper school Department: Julie Dooley -
Head of Lower school Department: Rose Paterson -

English lessons are engaging and enlightening at Saint Ronan's. The vital foundation of reading, writing and speaking are developed with an atmosphere of fun and inclusion, including novel studies, class talks, library lessons and cross-curricular activities. Children write for a number of different purposes with a focus on the reader and the effect of their written communication. Children experiment with sophisticated language and sentencing through fun, interactive tasks; there is a key focus on ‘up-levelling’ writing through such introductory challenges, detailed planning and concentrated proof-reading.

Speaking and listening is an integral part of English lessons. We provide opportunities for pupils to participate actively in group work, to prepare talks, to take part in debates, to recite poetry, to discuss views and issues and to learn to listen carefully and considerately to the opinions of others. Drama-focussed activities are often used within lessons in order to engage more fully with a text. All children have a wide variety of stimulus - from high-quality texts to the use of film and drama and the English and Drama departments work closely to develop a love of language and expression. 

We want, above all, to instil in our children a love of reading that will benefit them beyond measure in their future education and bring them lifelong enjoyment. The library is the hub of learning, providing a calm space to engage with a range of literature and develop research skills. English develops skills and provides pupils with pleasure and broader horizons. Therefore, we recognise the importance of activities which extend the curriculum outside the confines of the normal school day, such as after school activities; visiting authors, poets and illustrators; World Book Day; National Poetry Day; literature-based dance workshops and school trips, to name but a few.

In Upper and Remove, pupils study towards the Common Entrance which equips them with the skills required to excel at their senior schools. Our focus on critical analysis not only deepens pupils’ reading skills and prepares them for senior school entrance / scholarship assessments, but also sharpens the mind and allows our young people to view the culture in which we live through a different lens.

Our aim, ultimately, is to teach children to actively think and to get involved - to examine and explore, to question and challenge, to experiment and evaluate, to voice their own opinions and empathise with others – with a great deal of laughter along the way!