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The English Department is a thriving, vibrant and successful part of Bede's Prep School, where teachers and students alike explore the wonders of the written word.

We pride ourselves on giving the students a lasting love of literature and we work extremely hard to equip them with the skills required to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding.

We encourage students to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers, and we aim to provide the full range of opportunities necessary to allow our students to develop confidence and competence in writing.

English is a very popular subject at the Prep School and the reason for this is abundantly clear when one walks its corridors - the teachers' enthusiasm and passion for their subject are infectious: lessons are stimulating, investigative and challenging.

Our exploration of texts goes beyond the classroom - we go down to the harbour to understand a little more about Kensuke's Kingdom, we sit on steam trains to connect with Auden's Night Mail and we make strange sandwiches to get to grips with punctuating direct speech.

We arrange visiting speakers to stimulate creative writing on a wide variety of topics - from the tragic voyage of RMS Titanic to the breath-taking beauty of Machu Picchu. And, of course, there is Book Week!

With myriad competitions, stimulating workshops with talented authors, treasure hunts and fashion shows, this week is one of the highlights of the Prep School calendar and cannot fail to encourage our students to pick up a book and get reading!

English News

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English staff

I relish working with children at the crucial stage when so many new ideas start popping and fizzing around the classroom. It's an extremely demanding but entirely rewarding way to spend my days!

Rachel Barrett, Reception Class Teacher

I am fascinated by the English language and its effect on us all. I aim to inspire my pupils to explore a broad vocabulary and, in so doing, for them to be empowered.

Laura Burdekin, Teacher of English and Drama and Year 7 Personal Tutor

Bede's is a school where pupils enjoy unrivalled opportunities to pursue their passions - whatever their passions might be. For that reason alone, it is a very special place to go to school.

Janet Frame, Head of Year 7 and Teacher of English and Latin

My ultimate goal is to nurture pupils so that when they leave Bede’s they are happy and healthy, confident and thoughtful, caring and respectful and - needless to say - creative and ambitious!

Annie Fuller, Head of Years 3 and 4, Head of PSHE and Falcon Section Leader

My passion for learning dates from my own primary school teacher! Since that point I have never stopped wanting to learn and to teach, having done so everywhere from Kent to Japan.

Simon Gisby, Teacher of Science and Physical Education and Year 5 Form Teacher

I love the push to keep learning, to keep discovering new questions and to help students discover their own questions.

Miriam McDonell, Year 4 Class Teacher and Teacher of PSHE and History