From the children’s earliest engagement with writing, St Hugh’s stresses how important writing is in helping the development of ideas and as a tool for reinforcing learning. The children’s confidence as writers is based upon the phonic programme which builds successful spelling, whilst the use of punctuation, is practised as they are taught how punctuation is vital in helping the reader understand what you want to say.
In Pre-Prep, children use their emerging skills to express their experiences and feelings. Children are exposed to a range of non-fiction, creative writing and poetry, and are encouraged to explore and develop a wide vocabulary to give them the tools to make their meaning clear.
From Middle School until Year 8 this link between writing and meaning is further emphasised. Structure is fundamental to success, ensuring that ideas are fully developed and cohesive and that they are presented with an eye to audience. We give the children every opportunity to write imaginatively in an original and stylish way. Accordingly, they write stories, plays, poetry and speeches as well as writing for more practical purposes.
One of St Hugh’s strengths is the quality of the poetry our pupils write. We have had considerable success in national poetry competitions over the last ten years and our annual publication of 'Scripta Legenda' bears testimony to this.
But as well as communicating through the written word, we are keen to give the children the skills and confidence to speak out. Every opportunity to investigate ideas and develop a clear voice is exploited in English classes and pupils in Upper School are given the opportunity to take part in debating and speaking competitions.