The implementation of the new English syllabus, which JCS began phasing in last year, is going well for our teachers. One noticeable change in the day-to-day teaching of the subject is that, while text types (such as narrative and persuasive writing) are still taught, the emphasis has gone off this and onto literature, giving teachers more scope for greater variety. The teachers say this approach stimulates the children more, particularly in that visual literacy is given more of a focus and is an additional stimulus and a creative way to develop different skills in creating, comprehending and looking.
The teachers say the new approach brings books alive, encourages children to go off and read the same author in other books, and leads into more discussion.
In terms of how the new syllabus sits with JCS strengths of Shakespeare, drama, performance, debating and Philosophy, teachers say that grammar is more embedded in the study of the literature, but we continue to teach it separately as well. Older classes often get a Philosophy discussion or debate out of the literature and even writing a drama based on the literature read.