The main aim in our teaching of English is to foster a love of reading and writing from an early age and great emphasis is placed on these important skills.

The boys are taught reading through phonics from Kindergarten and this is continued throughout their time in the Pre-Prep. The curriculum is based on a wide range of genres with both fiction and non-fiction units chosen to spark the boys' imaginations, stimulate creativity and develop their understanding of the various aspects and functions of writing. A number of weeks will be spent immersing the boys in a particular text or theme through a variety of written, comprehension, practical and role play tasks leading up to them creating their own version of the writing style studied.

Throughout the year, the boys are immersed in many activities which bring the English curriculum to life. The house poetry competition is an excellent opportunity for the boys to practise their public speaking and presentation skills. They also enjoy drama workshops, theatre trips, regular book fairs, visits from published authors, and our annual book week.

Prep School

In the Prep School, we focus on introducing boys to a range of genres, texts and writing styles.

The boys are challenged to develop their critical literacy skills through a range of comprehension and composition tasks. We are committed to developing the boys' love of reading and their interest in relating the ideas presented in texts to the wider world.


As an extension to their course work, boys are also encouraged to enter a range of creative writing competitions each term. These competitions are updated as they become available and include: the BBC 500 Words Short Story Competition, the Never Such Innocence World War One Poetry Competition and the SATIPS Poetry Competition.

Each term there is a particular house competition linked to the English learning area: public speaking, debating and poetry. These competitions provide an excellent opportunity for the boys to practise their presentation skills, such as verbal delivery, eye contact, gestures and stance. The competitions are a lot of fun and it's always terrific to see the incredible standard of performance in the finals year upon year!


All boys in Years 4 to 8 complete autumn and summer exams as a way of consolidating the knowledge they have gained in the term. Revision guides are available through the pupil and parent portals and hard copies may be given out by staff.

Reading lists

Boys are encouraged to read widely from a range of genres to supplement their studies of class texts. All boys are welcome to borrow texts from the school library. If there are any particular texts that the boys would like to request, they can submit a request form and the text will be ordered for them.

The school has comprehensive lists of suggested texts for each year group.

Eaton House the Manor Prep Year 4 -8 reading list

Eaton House the Manor Prep Year 6-8 suggested reading

At the end of the boys' prep career, we hope they leave with a lifelong love of literature, a passion for the written and spoken word, and the power to express their own ideas convincingly and articulately.