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English is taught as a collaborative, thought-provoking subject, involving a great deal of discussion of ideas. Pupils study a variety of texts encompassing novels, poetry, plays and non-fiction to give them a rounded knowledge of these genres. Each half term, girls move onto another topic, creating a fast-paced and interesting curriculum. Examples of the units of work studied include: ‘Painting with Words’, where we look at the way poetry and art work together for inspiration; ‘Detecting the Detectives’, incorporating such texts as Tintin and Bugsy Malone, as well as affording an opportunity for pupils to write their own crime fiction; Myths and Legends, deepening imaginative writing skills with a focus on developing vocabulary; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, evoking a sense of English literary heritage.

Although the style of teaching is lively and engaging, we never lose sight of the need to develop the ‘nuts and bolts’: improving sentence structure, vocabulary and comprehension. These elements are constantly reinforced through individualised feedback, ensuring that girls are always aware of what they need to do to develop and improve their work.

Challenge & Extension: Girls are encouraged to read from a carefully selected list of classic fiction as part of the 'Classic Reading Challenge' and are challenged to extend their vocabulary and to use an increasingly sophisticated repertoire of writing skills.


Visitors to St Gabriel's quickly recognise that this is no ordinary school. Parents are always impressed by the sense of purpose and enthusiasm of the talented, committed staff and the confidence of the extremely happy pupils. We offer girls the opportunity for a seamless journey from Nursery through to Sixth Form, with our boys leaving us at the age of 11 for their senior schools.

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