2 girls reading a book together


The aim of the English Department is to ensure the best possible foundation in English for all pupils and to instill a love of reading and writing from an early age. English lessons are fun and interactive and the curriculum is regularly complimented by author visits, workshops, celebrations and other social events that bring our learning to life.

Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure is very important to us at Bute as it raises attainment and supports the emotional well-being of our students. We promote reading for pleasure in a variety of ways. Books are read and discussed together as a class to build a community of passionate readers. Our library has something for everyone and our school librarian is always on hand to offer a recommendation. We also run a number of book clubs, including our very popular Parent Daughter Book Club.

High Quality Literature

We take time to choose high quality books that represent the philosophy of ‘Mirrors and Windows’. A mirror is a book that reflects an individual’s own culture and helps them build their identity. A window is a text that offers a view into someone else’s world. In English lessons, and throughout the rest of the curriculum, we sprinkle mirrors and windows into all that we teach.

Small Instructional Groups

Many of our English lessons are regularly taught in small groups, such as Guided Reading and Literature Circles. These approaches allow us to provide individualised instruction to meet the needs of all our learners and ensure breadth and depth of the curriculum. Every girl is supported to reach her potential, while being inspired and excited about the wonder of words.

Creative Approaches

Our students are immersed in their English lessons through a range of creative learning activities. Drama and role play are often used to help children understand and access texts, empathise with the characters and gather their ideas to write. We encourage the girls to draw what they are visualising when they are reading and to illustrate their ideas when planning a text. We often make our own books together and put on book readings to replicate an authentic writing experience.


“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai