Nursery, Pre-Prep, Prep School, Rickmansworth, Chorleywood


Without the skills of competent reading, writing, speaking and listening, children would be unable to access learning in other subjects. Consequently the acquisition of these skills is placed at the heart of what we do from the earliest age at Charlotte House.

Girls quickly gain confidence reading, beginning with learning phonics and the decoding of simple books from a range of different reading schemes, progressing on to become independent and enthusiastic readers of a huge variety of different types of literature. The library is open every day for girls, as well as for class sessions, and they learn to have a love of reading for pleasure, whatever their age.

Over time, girls develop strong skills in recognising and creating different genres of writing. Writing for a real audience brings the tasks to life, and, amongst other things, girls have enjoyed receiving replies from letters to MPs as well as charming their younger friends with their stories and plays. Attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling, balanced with the use of increasingly challenging vocabulary, ensure girls are well prepared for the various secondary school entrance examinations and scholarships. Verbal Reasoning lessons in Forms IV, V and VI complement English study and ensure that the breadth of vocabulary encountered and used is constantly explored and extended. All pupils are encouraged to enter writing competitions, including the Radio 2 500 Words competition, Poetry competitions and Chorleywood Bookshop’s annual Writing Competition.

Speaking and Listening skills are valued enormously at Charlotte House; the ability to listen thoughtfully and to speak aloud with confidence to different audiences ensures our girls are well equipped to communicate with the wider world. All girls perform in a play every year, from a Nativity Play in Nursery to Shakespeare in Form VI. Assemblies, meeting and escorting visitors, class debates, presentations to the class or school, speaking at the School Council and Poetry Festivals are all excellent opportunities offered to develop dynamic speaking and presentation skills.


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