Kitebrook was one of the first schools to take the English Speaking Board exams – known affectionately as OE (Oral English). These Oral English exams are now part of the inherent fabric of our school, giving the children the confidence to speak in public – a skill and an asset they take with them into their lives forever.
The structure of these exams hasn’t changed over the years – each child: gives a talk (the length of the talk and the guidelines as to its content vary with each year group), reads an extract chosen by the examiner from a chapter of a book they have particularly enjoyed, recites a learned poem or piece of drama, and marks are also awarded for their ability to ask and answer questions. The children are always anxious the first time they take these exams, usually wish they could do them all over again immediately afterwards, but then always look forward to OE exams the next year.
The standards are particularly high, with a large number of distinctions being awarded and with the school having such a reputation that ESB examiners enjoy being able to return.
The importance of tradition is also the bedrock for progress. With this in mind, from September 2022 Oral English is now fully integrated into Kitebrook's after school club provision with four different clubs supporting the whole of Upper School from the start of Michaelmas 2 right up to the examinations in February. This allows every student to take full and independent ownership of their studies with the added support of expert staff. In addition, this further supports OE beyond the curriculum constraints within the English Department allowing both to flourish independently as well as mutually benefiting each other collectively.