English is the subject at the heart of teaching and learning. Language enables students to communicate, to question, to understand and to progress. Because of this, teachers in the English department believe we have a responsibility to ensure that our provision for students at Alder is of the very highest standard.
There are seven full time teachers of English including an Assistant Headteacher and the SENCO. We also have a full time Curriculum Tutor who supports learners within the classroom. We are all passionate about the subject and aim to inspire students to share in our love of language and literature. Teachers in the English department are committed to working hard in order to achieve the best for our students.
We believe the English curriculum is incredibly exciting. Through the development of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening, young people are introduced to critical methods and ways of thinking which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It is our aim to create schemes of work and activities that have ‘real life’ relevance and develop key skills that will be essential in adulthood.
At Key Stage 3, students usually work in ability groups. This enables us to differentiate more effectively and target the individual needs of students. Students will study a range of texts appropriate to their ability and interests; these will vary for each year group and for differing abilities. All year groups study reading skills, writing skills and speaking and listening in order to be prepared for their GCSEs.
In Year 7 students study: Viewpoint Writing, Non-Fiction Detective Texts, one novel (Skellig or Stone Cold), Oliver Twist, Macbeth, An Introduction to Teen Fiction, Presentation Skills and An Introduction to Poetry.
In year 8 students study: Creative Writing, one play (Private Peaceful or Our Day Out), Viewpoint Writing using Once as a stimulus, a novel study (Jekyll and Hyde or Holes), Non-Fiction Environmental Texts, Presentation Skills and Poetry from Other Cultures and Traditions.
In year 9 students are introduced to their GCSE texts and skills. They study : Of Mice and Men, Travel Writing (Non-Fiction), An Introduction to Romeo and Juliet, Extracts from The Woman in Black, An Introduction to Conflict Poetry, An Introduction to Frankenstein and Presentation Skills.
At Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA syllabus for GCSE. Our aim is that all students leave Alder with a recognised qualification in English Language and in English Literature. All assessments now take the form of terminal examinations. To prepare for the English Language qualification, students are exposed to a range of Non-Fiction and Fiction texts and learn how to write creatively and to show viewpoint. In preparation for their English Literature examination, they study 15 poems from the AQA ‘Power and Conflict’ Anthology, a 20th century text (An Inspector Calls), a Shakespeare play (Romeo and Juliet), a 19th century text (Frankenstein) and a selection of Unseen Poetry.
To enrich the curriculum, we organise trips to theatres, libraries and cinemas. Library club runs at lunch time every day and a Year 7 book club runs once a fortnight. Intervention and revision classes are run by all members of the department, at lunch times, after school and during the holidays. We also run the ‘Food For Thought’ revision programme with the Maths department where students are taught extra English and Maths lessons after school and are then provided with a curry!