“Our aim is to promote confident, articulate, well-read students who are able to think critically about language and literature, with high expectations of themselves, regardless of any barriers they might face. We want to foster intellectual curiosity, encouraging our students to connect with the world and their place within it through a love of reading. Ultimately, we want to champion English and all it offers our students, in the hope that they internalise a love of the subject and wish to study it beyond GCSE.”
Aldersley’s English Department
At Key Stage 3, we introduce our students to literature through engaging anchor texts that we hope will instil a love of English. The students will explore texts from a range of authors, time periods, genres and forms, developing their inference, analysis and evaluative skills whilst reading enriching, exciting texts. Writing skills are embedded throughout Key Stage 3, with students learning how to write accurate, compelling texts in a range of forms – both fiction and non-fiction. We also study non-fiction texts regularly through our much-loved Non-Fiction Friday lessons which take place each week and link thematically to the main modules of study.
Throughout Key Stage 3, students also have regular ‘reading lessons’, as we believe that reading purely for enjoyment is one of the main factors contributing the student success in English. We read classic texts together that challenge our students in terms of vocabulary, but also opens doors to knowledge of different cultures and histories that widen their experience of the world itself.
As the students move into Key Stage 4, we study AQA English Language and Literature. We begin with our study of the core Literature texts – ‘An Inspector Calls’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, later moving on to the study of Relationships Poetry. This is of course integrated with study of Language skills through a range of novel extracts and short stories. Our department encompasses a range of expertise, with staff who have specialised in both Literature and Language; therefore, we share this expertise between all classes to ensure our students receive the very best knowledge at all times.
By Key Stage 5, students will have a fantastic understanding of how writers use language and structure to impact their readers, as well as being able to manipulate their own writing for a range of purposes. They will continue to analyse literary and non-literary texts with precision, whilst widening their understanding of language frameworks and applying these accurately within their analysis.
Alongside core English lessons, we also offer a range of enrichment opportunities. We have a weekly debate club that competes nationally with other schools; numerous creative writing clubs to allow students to hone their fiction writing skills in a supportive environment, entering into a range of national competitions; a reading club; a film club, and a school newspaper which publishes each half-term. Furthermore, we run various enrichment opportunities in-school, such as our annual ‘Quote-Off’ and inviting theatre companies in schools, together with external visits to universities, libraries, theatres, etc.
Mrs K. Carroll
Head of English
Mrs Carroll is Head of English at Aldersley High School
What’s in store for our Key Stage 3 Students?