Miss H Ellis (HEL)

Curriculum Leader of English

Miss V Lang (VLA)

Assistant Curriculum Leader of English

Miss S Simpson (SSI)

Teacher of English

Mr A Halton (AHN)

Teacher of English

Miss C McDonald (CMC)

Teacher of English

Mrs E White (EWH)

Assistant Head

Mrs J Bibby (JBI)


Miss J Darlington (JDA)

Teacher of English

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 eight full time teachers of English including an Assistant Headteacher and the SENCO. 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. This is reflected in our excellent GCSE results year on year.

We believe that our 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.


KS3 Curriculum

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. This year, our brand new curriculum is ready, and we are very excited about delivering it.


In Year 7, students study:

Conflict (Autumn term) – core reading Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, with supplementary reading including extracts from War Horse, various war poems, and a range of non-fiction texts from WW1

Crime and Punishment (Spring term) – core reading Oliver Twist, with supplementary reading including Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and The Speckled Band, and a range of non-fiction texts from Victorian England

Heroes and Villains (Summer term) – core reading Macbeth, with supplementary reading including extracts from The Hunger Games, The Witches, and a study of the origins of the Marvel comic hero


In Year 8 students study:

The Outsider (Autumn term) – core reading Of Mice and Men, with supplementary reading including Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and various poems with a focus on character and voice

Political Protest (Spring term) – core reading Orwell’s Animal Farm, with supplementary reading including various famous speeches, and an exploration of Protest Poetry

It’s Grim Up North (Summer term) – core reading Blood Brothers, with supplementary reading including scripts from Billy Elliot, Our Day Out, and Coronation Street. Students will explore the phenomenon of the Manchester Identity, and explore various Identity poems.


In Year 9 students are introduced to some of their GCSE texts and skills. They study: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, extracts from The Woman in Black, and the Gothic genre. They will complete a full reading of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Shelley’s Frankenstein. They will end the year with an introduction to Power and Conflict Poetry.


KS4 Curriculum

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), and a 19th century text (Frankenstein).


Enrichment and Extra Curricular

To enrich the curriculum, we organise trips to theatres, libraries and cinemas. The library is open for students at lunch time every day, and a Year 11 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.


Online Resources

There are several apps/websites that we recommend for revision outside of the classroom, particularly for our KS4 students:

Litcharts – www.litcharts.com

Bitesize – www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize


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