English is much more than communication; it is the foundation of creativity, critical thought, and engagement with the world around us. By exploring the best of what has been written and said by people from diverse backgrounds, places, and time periods, we are able to build our own sense of identity and citizenship.
The focus of our curriculum is widening the breadth of texts and sources pupils encounter so they can develop their own viewpoints and critical evaluative thinking. In reading, pupils move beyond comprehension and into close analysis of writers’ uses of language and structure, considering additionally how the context in which a text is written affects its meaning. In writing, pupils are given the opportunity to try on different styles and imitate great writers as they find their own voice. Pupils participate regularly in class discussions to develop their speaking and listening skills, as well as to express their own viewpoints and challenge others in a respectful and productive manner.
Our curriculum traverses all the way from ancient Greece to current political issues and is constantly being updated to reflect our modern culture and concerns. We cover the classics, including Shakespeare, the Romantics, the Gothics, and the Victorians, as well as 20th century voices like Priestley and Steinbeck, through to modern voices, including Carol Ann Duffy, John Agard, Angela Carter, and Greta Thunberg, to name a few. It is our aim that Alderwood pupils feel represented and heard in our curriculum so they have the opportunity to engage deeply with their learning and to form their own voice.