WELCOME TO ALDER COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL Dear Parents and Carers, Alder Community High School is a thriving and vibrant environment, a place of high standards and high expectations for all our students. Through our relentless pursuit of excellence, we achieve high academic success, whilst building resilience and fostering a love of learning.
We are a community, and we want all students to thrive in a happy, safe, supportive, yet challenging learning environment. Central to our positive ethos are core values of tolerance, respect for others and a clear understanding of rights and responsibilities in equal measure, along with hard work and high expectations. Students are at the centre of everything we do and increasing their life chances is our primary goal. We want our students to leave Alder as wellrounded human beings, ready for college or work and able to take their place in our modern society. Alder students make a positive contribution to the wider community, whilst improving their own lives and the lives of others. We are Alder! Students leave Alder to go on to full time education and/or training, including A levels and apprenticeships. A significant number of our students move on to higher education; successful Alder alumni have graduated from the prestigious universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Thank you for considering Alder Community High School. I look forward to meeting you and hopefully working with you over the coming years. Richard O’Regan Headteacher
WE ARE ALDER! At Alder, our vision is that our students pursue academic success but also that they also develop a set of skills which will prepare them for life beyond school. We want our students to be able to form positive relationships, enrich themselves and make a valuable contribution to society. Our ‘We Are Alder Character Development Programme’ is grounded in our core values which are evident throughout all aspects of our school. “Our Alder values aren’t simply about school – they’re about everyone, everywhere, always. They are not a temporary philosophy linked to school but a set of values to follow for life. ‘We Are Alder’ is how you get a good job or an apprenticeship, how you become a good parent, how you get promoted and how you become a good partner. It’s about success in your whole life, not just your academic life.”
The Values We encourage our students to live by our values in all that they do.
A ltruism – having a genuine and self-less concern for others. L eadership – inspiring and empowering a community to achieve a shared vision by leading by example. D iversity – celebrating, accepting and respecting that everyone is different both in school and in our community. E xcellence – striving to achieve your best in all that you do. R esilience – turning challenges into something positive and never giving up. “Leaders and managers have a relentless focus on improving teaching. The majority of teaching is good or outstanding.” (Ofsted)
CURRICULUM, TEACHING AND LEARNING At Alder the teaching is innovative and engaging. All subjects are delivered by subject specialist teaching staff. We offer a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum to all students. At Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9), the curriculum fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum. Our curriculum creates academically competitive students in Tameside. We offer high academic, vocational and technical ambition for all students, enabling them to succeed in school and beyond. In doing this, we ensure we: • Provide a sequenced, knowledge rich curriculum where students know more and remember more; • Enrich our students through a diverse and broad curriculum; • Develop vocabulary, reading and oracy strategies to challenge social disadvantage; • Embed opportunities to develop cultural capital; • Build independent, resilient thinkers.
At KS3 the students are placed in teaching sets according to their prior attainment. These sets are reviewed regularly throughout the year based on student performance and progress. Curriculum Subjects • Art and Design
• Food and Nutrition
• French or Spanish
• Physical Education
• Religious Education
• Resistant Materials
• Textiles • Key skills
We also provide a comprehensive programme of Personal, Social and Health Education which includes ageappropriate sex and relationships education, drug awareness and E safety. Our PSHE curriculum aims to promote responsible behaviour and sound moral values, self-esteem, self-restraint and respect for others, and the value of family life. Also, we have achieved the Gold Standard for Quality in Careers Education; a real strength at Alder.
Students follow a core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, Citizenship, RE and PSHE (incorporating sex and relations education). Some students may also study Geography or History and a foreign language as part of the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc). In years 10 and 11 students are guided formally towards a personalised curriculum, through the options process, which meets their individual needs and aspirations. In addition to the core subjects, students are currently also able to choose the following GCSE option subjects: Curriculum Subjects • Sociology
• Business Studies
• Hospitality and Catering
• Computer Science
• Information Technology
• Dance (BTEC)
• Triple Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
“The curriculum prepares students well for their future education and training as there is a good range of subjects, an emphasis on the development of literacy skills and high achievement in Mathematics.” (Ofsted)
HIGH STANDARDS AND EXPECTATIONS Rewarding Progress, Effort and Achievement Progress, achievement and effort are rewarded with Alder points and are exchanged for badges which students wear on their blazer. Throughout the year, badges will be awarded in subject areas and limited edition badges are available for demonstrating qualities such as resilience, teamwork, social conscience and the British values.
Behaviour and Discipline At Alder Community High School, we always expect and encourage the highest standard of behaviour from students. All students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which enables effective teaching and learning to take place at all times. Further information is available in our Behaviour Policy.
“The rewards and sanctions system has had a marked effect on ensuring good behaviour.” (Ofsted)
“Around the school, students treat each other with great respect and move sensibly and safely at all times. They know what is expected of them and behave accordingly. This leads to a harmonious community.” (Ofsted)
Attendance and Punctuality Good attendance and punctuality are vital if students are to get the most out of school. We ask all parents to support school by encouraging good habits of attendance and punctuality. Students who achieve 100% attendance in an academic year will receive a badge during Celebration Assemblies. School Uniform At Alder Community High School, we have a traditional uniform that includes a clip-on tie and a blazer. All our students feel a real sense of pride in belonging to our school and see the wearing of the uniform as a positive statement of their commitment to it. For this reason, and to promote equality, the school insists that full and correct uniform is worn. We are obviously grateful for the co-operation and support of parents in ensuring that all of our students are correctly dressed. Further information is available in the Uniform and Equipment Policy.
PASTORAL SUPPORT At Alder the well-being of our students is at the heart of everything we do. Students will only fulfil their potential if they feel safe and, above all, are happy. We have a highly experienced, qualified and dedicated team of individuals who provide a range of pastoral support and guidance to our students and their families if necessary. Each class has a form tutor who meets with them each day and gets to know each student well. The Form Tutor is your first point of contact if you have any worries or concerns and they are in a key position to monitor your child’s progress. Each year group has a Progress and Pastoral Manager who has an overall responsibility for all of the students in their year group. In addition, we have: • • • •
a Learning Mentor; a Student Attendance and Family Liaison Officer; student peer mentors; a Senior Leader for Safeguarding.
We work collaboratively with colleagues from a number of external providers and are fortunate to have counsellors and school health professionals who visit school regularly to support the emotional well-being of our students.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Alder is an inclusive school and is firmly committed to providing an appropriate and accessible curriculum for all of its students. The focus of our support for students is on delivering quality first provision in the classroom through effective differentiation and the support of the Learning Support team, if appropriate. Additional help is available in a variety of ways from inclass support to small group work or, in some cases, an individualised programme. Specialist provision is provided for students with specific learning difficulties, students with an Autistic Spectrum Condition and students with a disability. The progress of all of these students is monitored and reviewed in line with the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. Our highly qualified and dedicated SENDCo will be happy to further discuss our SEND support and provision. Bullying Bullying is a topic of concern to parents and students in all schools. Bullying is not tolerated and is rare in our school. As a responsible school we operate an antibullying policy that aims to protect and educate. Students are encouraged to report, in confidence, any instances of bullying towards themselves or others. Where bullying does occur, it is dealt with swiftly and firmly.
Home School Partnership Students usually only fulfil their potential when there is a good relationship between school and home and where parents and staff work together. To this end we keep parents/carers fully informed about their child’s progress and provide opportunities to meet staff. Parents are always welcome to come into school although we would ask that an appointment is made if they wish to see a particular teacher or a Progress Leader.
THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT At Alder we are fortunate to have a modern building with excellent facilities and resources. In addition to the general teaching classrooms, we have: • • •
• • • • • • • •
Six science laboratories; Three technology workshops; A music suite including three practice rooms and a recording studio; Two art rooms; Five ICT rooms; A library; A drama workshop and dance studio; A sports hall and fitness suite; A floodlit artificial sport pitch; Grass sports pitches and netball courts; A large school hall with permanent staging for assemblies, drama productions and concerts.
In addition to the five designated ICT rooms the whole school has a wireless network so that we can use our class sets of laptop computers in every room. Similarly, all teaching rooms have an interactive whiteboard.
ENRICHMENT AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES At Alder we provide students with exciting and inspiring opportunities to enrich their learning through our extra-curricular activities and clubs which take place at lunch time and after school, educational visits, residential trips and dedicated curriculum opportunities. These opportunities allow students to discover and develop new interests and enhance their skills and talents. The school has a comprehensive programme of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education, which is embedded in curriculum subjects and supported in the delivery of assemblies. Throughout the year the school focuses on different initiatives such as Anti-bullying week, Cultural Diversity week and LGBTQ+ Alder Pride week. The school is regularly involved in fundraising for a variety of local and national charities. Just some of the exciting opportunities that students at Alder can choose to take part in: • Sports clubs competing in locals and regional competitions; • Music lessons and vocal coaching; • Chess Club; • Science Club; • Computing Club; • Alder Roots – working for the benefit of our community; • Art, drama and photography clubs; • Residential trips within the UK and overseas such as Disneyland Paris and Barcelona • School Council; • Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award through our link with Youth Adventure Tameside.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE Our Head Boy and Girl, supported by their deputies, senior prefects and prefects make up our student leadership team. As well as being role models and providing support for younger students, they are responsible for running clubs, events and assemblies. As Leadership is one of our core values, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved: • Student Leadership Team; • School Council; • Literacy Leaders; • Peer Mentors; • Alder Roots; • Alder LGBTQ+ Allies; • Sports Teams. “Students have a strong appreciation of art, music, diversity, other cultures and faiths. They are keen to engage in working for charities. All of this contributes well to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of students.” (Ofsted)
CONTACT DETAILS: Alder Community High School Mottram Old Road, Hyde, Cheshire, SK14 5NJ T: 0161 368 5132
E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.aldercommunityhighschool.org.uk