Altrincham Grammar School for Girls is a key member of the PTI family. Including the English Department, the Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages and Science departments are all engaged with the PTI’s Schools Programme. The school also plays host as the Manchester-based regional centre for the PTI’s Subject Days courses for New Teachers.
“It was really interesting to discover and understand how poems were written at that time. I learned how to write poems with the same structure and rhythm as those in the lyrical ballads. Studying the Romantics has now allowed me to understand hidden meanings and the complexity behind poems. I really enjoyed it!”
– Year 9 pupil at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls
Altrincham’s Head of English, Helen Cleary, attended the PTI’s English Summer School in 2011. Whilst at the residential, Helen attended a seminar by Dr Fred Parker entitled: ‘Memory, Repetition and the Enduring Image, in Coleridge and Wordsworth’. Following this inspiring workshop, Helen went on to devise a piece of work for her Year 9 class. The lessons included a challenging a mixture of philosophy (Socratic questioning: ‘what is memory?’), History and Art (discussion on the Romantic Movement) and creative writing, (where the pupils had a chance to write in the style of the lyrical ballads).
The work resulted in true enthusiasm for poetry amongst the students. Helen was pleased to see that her Year 9 students were capable of exploring, with enthusiasm, complex poetic structures and ideas, which would normally be tackled only in Year 12.
As well as challenging her students, Helen gives back to the profession. She was a Teacher Leader at this summer’s Residential, encouraging a new group of teachers to bring rigorous change to the classroom and promote subject knowledge, and has been training New Teachers at our New Teacher Subject Days.