English Enrichment Program

Alpha English Department’s Enrichment ELA Program

 Pathway to AP  

Grades 8-10  Alpha JEEP (Junior Enrichment English Program) – students integrated into inclusive classrooms 
Grade 11  English Literature 11 Enriched (pre-AP) 
Grade 12  English Literature & Composition 12 Advanced Placement or English Studies 12 Enriched

Rationale

The Enriched Program is designed to inspire, challenge, and stretch students who demonstrate strong work ethic, passion, and ability by providing them with vibrant extra-curricular experiences and the opportunity to develop their academic skills for post-secondary. Enriched students, in Grades 8 to 10, will deepen their capacities for critical and creative thought, effective communication, and personal and social awareness by joining with other passionate and motivated students in extra-curricular activities. In the senior grades, as students become mature and sure of their interests, they may elect to challenge themselves further with specific pre-AP and AP courses. 

Why Integrate Junior Enrichment Students into Inclusive Classrooms? 

BC has one curriculum for all students. École Alpha Secondary is a progressive educational institution where JEEP students are integrated into inclusive classrooms and instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. We want to foster a strong sense of belonging at Alpha. Inclusive classrooms are essential for encouraging an appreciation for and acceptance of individual differences and strengths. This inclusive model promotes the development of meaningful friendships within grade cohorts and creates a vibrant Alpha community that reflects the true diversity of our society. 

Post-Secondary Preparation 

Alpha’s Junior English Enrichment Program is designed to provide a collaborative, extra-curricular space for students in grades 8-10 to develop their academic skills and social connections with like-minded peers.  Universities base their admissions policies on more than student marks. They are looking for well-rounded individuals who pursue their passions in extra-curricular settings, cultivate meaningful experiences, collaborate with peers, and take on leadership roles in their community. Alpha’s JEEP is designed with these goals in mind. 

Senior students who wish to continue in the Enrichment Program will take English Literature 11 and English Literature & Composition 12 Advanced Placement.  The literature studied in these courses is more challenging than in the regular stream, as are some of the assignments. English Literature & Composition 12 AP builds on the content of English Literature 11, the recommended pre-requisite course, and incorporates topics and literary texts which reflect the potential content of first year college/university English courses. Therefore, enriched senior students prepare for university level studies as well as for the possible granting of advanced university credit. 

Criteria for Selection of JEEP Students 

  • Students must have demonstrated that they are motivated to succeed. 
  • Students must have demonstrated excellent work habits.
  • Students must have a strong interest in reading and writing.
  • Students must be prepared to work collaboratively as well as individually. 
  • Students must be prepared to participate fully in required activities. 

Students will self-select for enrichment options during course selection. Admission may require teacher recommendation. 

JEEP Program Description 

Full participation in the activities listed below is required for a student to receive an “Enrichment” designation.  

  1. Alpha Reads Book Club: Enriched students in Grade 8-10 are required to read three (3) novels concurrent with and in addition to the requirements of their respective English classes. They must participate in and prepare for three Alpha Reads Book Club Meetings. Students will be given Book Club preparation sheets containing specific reading strategies such as: significant quote/passage analysis, background information research, and connections (self/text/world). These sheets will be collected as evidence of student participation.  
  2. Writer’s Den: JEEP students will meet every two weeks to explore, share, and workshop their writing. In Writer’s Den, Grade 10 JEEPs will lead collaborative workshops. Topics may include creative writing (finding a subject, building character), editing skills, organization of formal essays, etc. 
  3. Writing Contests: Enriched students are required to submit at least one poem or short story to at least one of the following writing contests: Burnaby School District’s WORDS contest, BCTELA Writing Competition , Globe and Mail “First Person” submission, Poetry and Voice 
  4. Field Trips/Experiences: In each semester there will be at least two opportunities for experiences outside of the classroom.  

Field trips/experiences may include: 

  • Bard on the Beach 
  • Ashland Shakespeare Festival 
  • Pacific Cinematheque 
  • Vancouver International Writers Festival
  • Vancouver Poetry House – Hullaballoo
  • Slam poetry competition
  • Visiting speakers (authors, poets, university professors, etc.)
  • International travel study
  • JEEP Retreat  

Assessment: 

In order to receive an “enrichment” designation in Grades 8-10, students must participate in ALL of the activities listed above. Attendance will be taken at each event and meeting, and book club preparation booklets will be collected after each book club meeting.   

Alternative assignments will be given to students with excused absences, although parents are encouraged not to schedule medical or dental appointments on enrichment activity days which are included in the school calendar. 

Students will not be given traditional grades for their enrichment work. Literacy skills will be assessed by English teachers in the classroom, and therefore a student’s performance in JEEP activities will not affect their English classroom grade.  

Celebration of Learning: At the end of each semester, JEEP students will gather with their peers and English Department members to celebrate their experiences and achievements. 

Golden Quill Awards: Students who have participated in Alpha’s English Enrichment Program from Grades 8-12 are eligible to receive a “Golden Quill” Award during the School Leaving Ceremony in June. The Golden Quill award recognizes outstanding passion for and dedication to the study of English Language Arts.