English is about reading texts, writing about them, and creating them. Texts include written, visual and oral. Visual texts are such things as films and a myriad of texts that combine pictures and words. Oral texts include speeches and debates.
Years 9 and 10 English
The main components of our Junior courses are directly linked to the New Zealand Curriculum – reading, writing and speaking.
We are intent on building student literacy so that when students encounter the assessments of the Senior school, they have a wide vocabulary and have practised decoding difficult texts.
The most important aspect of English is reading. We try and advance the reading ages of the students by having them engage in the Reading Certificate Programme, where all students are expected to read and write a response to a range of texts set at different levels: bronze, silver and gold. Students who stop reading at home will stagnate; the impact of this will probably not be felt until they reach Year 12 and 13, so all students are encouraged to read their novels at home.
Writing is another important component of our programme. There is a focus in the Junior school on both formal (persuasive / expository / informative) writing and creative writing. Students will complete both formative and summative work on both styles of writing several times over the course of the year.
The final component of the English programme is speaking. Our English teachers try to encourage and develop creativity in our students, and public speaking is one way we do this. Students are expected to deliver a three minute speech to the class, and there are also several opportunities, both in and out of the classroom, for students to get involved with debating.
The English programmes at Years 11 and 12 have several pathways. We offer a full Achievement Standard course (ENG) where the students are expected to complete all internal and external components of the course. We also offer a mixed course, where students who are less confident in English can opt into an Achievement/Unit Standard course (ENA).
At NCEA Level 2, universities have imposed a minimum literacy standard. Students are required to gain 5 credits in reading standards, and 5 credits in writing standards. The purpose of this is to ensure that students can read and write independently at a level which will allow them to cope with tertiary education. Our ENG programme is designed to ensure that students have the opportunity to gain most of these Literacy credits. Our ENA programme has a mixture of Achievement/Unit Standards. The Unit Standards are sourced from Communication and do come under the umbrella of English.
In Year 13, students can enter into a full Achievement Standard course which follows the Achievement Standards closely. For those who show the potential, there is also lunchtime Scholarship English, which will be offered from Term 3.
English is a compulsory subject until students gain NCEA Level 2. For most students, the study of English does not lead directly into a career but develops the skills that are the building blocks of competence in most areas of endeavour.
English Department Staff
Ms Kathy Gracia Head of Department
Mrs Catherine Saysell Assistant Head of Department
Miss Kathryn Coleman
Mr Jason Cressingham
Ms Rosalie Fischer
Miss Michelle Greig
Mrs Alison Wright (Maternity Leave)