English

Staff: who are we?

• We are a group of caring and committed teachers who always want the best for our students.

• We work on building strong relationships so our students know they are liked and respected.

• Outside of the classroom, we offer a range of English related activities. Our students participate in debating competitions, reading challenges, public speaking competitions and essay writing competitions.

• As a department we are very collegial: we share best practice and resources and we support each other at all times.

• We are lucky to have the support of a strong team of teacher-aides who work alongside our priority learners in our classes to make sure these students receive the individual help they need to do their best.

What do we offer?

English is the study, use, and enjoyment of the English language and its literature, communicated orally, visually, and in writing, for a range of purposes and audiences and in a variety of text forms. Understanding, using, and creating oral, written, and visual texts of increasing complexity is at the heart of English teaching and learning. By engaging with text-based activities, students become increasingly skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.

The New Zealand English curriculum is organised into 3 key strands of the: Speaking and Listening; Reading and Writing; Viewing and Presenting

Speaking and Listening:

All students are offered the opportunity to deliver a speech in class. As an alternative they may offer a Youtube style presentation. We hold speech competitions at each year level and present best-speaker cups at our prizegivings. In addition, students compete in public speaking competitions outside of the classroom such as the Lions Secondary Schools Speech Competition and the Race Unity Speech Competition.

We also run an active Debating Club with regional competitions at the senior and junior levels. Our seniors also compete at the national level in the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships. In the past we have had students represent New Zealand as members of the NZ Secondary Schools’ Debating Team.

Reading and Writing:

These core skills are taught and assessed at all levels. All junior classes read and study one or more novels through the year and at the senior levels we focus on NZ poetry and short stories. In the junior programme we use a structured programme of asTTle testing to track our students’ progress in reading and comprehension. We also use software programmes like StepsWeb to lift the literacy skills of our priority learners. Our junior students complete a Read to Succeed Challenge with bronze, silver, gold and platinum certificates and our top readers compete in the Manawatu Readers’ Cup Challenge. We also encourage our students to enter writing competitions which are advertised through the year by class teachers.

Presenting and Viewing:

Film is studied at all levels and we like to include new releases in the range of films offered, with a special focus on New Zealand films. Of course, selected films are at the appropriate rating for the age of our students. Film study focuses on the production techniques used and the director’s intention in using them. In addition, all students have the opportunity to create static images using software programmes like PicMonkey and Photoshop.

Subject Areas


(*) Last Reviewed: June 28, 2019

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