Teaching & Learning
Welcome to English
“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” – Kofi Annan, seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations
What is subject English?
Students explore the critical and imaginative use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written and visual texts through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected.
How do we teach English?
The aim of studying English is to enable students to use, understand, appreciate, reflect on and enjoy the English language in a variety of texts and to shape meaning in ways that are imaginative, interpretive, critical and powerful. This is achieved through our exciting and challenging programs and assessments that are developed based on the Western Australian Curriculum and that are responsive to current educational theory.
Do other opportunities exist to develop talent in communication?
The English Department at Leeming encourages students to develop their written and spoken talents through participation in:
- The Young Inklings Club [a creative writers’ group]
- Competitions, including the Tim Winton Award Competition, the UNSW Global ICAS English Test, along with various poetry competitions
Developing confident communications, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens
The English learning Area provides opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values essential to their becoming active and literate citizens in a rapidly changing world.
The overall objective of the English learning Area is to develop students’ knowledge of English language, literature and literacy that can be successfully applied in authentic and increasingly complex settings.
Our primary focus is to develop an understanding of Australian identity and to do so we utilise Australian literature and the contemporary literature of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, along with classic and contemporary world literature, including texts from and about Asia. These foci in text selection allow us to meet the requirements of the Cross Curriculum Priorities of the West Australian Curriculum of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures; Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia; and Sustainability.
“The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate with and build relationships with others and with the world around them. The study of English helps young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace. It helps them become ethical, thoughtful, informed and active members of society. In this light it is clear that the Australian Curriculum: English plays an important part in developing the understanding, attitudes and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia’s future.” [SCSA Website: http://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.au/home/p-10-curriculum/curriculum-browser/english-v8/overview/rationale]
The Lower School English programs for Years 7-10 are based on the three interrelated strands of the Australian Curriculum: English.
Strands and Sub-strands
The strands of language, literature and literacy are grouped into sub-strands as indicated in the table below:-
Language variation and change
Literature and context
Texts in context
Language for interaction
Responding to literature
Interacting with others
Text structure and organisation
Interpreting, analysing and evaluating
Expressing and developing ideas
Student engagement and production
Our English programs are designed to encourage student production. Students will create a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts including short stories, mindmaps, hybrid texts, storyboards, pictorial representations, short statements, speeches, blog entries, performances, recounts and poetry.
The English Department syllabi are prepared from the Western Australian Curriculum available on the SCSA website. We assess according to the Scope and Sequence documents also provided by SCSA.
Our teachers prepare common assessment outlines across all courses, and many of the tasks are CATs or common assessment tasks, undertaken by all students in a particular course and cross-marked by the teaching team to ensure comparability. Teachers work together closely to prepare and distribute resources, mark work and support student learning. Our focus is rigour, balanced with reading pleasure, vigorous debate, philosophical discussion and enjoyment. It is very important to us that students appreciate the joy of language and are offered the wealth of our literary cultural heritage.
Communication with students and parents
English teachers within our department are regular users of Connect, the Department of Education communication website. This ensures that our students have access to handouts, resources [such as additional readings], examination preparation materials and that they are able to participate in academic discussions.
Our teaching faculty is highly experienced, with strengths in supporting Students at Educational Risk, Gifted and Talented Education and English as a Second Language. We constantly strive for ‘best practice’ using our comfortable and well-resourced English Department spaces.
“Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.” – Carl Sagan