Welcome to the English Department!

This is where some really deep thinking goes on. It is a collaborative space where teachers and students alike ponder some of the big questions: Who am I? Who, and what, has influenced my thinking? What does it mean to be part of a community? While we investigate these and so many other questions, we explore how others have discussed the very same questions in various media including literature (novels, short texts, plays, poetry), film, social media and journalism. We develop and sharpen our critical thinking skills, our writing skills and our speaking skills, learning to use language accurately and creatively.

The English Department at Queen’s High School is a busy, energetic and forward-thinking team staffed by experienced teachers with both expertise and fresh ideas.

Our emphasis is on the literacy skills required for success in education and the world beyond.  Reading and writing are a high priority on the list of classroom and homework activities.  We use a broad range of modern and traditional materials, both written and visual. Teachers are aware of the importance of engaging students through the use of modern technologies.

Many philosophical beliefs underpin the teaching and learning in an English classroom at Queen’s High School:

  • A supportive learning environment: Our students represent many cultures and backgrounds, and we reflect this in our choice of texts taken from diverse cultures, particularly those represented within the class.
  • Encouragement of reflective thought and action: We encourage students to critically evaluate the material they use, and to reflect on their performance in assessment tasks.
  • Enhancing the relevance of learning: Making explicit the purpose of each activity.  Where possible, students are encouraged to involve themselves in choosing texts or themes, so that they may find them more relevant to their learning process.
  • Making connections to prior learning: Students are supported to make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and their experiences, as well as making connections between presented texts.
  • Facilitating shared learning: We ensure there is a range of co-operative learning activities used in the classroom and students are encouraged to continue discussing what they are learning when they are at home.
  • Teaching as inquiry: Teachers are aware of the ability levels of students in their English classes.  The use of diagnostic assessment data enables the staff to make informed decisions when planning and teaching to the diverse needs of the students.
  • Assessment: A range of programmes ensure that most students can enjoy success according to their individual abilities.  We place an emphasis in the senior school on achieving NCEA success, with specialised programmes for those students who need help with literacy.  More able students have their abilities extended by the use of challenging themes and texts, with a constant aim toward excellence.

English is compulsory from Years 9 to 12. Each course has been designed to enable students to gain their literacy requirements. At Years 11 and 12, alternative English courses, called English Skills (ESK), are offered to students who need extra help gaining literacy.  These classes are smaller and aim to support students’ individual needs. 

Our senior full (ENG) courses are thought-provoking, demanding and thorough in developing the skills to excel in NCEA English at all levels. We want all our students determined to produce their personal best.

Extension activities offered by the English Department include an extra-curricular writing group, speech competitions, debating, scholarship tutorials and the national Spelling Bee competition, to name a few.

​Students of English can expect to be challenged and stretched in all directions. We look forward to having you and your whānau jump on board for the journey!

Year 9: English

Topics:

  • Reading
    Inference and analysis, reading for pleasure, research, proof-reading, close reading and exploring language.
  • Writing
    Creative writing, expressive writing, formal writing, blogs, journal writing, accuracy and grammar.
  • Speaking
    Discussion, group work, impromptu speeches, prepared speeches, debates and dramatic readings.
  • Viewing
    Film, documentary, plays, posters, displays, power points and YouTube.
  • Presenting
    Stage sets, plays, models, ICT, research and advertisements.
Year 10: English

Topics:

  • Reading
  • Drama Study
  • Poetry
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Presenting 

The tasks are designed to extend and develop existing language skills and provide the foundation for the study of English at a senior level.  

Skills: 

  • Reading, writing, viewing, presenting, listening and speaking skills are developed.
Year 11: English

Topics:

  • Reading
  • Oral Language
  • Written Language
  • Visual Language
  • Listening

Skills:

  • Independently read texts
  • Show understanding of written text(s)
  • Show understanding of visual or oral text(s)
  • Produce creative writing
  • Produce formal writing
  • Construct and deliver an oral presentation
Year 12: English

Topics:

  • Reading
  • Oral Language
  • Written Language
  • Visual Language
  • Listening
  • Research
  • Language

Skills:

  • Analyse aspects of written texts
  • Analyse aspects of visual texts
  • Analyse aspects of unfamiliar texts through close reading
  • Produce a selection of crafted writing
  • Construct and deliver an oral text
  • Use information literacy to form developed conclusions
Year 13: English

Topics:

  • Reading Skills
  • Writing
  • Oral Language
  • Visual Language
  • Research
  • Listening

Skills:

  • Respond critically to written text
  • Respond critically to visual text
  • Respond critically to unfamiliar written text
  • Produce a selection of fluent, coherent writing
  • Create and deliver fluent, coherent oral text
  • Respond critically to significant connections across texts

Newsletter Sign Up