English is fundamental to communication, learning and thinking. In using and exploring English literature, everyday texts and multimedia, students are able to develop, maintain and express their identity.They learn to organise their thoughts, come to understand their physical and cultural environment and appreciate and contribute to their society.
The study of English also promotes the appreciation and lifelong enjoyment of literature. Creativity, innovation and analysis are fostered within the studies of English and lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of all students.
The English courses at Melrose High School are fully aligned with the Australian Curriculum which identifies three strands of English: Language, Literature and Literacy.
Language: knowing about the English language.
Students will learn the processes of reading, writing, listening and speaking to enable them to communicate with purpose and effect. Grammar, punctuation and spelling are explicitly taught in context with the literature and literacy strands.
Literature: understanding, appreciating, responding to, analysing and creating literature.
Students will study a range of texts including teen fiction, classical literature, Shakespeare, poetry, film studies, and media studies, as well as texts from multicultural and indigenous perspectives. Texts are chosen by teachers to suit the interests and individual needs of students in the class.
Literacy: expanding the repertoire of English usage.
Students will gain an understanding of text type, purpose and audience including the structural, literary and multimodal devices used to achieve different purposes and target specific audiences.
Assessment is outcomes based. Grades A to E are awarded to each student at the end of each semester. A C grade indicates that students are performing at the level of the expected achievement standard for their year level. Reports are outcomes based and indicate strengths and weaknesses. Assessment is continuous and used to inform teachers in their planning.
Assignments in English include analytical writing tasks such as essays, creative response tasks (written, visual and multi-modal), oral presentations and ongoing classwork.
In Years 8, 9 and 10, a group of students are identified as needing extension opportunities in English. These students form the ACE class. Students can complete an application for this class, enrolment is then based on application, teacher recommendations, assessment results, student dedication to work and grades.
ACE English classes follow the Australian Curriculum but the texts chosen for study and the concepts identified for discussion are chosen to extend the students’ critical thinking skills. In each year, there is a specialised unit of work designed for extending these students, as follows:
Overcoming Adversity: what is the measure of success?
The Power of One: how can one person change their world?
Philosophy, Language and Literature: Why should we question the world we live in?
There are many ways in which students can enrich their learning in English at Melrose, such as:
Excursions to live performances, films, museums and writing workshops
competitions including: Tournament of the Minds; The Dorothea McKeller Poetry Competition; ICAS English, Writing and Spelling Competitions; Public Speaking Competitions; Write What Matters; and many more creative writing competitions.
Each year, we celebrate the love of all things literature as we join in with the National Book Week celebrations. Student engage in a range of Book Week Challenges and we always have the annual dress up competition!