English at Westlake Boys’ High School
English lies at the core of our experience of the world. An effective understanding of the English language and its literature is essential in all aspects of life. Most careers require an ability to analyse written material and to articulate one’s conclusions. Our courses are designed to be enjoyable and challenging for students of all skill levels and we hope to instil a lifelong love of language and literature. Junior students are introduced to English as an academic subject and senior students (Year 11 – Year 13) work towards NCEA and CIE qualifications and ultimately NZ Scholarship. All courses are grounded in the teaching of core literacy skills and we have developed an extensive support programme for students struggling in this area. We also provide extension opportunities which begin in Year 9 and culminate with a successful Scholarship programme in Year 13. The English Faculty is made up of staff who are passionate about teaching English, experienced, committed and innovative.
English learning pathways
|Year 9||Year 10||Year 11||Year 12||Year 13|
|9 English (9ENG)||10 English NCEA prep course(10ENG)||Level 2 NCEA Foundation English (12ENF)||Level 2 NCEA Foundation English(12ENF)||Level 3 NCEA Visual English(13ENV)|
|Level 1 NCEA Mainstream English(11ENG)||Level 2 NCEA Mainstream English(12ENG)||Level 3 NCEA Mainstream English (13ENG)|
|10 CIE English IGCSE prep course(10ENX)||11 IGCSE CIE English(11ENX)||AS CIE English(12ENX)||A2 CIE English(13ENX)|
English is compulsory from Year 9 to Year 12 or until a student attains his Literacy for University Entrance. All courses are NCEA and CIE subject-approved.
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.
How will English help me as a student?
English helps students in a variety of ways:
- Literacy in English gives students access to the understanding, knowledge, and skills they need to participate fully in the social, cultural, political, and economic life of New Zealand and the wider world.
- To be successful participants, they need to be effective oral, written, and visual communicators who are able to think critically and in depth.
- By understanding how language works, students are equipped to make appropriate language choices and apply them in a range of contexts. Students learn to deconstruct and critically interrogate texts in order to understand the power of language to enrich and shape their own and others’ lives.
- Students appreciate and enjoy texts in all their forms. The study of New Zealand and world literature contributes to students’ developing sense of identity, their awareness of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, and their understanding of the world.
Will English help me in my other subjects?
Success in English is fundamental to success across the curriculum. All learning areas (with the possible exception of languages) require students to receive, process, and present ideas or information using the English language as a medium.
How is the NZ English curriculum structured?
English is structured around two interconnected strands, each encompassing the oral, written, and visual forms of the language. The strands differentiate between the modes in which students are primarily:
- making meaning of ideas or information they receive (Listening, Reading, and Viewing);
- creating meaning for themselves or others (Speaking, Writing, and Presenting).
The achievement objectives within each strand suggest progressions through which most students move as they become more effective oral, written, and visual communicators. Using a set of underpinning processes and strategies, students develop knowledge, skills, and understandings related to:
- text purposes and audiences;
- ideas within language contexts;
- language features that enhance texts;
- the structure and organisation of texts.
Students need to practise making meaning and creating meaning at each level of the curriculum. This need is reflected in the way that the achievement objectives are structured. As they progress, students use their skills to engage with tasks and texts that are increasingly sophisticated and challenging, and they do this in increasing depth.
Media Studies involves the study of the impact of the Media on society. The Media is powerful, pervasive, persuasive and persistent, and in today’s society we are surrounded by the Media. As a Media student you will learn to differentiate reality from falsehood in the media – critically analysing the validity of all media representations. Media Studies involves both practical and written tasks – it is a creative, fun, enjoyable subject which heavily supports students in English.
Media Studies is an open entry subject and is taught from Year 10, 11, 12, 13 into Scholarship Media.
§ Close Reading of Media Texts
§ Social Media
§ Genre Study
§ Practical Film Unit
§ Journalism & Print Media
§ Representation in the Media
Why Drama at All?
Although drama students explore the worlds of acting, devising, writing and directing, curriculum drama is not about creating the next generation of Shortland Street actors or Hollywood directors. If students choose this path they will be well supported, however, curriculum drama has a wider focus.
Drama provides students with the chance to explore both emotional and social literacy: key skills, which are needed to navigate the 21st Century work environment. 95% of the jobs in the English-speaking world rely on the “inter-personal nexus”: one person communicating with another, or to a group, successfully. Drama provides the context in which to explore such complexity, whilst also affording students the chance to explore their own identity and place in the world, through dynamic, exciting and rich teaching contexts.
Drama students study the following over the five years at Westlake Boys’:
Mask; Status play; Improvisation; Process Drama; Developing a Role/Character
Improvisation; Devising from an image; Shakespeare & Physical Theatre; student written and performed texts; NZ drama/theatre play texts; first Achievement Standard (AS1.1: drama techniques=Voice, Body, Movement & Use of Space)
Year 11 NCEA Drama
AS1.4: Commedia dell ‘Arte; AS1.2: Devising (around Hiroshima narratives); AS1.6: The Pohutukawa Tree Project (investigating students’ national/cultural identity); seeing live theatre; AS1.7: Live Theatre exam and AS1.3: Form/Period Exam
Year 12 NCEA Drama
AS2.2: Political Theatre; AS2.1: Forum Theatre; AS2.4: Theatre Form/Period; AS2.8: Student-Authored scripts; seeing live theatre; AS2.7: Live Theatre exam and AS2.3: Form/Period Exam
Year 13 NCEA Drama
AS3.4: Physical Theatre; AS3.2 Devising; AS3.6: Class Production; seeing live theatre; AS3.7: Live Theatre exam and AS3.3: Form/Period Exam. Scholarship Drama is also available.
Theatresports is improvisational drama and theatre, in the style of the “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “Thank God You’re Here!” TV programmes. It happens every Tuesday at lunchtime in M4 and is open to all students, whether they take curriculum drama or not.