English Department

“ English is above all, the subject which deals with the means of representation and communication: the means whereby we say who we are , to ourselves and to others; the means whereby we can examine the visions others before us have had about themselves and their times; and  the means of giving voice to our visions, for ourselves, and for others: the proposal of alternatives for debate, and , after that debate, for  common action.“ ( Kress 1995 p viii)

What is English at Edgecumbe College about?

Our Vision Statement

The guiding philosophy of this department continues to be that the broad aims of an English teacher are to develop and foster students:

  • to experience and enjoy language in all its varieties
  • to achieve a personal best reading and writing level that will give them choices when they leave school
  • to understand, respond, interpret, evaluate and use oral, written and visual language effectively in a range of contexts
  • to empower our students to be confident communicators and critical thinkers in their current and future roles in society.

Why study English?

English is a subject that 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. 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. For our students to be successful participants, our aim is that each student will leave Edgecumbe College with a language toolbox (oral, written, and visual) which will allow them to be contributing members of society, who are able to think critically and in depth.

Junior English Programme

Our teachers actively try to create positive learning environments in which the learner’s world is valued, individual learning styles catered for and where students are encouraged to be creative and take risks.

Our programmes are balanced, providing a variety of meaningful and purposeful opportunities in oral, written and visual contexts (listening, reading and viewing, speaking, writing and presenting), drawing upon the local community and resources where and when applicable.

Individual student needs are identified by ongoing monitoring using asTTLe in Years 9 and 10, Junior achievement assessments, which provide the basis for future planning and reporting to parents, identifying both barriers to learning and school trends and scaffolding Year 9 and 10 students into Level 1 NCEA English.

Senior Programme

The guiding philosophy of this department believes that in order for the teacher to develop and foster the aims of our department, the teacher must be secure in their knowledge of the curriculum, willing to explore, learn and adapt new initiatives to the needs of their students. The teacher must also work within an assessment frame work that makes the teacher and the student accountable for what takes place in the classroom/ learning environment. The modules we do across the years is thematically based and these themes are reviewed regularly to fit the needs of our students and reflect the nature of our time. The department uses and follows the NCEA assessment methods – practices and guidelines across the Year 11 to 13 and Scholarship.

Final thoughts….

“There are no impossible dreams just our limited perception of what is possible” (Beth M. Conny) this is the wonderful power of our subject, through the range and variety of texts we use in the classroom our students get to experience vicariously myriad possibilities which challenge our view of the world and humanity and provide us with the opportunity to ask “What would I do?” or “Why is this allowed to happen?” or “How could I make a difference”.