English Learning Area
Hello and welcome to the English overview page. Although I am new to Carine Senior High School as Head of English, I have actually taught here twice before. Once was in the 1970s for eight years and I returned in 1988 for two years. Returning this time feels a lot like coming home!
This year we are continuing our focus on rigour, which means that we will be encouraging students to approach their English studies in a positive, determined and disciplined way. Although some believe that you can’t study for English, in fact, there are many strategies that can be used in order to become proficient in this subject.
Reading is one of those strategies. Students who are reluctant readers might like to seek the help of the librarians, headed by Mrs Piruk. Their English teachers are well placed to help, so between the two sources of help, there is every chance that your son or daughter will become engaged with reading. It’s a good idea to read regularly – to develop a habit of reading at a set time each day. It is also a good idea not to read just one genre. For example, many girls love reading books like those in the Twilight series, which of itself is fine, but over time it is better to diversify and read a range of text types. This includes novels, short stories, autobiographies, biographies, magazines, newspapers and web pages. Again, English teachers and the library staff are happy to help students find things to read.
Viewing is the other side of the reading ‘coin’. Students need to watch a range of visual text types, I including feature films, documentaries, television programs and short films. They also need to ‘view’ still images, to develop their critical thinking skills in relation to the use of visual language.
In Years 8 through to 12, students are required to keep a reading, writing and viewing journal. From time to time teachers will set journal tasks, but in between, it’s a good idea for students to write responses to written and visual texts. Over time, this habit helps students to develop a wide range of analytical and critical thinking skills, and also helps them to fine tune their writing.
The best way to improve at something is to practise. This applies especially to writing, which if not done very often can prove difficult. The English staff are more than happy to provide their students with extra writing practice and also happy to give feedback. To locate past examination papers, Senior School students can visit the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority website. We also have some past school-based exam papers. The website also contains the syllabus documents for all Senior School English courses, from Stage 1 English through to Stage 3 Literature.
Each Monday after school in the library, Ms Reece is running a study/homework session, to which students from all years are invited. Students are also invited to ask their own English teachers for extra help.
Do contact us if you would like more information about how your son or daughter can develop their English skills and understandings.
MRS WENDY CODY
HEAD OF ENGLISH