Welcome to all students in 2018!
I'd like to extend an invitation to all parents, particularly those who are new to the school, to contact me whenever you have questions or concerns about your child's studies in English. I'm never too busy to address any concerns you may have regarding your child's learning. Schooling is a partnership and I believe parents should enjoy an active role in that partnership. We all want the best for your children.
The English Faculty is heavily involved in whole school activities and organisation.
- Ms Gurr is Relieving Head Teacher while the Head Teacher Mrs Wood is on leave. Ms Gurr will undertake all of Mrs Wood's duties when she is on leave. She spends much of her time supporting staff and students. She will be leading the team in prioritising ALARM as a teaching and learning tool in the classroom, as well as ensuring the uptake of the use of the Google Suite across all English classes to help students become 21st Century learners and workplace ready. She also co-ordinates activities which enhance the primary partner linkages. She is one of the school's NAPLAN administrators. Ms Gurr is the Year 12 Advanced and Extension Subject Coordinator.
- Ms Apolloni is currently a temporary English teacher who has retained her position at the school. She has provided expertise and guidance in programming using the Textual Concepts. She is also the Year 9/10 Debating and Public Speaking. Ms Apolloni is the Year 9 Subject Coordinator.
- Ms Borysiewicz assists with coordinating the ICAS English Competition. Ms Borysiewicz is the Year 12 English Studies Subject Coordinator.
- Mrs Chetty remains the official LaST (Learning and Support Teacher). She is responsible for ensuring equal access to the curriculum for all students. Mrs Chetty is the Year 11 English Studies Subject Coordinator.
- Mrs Cook is welcomed back in a temporary part-time position. She brings her teaching experience to our students and will support in many areas in the staffroom.
- Mrs Coppock is another Drama Coordinator. She is also the technology coordinator, mentoring teachers in the Faculty to learn Google Suites and Office 365. Mrs Coppock is also the school's Gifted and Talented Coordinator. She is coordinating the Drama Club and the Writing Club. Mrs Coppock is also the Year 10, Year 11 Extension and Year 11 Drama Subject Coordinator.
- Mrs Etcell is one of our Drama Coordinators and is a coordinator for the ICAS English Competition. Mrs Etcell is the Year 12 Standard Subject Coordinator.
- Mrs Hoskins assists our Careers Advisor with the organisation of some careers programs to help students transition to the workplace. She is the co-ordinator for the school's practicum placements. Mrs Hoskins is the Year 7 Subject Co-ordinator.
- Ms Kang is another of our temporary teachers who has retained her position. She brings with her expertise in developing students with diverse backgrounds. She is coordinating the Book Club. She is also the Year 7/8 Debating and Public Speaking Co-ordinator. Ms Kang is the Year 8 Subject Coordinator.
- Mrs Cook is our regular casual who will be in two days a week to take Mrs Etcell's and Mrs Hoskins' classes. Her focus will be on ensuring that junior students are up to date with their Wide Reading Program and continuing on the classwork. Senior classes are assured smooth continuity of their lessons.
All English staff act as mentors for Year 12 and offer support to all school activities. The staff are very approachable and happy to offer support and guidance when needed.
Literacy is important
- Heathcote High School has subscribed to the online literacy program WordFlyers for all Year 7 to 10 students. This program is able to be pitched at each individual student's level so that they are able to progress at a rate that suits them. We encourage parents to have a look at what they are doing at home, as work will be set for homework. The texts are not just English texts, and there will be other faculties setting tasks for classwork or homework. The program is worth 5% of the total assessment at the end of the year.
- We will again dedicate one period a week of our English lessons to the development of literacy skills through an Extension Reading and Writing Program in Years 7 to 10. The program allows students to use different learning processes to investigate and reach deeper understanding of texts they read of their own choice. An assessment task is attached to this program which is worth 15% of their total assessment at the end of the year.
- All students have access to the marking guidelines for NAPLAN so that they will be able to understand the expectations of written work for better achievement.
- All students will have access to a spelling list, and they will be tested at regular intervals.
- All of our teachers have formal grammar training and will be able to extend or remediate the content of our programs. We aim to offer some home activities on our website in the near future where students can practise their skills.
Reading and completing work not finished in class form the basis of the faculty's homework policy. Assessment tasks will also require some home time for preparation.
We will continue to offer before, after school, lunch time and holiday support for all of our students. As you may be aware students are welcome to use technology to seek advice and feedback at any time from their teachers.
New Senior Syllabus
Our Year 11s in 2018 will be the first group to complete the new senior syllabus. There are some interesting and challenging common courses for Standard and Advanced and new modules that offer exciting new texts to study.
We are always updating our programs and have developed a new scope and sequence for the junior classes which will be interesting and engaging for our students and include mandatory cross-curriculum content of Aboriginal, Asian and texts on sustainability. The new scope and sequence takes into account what the students are aiming towards in Years 11 and 12. Throughout the years, students will be required to respond to texts in a variety of ways to ensure fairness, as different students thrive in different forms of response – written, spoken, listening, and viewing and representing. All our year groups begin with a textual concepts focus on code and convention.
Year 7 begin the year with a unit called Craft and Artistry which asks students to explore how ideas are represented and will experiment with their understanding of how meaning is conveyed through the clever use of literary techniques. Throughout the year, students will be studying the following units: Media Matters, Close Study of Novel and Drama.
Year 8 begin with a unit on the The Hero's Journey – Close Study of a Novel which promotes understanding of character and genre. Throughout the year, students will be studying the following units: Difference and Diversity; Art of Persuasion: Advertising and Sustainability.
Year 9 begin with a unit on Protest which will provide them an opportunity to focus on how rhetoric is used to sway opinion. They will be learning more about persuasive writing in readiness for NAPLAN in this unit. Throughout the year, students will be studying the following units: Appropriation of Shakespeare, Close Study of a Novel and Representation of Adolescence.
Year 10 begin with a Poetry study focusing on connotation, imagery and symbolism. Throughout the year, students will be studying the following units: Voices (film study), Close Study of a Novel (genre study) and Drama Study (either Shakespeare or a modern drama) to prepare them for the senior English study.
Year 11 Standard and Advanced students begin a common course Reading to Write, with a focus on what makes great writing and then applying this knowledge to their own writing. Standard students will then complete two modules: Contemporary Possibilities (Serial podcast) and Close Study of Literature (Jasper Jones) while the Advanced students will complete Narratives that Shaped our World (Othello and other texts) and Critical Study of Literature (A Handmaid's Tale). Students are expected to read widely and have been given direction on our expectations.
Year 11 Extension 1 students are completing a unit on Texts, Contexts and Value, exploring the evolution, appropriation and echoes of texts over time.
Year 11 English Studies students will complete a Mandatory Module Achieving through English, followed by modules on The Big Screen: English in Film Making and On the Road – English and Experiences in Travel. The English Studies course offers students an opportunity to complete a common course in Year 12 in order to achieve an ATAR if they so choose.
Year 12 Advanced English students are completing their Module A: Comparative Study on Intertextual Perspectives focusing on the texts Metropolis and 1984. The students will visit the theatre in May for a performance of The Tempest for the Area of Study: Discovery. They will then complete Module B: Critical Study of Text (Speeches) and Module C: Representation and Text – People and Landscape
Year 12 Standard English students are completing a unit on The Shoe Horn Sonata and will see a performance in May in connection with their Module A: Experience through Language unit called Distinctively Visual. They will then complete Module B: Close Study of Text (Wilfred Owen) and Module C: Texts and Society - Exploring Transitions (The Story of Tom Brennan)
Year 12 English Studies are finishing up an extended mandatory unit on We Are Australians, followed by On the Road: English and the Experience of Travel and then Digital Worlds – English for the Web.
The following excursions have been organised to enhance the learning experiences and opportunities for students. Please make a note in your calendars and ensure that the payments are made by the due date when your child brings home the permission note.
- Year 7 – Steven Herrick – one of Australia's most loved poets for children and adults will be performing some of his favourite poems for young teens on Wednesday 28 March in the school hall.
- Year 8 – Matthew Doyle "Wuruniri" – as part of our Difference and Diversity study, Matthew will present his spoken and musical texts to our students on Thursday 10 May in the school hall.
- Year 9 – Valanga Khoza – as part of our Protest study, Valanga Khoza will speak about and perform some of his music that he has composed to raise awareness of the fight for freedom in South Africa since his exile in 1976. This will take place on Monday 19 March in the school hall.
- Year 10 – Luka Lesson – one of Australia's most successful hip hop and slam poets will be returning to the school to inspire the poet and the educator in all of us. He will be at the school hall on Friday 8 June.
- Year 12 Standard English – Shoe-Horn Sonata – all students will be travelling to the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Redfern on Friday 25 May to see a performance of their prescribed text for Module A.
- Year 12 Advanced English – The Tempest – all students will be travelling to the Seymour Centre in Chippendale on Friday 25 May to see a performance of their prescribed text for the Area of Study.
Parents should know that we value their support at home and appreciate the lengths to which they go when supporting their children with homework and assessment tasks. We ask that you encourage your children to complete their own work and if students are struggling, please let the class teacher know rather than completing parts for them. The staff are very willing to assist all students. I draw your attention to the unit that is completed by all students at the end of Year 10 called All My Own Work. I welcome phone calls to discuss any of your concerns.
Have a great year!
Ms B. Gurr
Relieving Head Teacher - English