English Matters Our Year 7 IHI students began the year focusing on key literacy and comprehension skills, studying poetry, narratives and persuasive text types. They developed their understanding of visual literacy through our study of Jeannie Baker’s picture book ‘Mirror’. Students engaged in a close study of text throughout Term 3 regarding Adeline Yen Mah’s autobiographical text ‘Chinese Cinderella’, emphasising the importance of resilience and perseverance during times of hardship. The students are commended on the way they responded to the challenges of remote learning, honing their skills in composing a persuasive speech regarding an Ancient Chinese heritage site. During Term 4, students shifted their focus to the world of film, considering the decisions made behind the camera and how this impacts and engages the audience. The Year 8 students have distinguished themselves as aspirational learners who have enjoyed the opportunities provided in English to engage with a diverse range of texts and modalities that encourage them to think critically and inclusively of the 21st century world in which they live. When given the chance to self-select their texts, their choices were inspirational as they gravitated towards quality literature that resonated for them such as Keats “To Autumn”, Shelley’s “Ozymandias”, Kipling’s “If”, Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Angelou’s “Still I Rise”. You might like to take the time to read some of these texts and be similarly delighted by what our Year 8s see as being important to them. Year 9 students began the year developing their writing skills with the “Language, Literacy and Learning Toolkit” unit, enabling them to extend their conscious use of a range of stylistic features. This is the springboard into a study of the dystopian novel ‘The Hunger Games’. Working with Shakespeare occurred during our online lessons, allowing for theatrical recitals of the Bard's famous sonnets to take place behind screens. This allowed students to optimise their use of technology in their presentations. Original and entertaining sonnets, using iambic pentameter, were written and enjoyed by our students. Year 10 English students have engaged in learning activities designed to ensure that they have well-developed functional literacy and to prepare them for Stage 6 English. Our Year 10 students have been focused on developing core critical literacy knowledge and skills to support their effective transition into Stage 6 English. They have crafted discursive texts through the conscious use of macro and micro thesis statements in their “Power of Words” unit and their “Journeys” Area of Study. The study of culturally relevant films has provided them with opportunities to develop enhanced understanding of themselves and of diverse human experiences and cultures. In engaging with the role of advertising in our modern lives, they have learnt to become critical consumers of information with a heightened appreciation of how we are often manipulated by a range of multimodal strategies. It will be a pleasure to welcome them into Senior English in 2022. Year 11 English Studies started the year with the module “Achieving Through English” which aligned well with the Work Studies course that most of the students also studied this year. During this module students were able to think deeply about their future aspirations and practice their interview skills. The consistent feedback from the class was that they were grateful for the opportunity to develop their interview skills as well as their resumes and cover letters.
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