Yearbook 2021

English Matters

In Year 11 Standard English our students applied themselves to developing their creative and critical faculties and broadening their capacity for cultural understanding. The common module “Reading to Write” supported their transition to Stage 6 English through providing them with many opportunities to engage with a range of texts to enhance their analytical and creative writing skills and knowledge. Through their study of the multimodal “Sherlock” series, students developed understandings of how contemporary digital texts make meaning. We look forward to working with these students as they continue to develop into flexible and critical thinkers, capable of appreciating the variety and complexity of the world in which they live. The Year 11 Advanced English class started the year with an exploration of “Narratives that Shape Our World”. Class discussions, about the important role of storytelling in helping us to understand the complex and challenging nature of the world we live in, were lively and engaging. Contemporary Australian authors featured this year with students studying novels by Markus Zusak and Sofie Laguna as students honed their skills in multimodal communication, creative writing and literary analysis. The commitment and enthusiasm of this group was obvious as they readily engaged with the challenges of deconstructing William Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ during lockdown. It was an interesting start to the English Extension 1 course for the Year 11 students where they studied the unit ‘Encounters with the Other’. Working with increasingly complex literature such as Cooper’s ‘Last of the Mohicans’ and Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ allowed the class to delve into the concepts of what makes us who we are and how that concept has been reflected through literary works across time. There were robust discussions both in class and via our online conferences during lockdown as students were given opportunities to theorise about how to respond to and compose significant texts. Year 12 English Studies students started the year with the module “Text and Human Experience” where they analysed the documentary series 'Go Back To Where You Came From. The class engaged with the module enthusiastically. This ongoing dedication to the subject was evident with students being able to demonstrate their understanding of the various modules studied, effectively engaging with the content and class discussions. The Year 12 Standard English students have undertaken their study of text-based human experiences with characteristic commonsense and perseverance. They have analysed and crafted texts about the importance of human connection, empathy, family and friends as well as the restorative power of the natural world and the importance of environmental stewardship. Their Stage 6 English studies has provided a foundation for them - as they move into the next phase of their lives - to give expression to their ideals and dreams, to become increasingly innovative, independent learners who are able to use language to effectively collaborate and to reflect on their life experiences. Mr Bigwood, the Year 12 Advanced English teacher, has emphasised how proud he is of the resilience and effort displayed by the cohort this year. They have weathered the storm of disturbances caused by Covid and produced some outstanding work. The quality of the academic writing produced by these students has continued to develop and their Trial results reflect their work ethic, strength of character and dedication. The irony of studying Orwell’s 1984 during this era of upheaval was not lost on them either! We wish them all the best as they move forward in their future endeavours.

Ms Trisha Stadtmiller English Coordinator

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