The King's English Department, at the forefront of innovative teaching practices, is a well resourced Department offering an interesting range of units of study designed to motivate and engage students in the learning process. For example, students in Year 7 learn about the infamous Australian Ned Kelly and are taught to evaluate the different stories and visual representations in their search for “truth”, whilst students in Year 8 examine the conflicting perspectives that surround young men growing up in the Middle East. In contrast, in Year 11, students study a unit of satire, where they are required to read, view, analyse and write about an extensive range of texts from George Orwell's classic novel Animal Farm to an episode of The Chaser.
In the junior years the faculty places a strong emphasis on the development of basic skills, with a fortnightly test that checks their understanding. Additionally, all students have a journal where they write creative responses, ranging from poems to short stories to opinion pieces. In Year 10, our curriculum reflects the Boys to Men program, with selected novels for study, including Of Mice and Men and Lord of the Flies, requiring boys to really think about how easily our values can be corrupted. Boys learn high order skills enabling them to synthesise key points in a ‘compare and contrast’ essay and analytical skills in order to reveal meaning in key passages. In Year 11, students can study Advanced English, Standard English, English as a Second Language and Extension 1. In Year 12 added to this offering is Extension 2 English. In addition, all students experience a range of dramatic performances.
The English Department offers enrichment and extension programs for our more able students. For example 8A take part in a special writing program with a Year 4 class, where the boys mentor the younger students and suggest improvements to their writing. This program incorporates face to face and online visits through a dedicated Google Sites webpage. In contrast 9A and 9B, in a joint program with History, create group documentaries on the “Romance and Reality” of War. Special attention is also given to those students who are struggling with particular skills or concepts. We use a range of measures, dependent on our particular group of students, ranging from smaller classes, to a second teacher in the classroom, or withdrawal, where boys can be taught by a specialist teacher. All students experience enrichment activities, ranging from theatrical performances, guest speakers or attending sessions run by our Writer in Residence.
Parents have complete access to the English Intranet site that provides clear details of the requirements of each unit to be studied, dates and types of assessments together with a range of excellent resources. We ask parents to work with the English staff by encouraging their sons to read beyond the designated texts set for English.