Future Direction of English
Senior subjects are changing with the implementation of the incoming syllabuses, starting Semester 2 this year for the current Year 10 students. It is timely to communicate with you what these changes might mean for students in English specifically.
One of the most significant changes is the introduction of the new subject Literature. This subject focuses on the study of literary texts, whereas the subject English focuses on literary and non-literary texts. Senior students can choose to study either or both of these subjects.
Students who are not pursuing an ATAR can choose Essential English, that focuses on communication in work, community and social contexts. These three subjects have opened up a range of opportunities for students, giving them greater choice as to what types of texts and responses they wish to explore.
The second significant change that English will see is the implementation of a prescribed text list. The prescribed text list was developed by the Prescribed Text Selection Working Group. The texts have been approved by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) as suitable for study.
Texts were selected in accordance with the following criteria and guidelines:
a. The text list as a whole will:
• meet the syllabus requirements
• reflect the cultural and social diversity of the Australian context and student cohorts
• provide a range and balance of texts and writers in respect to time, place and gender
• encourage critical and creative engagement
• include texts that provide affirming perspectives
• consider broad community standards and expectations in the context of a senior secondary study of texts.
b. Texts selected for the list will:
• have merit in genre and style
• provide opportunities for sustained intensive study and challenge
• provide opportunities for student engagement.
These prescribed text lists reflect a number of texts that have been taught previously here at St Aidan’s, but they have also provided us with the exciting opportunity to explore new novels, films, television shows, plays and poems. Some of the texts that will be studied as part of the new syllabus are outlined below. Please note that this is subject to change, as we continue to develop our units throughout the course; however, it will give you some ideas as to the types of texts that students will study over the next two and a half years.
The English Faculty are currently doing a lot of work with students in Years 7-10 to prepare them for the new senior syllabuses. This includes:
• introducing new genres/response types that will be assessed in the senior curriculum, such as monologues, feature articles and the transformations of texts.
• reviewing our approach to analytical essay writing and beginning to prepare students for an external examination situation. This includes strategies to help students ‘study’ for English, and how to respond to an analytical question without having a novel in front of them (as will be required for the external examination at the end of Year 12).
• assessing using Instrument Specific Marking Guides (ISMGs), which has enabled us to provide more specific feedback to students, and given us the opportunity to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the language reflected in the new syllabuses.
If students are particularly keen to begin reading some of the texts that will be studied either in Semester 2 this year, or Semester 1 next year, please direct them to the following:
English: Term 3 will be difficult for students to prepare for, as the unit will involve students selecting their own texts. This will only be possible once students have been given the task at the beginning of next term. In Term 4, students will be studying the media and are encouraged to regularly read or watch the news and stay up-to-date with current affairs. In Term 1 of 2019, students will be required to read the graphic novel Persepolis, so are welcome to begin that in preparation for next year.
Literature: Students will begin Term 3 by viewing the film Wadjda, which can be accessed on Clickview. In Term 4, we will be studying Jane Austen’s Persuasion and I do encourage students to begin reading this as soon as possible.
Overall, the future direction of English is a very exciting one and the English Faculty are looking forward to what the next two years will bring. I hope that this has given you a little more insight into what will be happening in English very soon. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss anything that I have mentioned, please do not hesitate to email me.
HOF - English
Mathematics Assistance Program Term Two 2018
It is important that students develop as independent learners. By using the additional resources on the class One Note and the chapter review in the text, girls can ensure they get enough practice at arange of skills. For extra assistance in understanding a concept, interactive tutorials provide hints and examples to support students to develop their skills.
When difficulties arise, individual assistance can help to improve understanding. All the Mathematics teachers are aware of this and make it a priority to allow time for this to happen in their lessons. As another facility, members of the Mathematics department provide free tutorials to provide further assistance to any girls who are experiencing difficulty. Any girl can turn up to the room below and ask for help with a specific difficulty. Students need to attend the session at the starting time and ensure that they record their name on the attendance roll. Girls should make use of all opportunities to ask their own teacher for assistance in and out of class.
Senior Library – CBCA Readers Cup
Congratulations to both the Year 7 and Year 8 Readers Cup teams, who last week participated in the Children’s Book Council (Qld), regional Readers Cup interschool competition. Twenty one teams took part and both our teams led throughout and went to a tie breaker round. The Year 8 team won the competition by 1 point!
The students in the Year 8 team were Monica Behrenbruch, Alyse Dowd, Leila Riemann and Juliette Pepin. The students in the Year 7 team were Arianna McCulloch, Olivia Muldowney, Charli McGraw, Vienna Tran and Isla Williams. The quizmaster for the event was the author James Moloney.
In preparation the students spent the term reading, re reading and quizzing each other on the five set books. Skyfire by Michael Adams, Frogkisser by Garth Nix, Bridget: a new Australian by James Moloney, Maybe by Morris Gleitzman and Saving Paul by Paul Griffin.
The winning Year 8 team now go on to the CBCA Readers Cup state final which is to be held in September as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival.
Next semester we also have forty students from Year 7 – Year 10 participating in Interschool Readers Cup competitions taking place in the Brisbane West region. Reading is certainly alive and well at St Aidan’s!
Head of Library Services – Senior School
STAGE competed last Thursday evening and Friday at the Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge, held at St John’s Anglican College, Forest Lake. The performances for STAGE are improving all the time, with another successful competition. The junior team achieved Very Highly Commended for their lyrical performance ‘Hideaway’ and the full team achieved Highly Commended in the jazz section with ‘Americano’ and a fantastic 3rd place in the Musical Theatre section for ‘Mamma Mia’. Scores for all dances were high, indicating the level of competition at the challenge. The adjudicator’s remarks for Mamma Mia were particularly impressive, saying, “This is a celebration of girl power and I say that because you all look so happy in your skin – that’s priceless!” Dance captains Jessie Forbes and Gemma Rowell choreographed this dance and have done an amazing job, along with coach Grace Nicholls who helped get the girls ready to produce such great performances. STAGE would especially like to thank Ms Riordan and Ms O’Sullivan Williams for their support by attending the challenge, Samantha Lee and the STAGE Support Group.
Next exciting instalments in the competition program for STAGE are the Redlands Eisteddfod on the 15 July and DanceLife Unite on the 21 or 22 July.
From the International Dept
Congratulations to one of our well respected homestay families, and Old Girl (2005), Jennifer Green and her husband Matthew Green, who have welcomed the safe and healthy arrival of their second child, Abigail Clare Green born on Friday 25 May 2018.