Middle School English at Port Lincoln High School
The subject, English is a new experience for year 8 students. English across years 8 to 10 encompasses a number of key elements including:-
- A strong focus on literacy, notably the grammatical elements of the language in line with the requirements of the Australian Curriculum. English is a phase one Australian Curriculum subject which is being implemented in schools across Australia in 2013
- Shared studies of texts. Texts which students study are regimented across year levels 8, 9 and 10 to avoid duplication but at each level there is a variety of texts which students can experience including: film, prose, poetry and drama
- Opportunities for students to participate in creative and expressive individual and shared spoken text exercises
- The utilisation of modern technologies to create and produce both written and spoken texts
- The construction and production of written texts for various purposes including to: inform, create, entertain and express a point of view
- Developing independence in the production of written text through planning drafting, editing and publishing processes
- Opportunities to attend performances from visiting writers, poets and dramatic groups
The school is continually updating its shared text collection to mirror the contemporary ideas and issues which are presented in prose and film. New prose texts purchased in 2013 include:-
- Year 8. The Running Dream
- Year 9. All I Ever Wanted
- Year 10. Salvage the Bones
Senior School English at Port Lincoln High School
In recent years the senior school English curriculum has been revamped to reflect the requirements of the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).
Since 2009, English at year 11 level (stage 1) has been offered as either:-
- English leading to stage 2 (year 12) English Studies or English Communications. This course focuses on a duel study of literature and a broad range of texts including film, media texts and multi modal texts.
- English Pathways leading to stage 2 (year 12 ) English Pathways only which focuses on everyday texts, workplace texts and multi modal texts.
- Literacy for Work and Community Life which focuses on embedding literacy skills for life through a broad textual focus.
And students must achieve a C grade or better for both semesters to advance to stage 2 (year 12) English subjects and to qualify for the SACE, hence the choice of offerings to provide every student with the opportunity to be successful.
Following the implementation of the Foundation to 10 Australian Curriculum by 2015, schools will be required to re-structure the senior curriculum to reflect the Australian Curriculum requirements.
Therefore, as of 2016, the SACE stage 1 offerings will probably be re-labelled to reflect the terminology of the Australian Curriculum to:-
- Essential English
And it remains to be determined what labels will apply to year 12 English subjects at this stage.
Visiting Poet Engages Students
Well known South Australian poet, Geoff Goodfellow visited the school on Thursday, February 14th and performed an array of his work to the year 10, 11 and 12 classes throughout the day.
Goodfellow has published a number of poetry collections over the last three decades including No Collars, No Cuffs, Bow Tie & Tails, Punch On, Punch Off and more recently, Waltzing with Jack Dancer, the latter being based around his battle with cancer in 2008 and 2009.
Covering a range of issues and experiences such as family relationships, working life and the more disadvantaged and ostracised elements of society, Goodfellow’s words andperformance style captured the student’s attention and drew widespread discussion. His personal stories and battle with cancer resonated with the audiences, many of whom know persons who have experienced the same struggle.
A sign that a presenter has captured their audience is the eyes and body language and all eyes were clearly focused on the presenter throughout the day. As a result of the opportunity to meet and hear a published poet, students will continue their study of Goodfellow’s poetry in the weeks to come, and I feel sure that the connection and engagement shown by the students in the ideas and experiences shared by Goodfellow, will come through in their classroom based work.