English Faculty – Philosophy
English aims to promote an awareness of the individual’s own and other people’s perspectives, cultures and worlds through the study of texts. We aim to develop a love of reading, writing and of the value of literature as well as encouraging our students’ creativity and individuality.
We also aim to develop our students’ ability to critically analyse and evaluate the world around them by encouraging our core values of acceptance, tolerance, multiculturalism and self-awareness. Students are given the confidence to develop their own point of view as well as listen to and understand those of others.
Studying texts develops students’ ability to understand, articulate and justify their point of view as well as understand the plurality of perspectives in a 21st century context.
Our teachers are GERRIC trained and our programs are written around the principles and strategies of visible learning, a program spearheaded by Professor John Hattie, our questions are designed using the Williams model among other theorists and models and these pedagogical aspects work together to offer students best practice and as many opportunities as possible to achieve their personal best.
Inside the English Classroom
Reading and analysing literature can often present students with a variety of viewpoints which may at times challenge or reinforce their own values.
Debating viewpoints is a necessary component of any study of literature or language. It is English faculty policy to create a climate of tolerance, where opinions are solicited and listened to and are respected. This is encouraged as part of the core experience of students in their English lessons.
Our programs are not designed to change beliefs but they are designed to call into question how values are developed and how they may change over time; as well as heighten our students’ awareness about the world around them. Our teachers support and encourage students to contest ideas and to weigh textual evidence against conceptual depth, to draw conclusions and write responses.
As a result, we offer students a variety of texts which reflect a variety of viewpoints from different historical, social, cultural and workplace contexts. Special emphasis is placed on texts which reflect the diversity of Australian society and voices.
In selecting texts for study, we need to balance NESA and ACARA requirements and policies with our school’s context, plan and direction. This means ensuring that we have a range of Aboriginal, Australian and Asian texts and voices, a range of poetic, Shakespearean, cinematic, dramatic, fiction and non-fiction texts as well canonic texts and more contemporary works, which are suitable for stage four, five and six respectively, and which develop student’s reading and writing skills.
Writing tasks are also a significant tool for developing imaginative, discursive, reflective and persuasive voices. Students are encouraged to compose in a variety of forms and to challenge their own assumptions.
English – Stage Four and Five (7-10) RoSA
What do Mosman High students learn about?
Students learn about the relationship between themselves and the world around them as well as the relationship between language and meaning. They learn about the power of their language and culture through texts.
Students learn about the experiences of Aboriginal people, multicultural Australia, Asian voices as well as how significant contextual influences have shaped these voices and representations and how they may give insight into a range of cultural, social, political, historical, gendered, academic and other perspectives.
What do Mosman High students learn to do?
Students learn to develop their skills in writing, reading, listening, speaking, viewing and representing. They learn to consider the importance of purpose, audience and context in their responses, whether verbal, written or multimodal, and they learn to use forms, structures and language features to communicate developed ideas.
This is supported by their study of technical skills in literacy which is at the core of all English programs at Mosman High.
What life skills will Mosman High students learn?
Our aim is to develop students’ written skills, general knowledge and understanding about the textuality of their world so that they can use language and communicate appropriately, effectively and accurately for a range of purposes and audiences, in a range of contexts. Our programs encourage students to learn to think in ways that are imaginative, interpretive and critical. We support students to express themselves and their relationships with others and the world, and reflect on their learning in English.
English – Stage Six (11-12) Preliminary and HSC
In Year 11 we offer the following courses:
- Extension 1 (need to study Advanced)
- EALD (English as an additional language or dialect)
In Year 12 we offer the following courses:
- Extension 2 (need to study Extension 1)
- Extension 1 (need to study Advanced)
- EALD (English as an additional language or dialect
As students enter senior schooling, they are developing or have developed an understanding of themselves, and the ways that they relate to learning and the value of learning in their lives and the important role English plays in their education.
These options listed above are designed to recognise their growing independence as learners and the diversity of their needs, interests, abilities, goals, pathways and intentions.
Senior English at Mosman High is characterised by students’ increased awareness of the ways in which they organise and participate in learning, and by greater self-direction and proactive approaches to their education.
In their HSC years, our students are encouraged to articulate their understanding of the relationship between syllabus points and textual evidence and analysis – they are also encouraged to experiment with their written expression so they are less reliant on prepared responses for assessments and exams.
They develop knowledge and understanding of the ways that the linguistic, structural, contextual and thematic interrelationships among texts shape meaning. They develop and apply a knowledge and understanding of the role and function of literary conventions and devices.
Students analyse the relationships between texts and technologies and evaluate the ways in which the medium itself influences the shape and nature of meaning. Their skills in imaginative and reflective writing are further developed.
English beyond the Classroom
Inclusivity and equity are the cornerstones of the English faculty management plan at Mosman High, and informs all decisions made by the faculty head teacher.
We are proud of our ongoing commitment to supporting all students and in particular students who have English as an additional language or dialect.
In achieving this outcome, so that all students are able to demonstrate achievement, we have additional support for students who may be here from overseas, are new to the country or language or who have identified needs and require particular support. This is facilitated by teachers who are trained in this area and who ensure that students’ skills and knowledge of English is developed to their personal best.
Students are offered the opportunity to participate in the Premier’s Debating Challenge. Mosman High’s English faculty has a great relationship with Masters Academy who, with the support of our debating coordinator, works with students to develop their manner, matter and method in preparing arguments, counter-arguments as well as their collaboration, listening, critical and creative thinking skills. Over the years, we have achieved much success in this area, and is a flagship program of the English faculty. We are proud of our record in this extra-curricular area and many students have found a passion for contesting ideas in a formalised setting.
Mosman High students are offered opportunities throughout the year to participate in a variety of local, state and national writing competitions. In the past our students have had tremendous success at all levels of competition with many of our students establishing careers in journalism. English teachers are always willing to assist students with the drafting and proofing of their work and we encourage all students of all abilities and ages to participate!
ICAS tests are set and assessed by the UNSW. These are externally provided and are paid tests.
All students are encouraged to participate in these annual tests.
We liaise with UNSW to have Mosman High students participate in:
- Writing and
- English tests
We believe these tests are more than just competitions.
The ICAS tests are a valuable tool for parents, students and English teachers in that they provide a comprehensive diagnostic assessment of a student’s strengths, areas for improvement or any knowledge gaps.
They are the only national and international assessment program which enables the tracking of individual student performance and progress from year to year.
It is the depth of this information that can help the classroom teacher to tailor their teaching and learning programs to best meet the needs of their students.