The learning of English is a fundamental part of any student’s school experience. The skills acquired in the English classroom flow through to other subjects and curriculum areas. At Williamstown High School, the English faculty is committed to the provision of relevant, contemporary and engaging learning experiences.
Why study English
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms” Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)
At Williamstown High School we wish to foster in students an appreciation of the significance of English as a subject. The acquisition and use of language facilitates our communication with the world. Via language, we come to understand ourselves, others and the world in which we live.
English at Williamstown High School
The study of English is compulsory for all students from Year 7 through to Year 12. English is a practical and exciting subject that includes the study of various types of t
exts. Students are exposed to both contemporary and classic or traditional literature, films and animation, graphic novels and non-fiction texts such as magazines and newspapers.
Along with the study of set texts, students have opportunities to choose a novel of their choice with a small group and participate in literature circles. Students are also encouraged to engage with electronic and cyber-texts and apply Internet Critical Literacy when viewing information on the Internet.
Students learn to express themselves creatively and also learn that language is used for many purposes; to inform, persuade or instruct. Students also learn the skills of oral communication, whether informally or in presenting a speech.
Students are supported in adopting critical thinking skills and the classroom is a place where inquiry in encouraged for both students and teachers. Student centred and autonomous learning is encouraged at Williamstown High School and students learn in new and stimulating ways.
In years 7-10, students study English and at VCE they also have the options of English Literature, English Language and Foundation English. Literacy support is also available for students in years 7-9.
Highlights of the English Program
At Williamstown High School offers unique opportunities within the learning area of English. Students have the opportunity to:
- enjoy sensory writing at the Jawbone reserve
- participate in writing competitions
- attend excursions to see theatre and films, view artworks and experience workplace environments
- listen to guest speakers, participate in festivals and workshops
- see their work published in High Tide, our school magazine
- contribute to the construction of scripts for school production
- experience literature circles
- use learning technologies to present and publish their work
- learn the art of debating and public speaking
- join book clubs
- contribute to our English week celebrations
- experience cross-curricula activities
Williamstown High School offers a stimulating, diverse and challenging English curriculum to students. Students explore the features of different genres such as detective fiction, gothic fiction, fables, classic and contemporary poetry, plays and graphic novels.
Students also learn how to recognise, analyse and use literary devices to produce writing that is complex and multi dimensional. Devices such as metaphors, similes, personification and alliteration, among many others, are explored to deepen students’ understanding of how meaning is conveyed through the English language.
The English classroom in Williamstown High School is a place where individuality and creativity are encouraged and valued. Through the texts they study, students learn to think broadly about a range of complex issues so they can develop the crucial critical thinking skills they need to become informed and active citizens of the future.