Our English students have been exploring a range of texts this term and, in so doing, they have learned to organise their responses into a formal piece of writing, namely an analytical essay.
Year 7 students are working on their very first essay, responding to the wonderful Morris Gleitzman novel, ‘Once’, which follows the journey of a young Jewish boy, Felix, as he tries to find his parents amidst the horror of World War Two. The essay topic requires them to explore the idea that ‘nobody wins in a war’, and draw links between this idea and the novel. Students are offered considerable assistance and scaffolding to prepare them for essay responses as they move towards the middle and senior years of schooling.
Year 8 students have immersed themselves into the fabricated world of Truman Burbank as part of their study of Peter Weir’s film, ‘The Truman Show’. Having completed a creative response to this film, they are now embarking on their text response essay, examining whether ‘manufacturing a reality is dangerous’. Additionally, all Year 8 students will enjoy Innovation Day later this term; the English Challenge will give them the opportunity to prepare some fast fiction around the theme of ‘Game Changers and Change Makers’.
The year’s end is drawing very close for our Year 12 students who are working on their final SAC, which is to compose an essay comparing George Orwell’s seminal text, ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’, and Anna Funder’s non-fiction work, ‘Stasiland’. The students have found the similarities between these two texts quite astounding, given that Orwell’s is a complete work of fiction, while Funder’s tells the personal stories of people who lived in East Berlin during the time of the Berlin Wall.
In other news, our 58 students in Years 7-12, who have been involved in the Statewide Debating Competition, have enjoyed many successes this year. One of our D Grade teams (comprising Year 8 students Sarah Husodo, Camille Japhary, Tess Johnson and Mia Mackintosh), finished at the top of the ladder in the Berwick Region, and thus progressed to the finals. They unfortunately lost their debate in the third Playoff by only one point, but we congratulate them on such a wonderful season.
With VCE examinations just around the corner, the English Department wishes our Year 12 students well, in both the compulsory English subjects and, indeed, across all of the curricula. I also thank the tireless English staff for their dedication to achieving positive outcomes for our students throughout the year.
Head of English