The English Department at Glenfield College is vibrant, forward-thinking, and gaining recognition as a leader in the national English teaching community. We are staffed by a blend of new and experienced teachers, ensuring a balance of both expertise and new ideas.
Our emphasis is on the literacy skills required for success in education and the world beyond. Reading and writing are a high priority on the list of classroom and homework activities. The department’s resources include a broad range of modern and traditional materials, both written and visual. Each classroom features a data projector, and the teachers are aware of the importance of engaging students through the use of modern technologies appropriately.
Many philosophical beliefs underpin teaching and learning in an English classroom at Glenfield College:
- A supportive learning environment: We recognise that our students represent many cultures and backgrounds, and we reflect this in our choice of texts taken from diverse cultures, especially those represented within the class.
- Encouragement of reflective thought and action: We encourage the students to critically evaluate the material they use, and reflect on their performance in assessment tasks.
- Enhancing the relevance of learning: Making explicit the raison d’etre of each activity or the selection of example texts. Where possible, students are encouraged to involve themselves in choosing texts or themes, so that they may find them more relevant to their learning process.
- Facilitating shared learning: We ensure there is a range of cooperative learning activities used on a regular basis in the classroom, and students are encouraged to continue discussing what they are learning when they are at home.
- Making connections to prior learning: Students are invited to make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and their experiences, as well as making connections between presented texts.
- Teaching as inquiry: Teachers are aware of the mixed ability levels of students present in their English classes. The usage of assessment data enables the staff to make informed decisions and thus cater their teaching to the diverse needs of the students.
- Assessment: A range of programmes, using both internal and external assessment, ensure that most students can enjoy success according to their individual abilities. We place an emphasis in the senior school on achieving NCEA success, with specialised programmes for those students who need help with literacy. Particularly able students have their abilities extended by the use of challenging themes and texts, with a constant aim toward excellence.