John McGlashan College English Department


English is all about communicating and connecting.  It’s about finding and nurturing a voice to tell our stories and developing an ear to hear the stories of others.  Studying English involves the following:

  • reading and writing
  • listening and speaking
  • viewing and presentingEnglish_1.JPG

At the start of the year, a course handbook is published.  This contains details of the topics studied during the year, assessment dates and policies as well as information about homework, organisation, stationery etc.

Some units of work that may make up a typical English course at McGlashan may include:

  • novel study
  • creative writing
  • language study
  • film study
  • theme study (eg leadership, multiculturalism, facing a challenge)

Teachers spend time at the start of the year getting to know their students’ strengths and weaknesses and use this to plan which texts will suit the interests and needs of the students.

In Year 9, the boys study English with the aim of developing confidence in understanding, forming and expressing increasingly sophisticated ideas.  In Year 10, these skills are further developed and students are introduced to Level 1 NCEA.  Full details are published in the students’ course handbooks.

Beyond Year 10, there are different options for English:

  • NCEA courses (Levels 1, 2 and 3)English_2.JPG
  • Transitional English (Levels 1 and 2)
  • Scholarship English
  • IB English

Details of all these courses are given to the boys before they select their options.

The English Department also runs a series of competitions for the boys.  “Go McGlashan Read!” focuses on reading; the prepared reading competition and the formal speech competition focus on speaking and we also run a creative writing competition.  As well as these activities, the English Department also looks after various extra-curricular events such as debating, speech competitions and writing competitions.

Iain McGilchrist

HoD English