A Shakespeare in the making – English at St Joseph’s Lochinvar

The English faculty at St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar, focuses on improving student literacy and engaging students with the power of words and images to nurture a genuine love of English.

With a wide variety of engaging and immersive English curriculum opportunities available, St Joseph’s aims to help students express themselves with fluency and clarity, ensuring that positive interactions and a respect for diversity are fostered.

Nurturing personal enrichment, students are encouraged to publish their work, helping to recognise the quiet achievements of students’ creative endeavours.

Reading for pleasure is also strongly encouraged at St Joseph’s, with ten minutes allocated at the start of every lesson for students to read material reflecting their interests and capabilities. 

An immersive experience

Students at St Joseph’s are given the opportunity to participate in a broad range of extra-curricular activities including debating, public speaking, creative writing and poetry competitions and film festivals.

Students can also participate in workshops conducted by professional and award-winning poets to help them develop their skills and understanding.

Stage 5 students are exposed to original and interpretive productions of Shakespeare with the college’s membership of the Globe Theatre in London. Students also travel to Sydney to enjoy productions of the plays set for critical study for the year.

Stage 4 students are provided with a variety of small workshops to develop their creative writing skills and these are further supported by a weekly writers group.

A whole school approach

Students studying English at St Joseph’s gain knowledge, understanding and skills that enable them to communicate effectively through a variety of media.

Students learn to use language in ways that suit the purpose, audience and form of the task. They are encouraged to think in creative and imaginative ways to interpret their world and understand what it means to be a discerning and critical reader and writer.

With a whole school focus on improving student writing skills, St Joseph’s has formulated common language teaching methods and practices to help improve student vocabulary and paragraphing.

Seniors at St Joseph’s have been developing more sophisticated writing skills with the implementation of a common learning framework (ALARM) and the college looks to introduce a common reading focus for Stage 4.

Technological learning

The introduction of new technology and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) campaign has proven to be liberating for students at St Joseph’s.

Students are taught in a flipped classroom environment, with all units of work for the English curriculum created online and delivered via OneNote. This enables students to engage with a range of remedial, consolidation, independent and student-focused activities.

This format also helps to cater to a range of different learning styles and gives recorded feedback to students to help them achieve their personal best.