ERC Updates

English – Engaging Students

The English faculty is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage our students in the subject – particularly reading and Shakespeare.

“Reigniting a reading culture in the classroom” was the topic of Mr Max Booyer-Rybak’s presentation at the Annual English Teachers Association Conference. Mr Booyer-Rybak was selected to present his ideas which provided teachers with actionable strategies to bring a love of passion for reading back into the classroom. He shared his personal experiences from his own journey; the wins, the losses and most importantly, the key learnings and how to develop a vision to bring passion back into reading. Mr Booyer-Rybak also covered strategies for engaging reluctant readers, improving student engagement with reading, and developing a wide-reading program to help promote a love of reading in the classroom.

Studies have shown that reading also improves writing. Students in Year 11 have just completed the “Reading to Write” module which focuses on reading different texts and focusing on how writers use language to shape meaning. Students then try to experiment with these techniques in their own compositions.  You can read two of our Year 11 Advanced student works: Ben Connolly’s poem titled Paradise on Earth” and Zachary Lum’s poem “I had only given in because I was lonely.”

Our Year 11 Advanced English students have also engaged in workshops with Bell Shakespeare’s Resident Artist in Education, Huw McKinnon. Students are currently studying Shakespeare’s Othello and the workshop provided them with an active, immerse experience of the play. Huw guided them through practical lessons blending drama with key language analysis, themes and discussions of characters. It is a powerful way to help our students bring Shakespeare’s words to life.

Huw McKinnon from Bell Shakespeare directs Year 11 students to ‘loosen up’ and shed the blazers, and get comfortable with moving to the words of Shakespeare. 

Mrs Guest
Assistant Head of English