ERC Updates

What’s been happening in English…

Students in Year 9 and 10 Enrichment English visited the Sydney Writers Festival for a series of inspiring lectures about writing. Thank you to Mr Booyer-Rybak for organising this experience for the boys and to Mrs Field, Ms Leate and Ms Levi for accompanying the boys on the day. 

In Week 2, the Year 12 Advanced English classes were treated to a visit from artists from the John Bell Shakespeare Company. Actor Educators presented a seminar on “The Tempest” to consolidate and enrich the students’ understanding. 

I have recently completed the Regional Teacher Mentorship Program with the Bell Shakespeare Company where I spent four days with artists and educators from the company to learn new strategies to engage students in the study of Shakespeare. The experience was incredibly inspiring and I am looking forward to bringing my learning into the classroom and leading the faculty through an innovative and fresh approach to our study of The Bard. 

The student-led Book Club is now up and running; thank you to the SRC for this initiative and to Mrs Russell for facilitating this opportunity. It is so wonderful to see students enjoying reading and we hope to see the book club grow throughout the year.

Thank you to Jarod Donsante from Year 12 Advanced English who has kindly shared his impressive discursive writing. Students were asked to explore an experience and to implement the language forms and features from their mentor text “That Crafty Feeling”.

Mrs Gazzola

Head of English



Procrastination, or as I like to call it, “unintentional conceptualising’ is a falling, double edged sword. It can be skilfully caught on the handle and drawn to compose a beautiful demonstration of one’s adaptability, or, most commonly, the sword can be caught on the blade in a foolish attempt to save a doomed task, only resulting in regret and self pity as to why they let the blade fall so far, so quickly. Alas, in both outcomes, the task is completed within the short period in which it is due, but in two wildly paradoxical fashions. I’d like to consider myself the expert dualist, but like most people, I’ve definitely cut myself more than once, even as I do this task now. So, here we are. Should you train to be the one who can catch swords, or train in a way so you don’t have to? 

Let’s take a look at the first option; the dualist, and I’ll be honest, it’s definitely the less enjoyable of both. As a deadline ceases and a task completed, the finished product embodies quality and determination with a name proudly stamped at the bottom. However, with the duelist it’s not the end result that’s the problem, it’s the motivator. Generally, these duelists are perfectionists who never settle for less than what they know they can achieve, and procrastination is merely the mechanism in which they are forced to employ their skills. However, it’s this specific mechanism derived from compounding stress and anxiety that eventually cracks even the most stubborn procrastinators into work; literally shocking them into movement. Thus, this need to do their best no matter what, complemented by a stubbornness to do nothing, creates the falling sword, which must, and will, be caught at all costs. This is the way for dualists.

This then begs the question, how does one train to carefully lower the sword from its stand, and with their mind the paint and point the brush, create art? The answer is to become a painter and not procrastinate at all. Simple isn’t it? I mean, it’s theoretically perfect; simply start the task early, slowly dab and brush your way to completion, and present your artwork with the paint dry. The problem is that people aren’t always rational, and, unfortunately, do not possess the discipline to become the next Van Gough, also, it doesn’t sound as cool either. So here we are, a crossroads. A dualist or a painter, forced into action through stress, or the desire to create something beautiful. I know which one I would choose, if I had the choice, but like most things in life, you never do. So either fight it or embrace it, just do what works best for you.