English, Media Studies, Literacy and Te Awakairangi
English at Hutt Valley High School is about the study, use and enjoyment of the English language. Understanding how language works can empower our students by giving them the literacy toolbox needed for life beyond school. In order to nurture capable and critical thinking citizens of the future, English is used to provide students with opportunities to “become increasingly skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.” (NZC)
English is available at all year levels, and is compulsory to Year 11. Targeted support programmes are also available from Year 9 through to Year 12.
English is the subject where we learn how to understand and comprehend texts, identify techniques and explain the wider meanings that apply to us and our society. For me, it is not just a subject but an outlet; a way to unleash my creativity in a productive way. The English department has helped me to advance with my learning. The teachers have supported me to accomplish higher levels of achievement and success with reading, writing, speaking, viewing, and presenting. Isla McKay, Year 9
English. The skills that are important in every aspect of life. At Hutt Valley High School, nothing has made me want to grow and learn more than the English Department. They help their students simply by sharing their passion for English and creating a safe environment where all students are able to talk, learn, and be treated as equals. They teach more than just the skills of analysing texts; they build our knowledge of culture. The teachers in the English Department have had a large impact on my life, and I will take the valuable experiences from their classes with me as I enter the world beyond school. Anna Cammock-Nicholls, Year 12
English this year has been my favourite subject. The number of different topics we have studied and the new skills I have picked up have been really helpful. I've enjoyed coming to English and writing essays has been a satisfying achievement. Also, the amount of feedback and responses I got on my work throughout the year have been a phenomenal help and have boosted my ability to write well. I've always enjoyed English, but the course this year has really helped to boost my skills in all literacy areas, English has also pushed me to challenge myself. I will definitely be looking forward to English next year. Henry Adams, Year 11
Media Studies is a future-focused subject, which values critical thinking, independence and resilience. Students will learn about how psychology, sociology, advertising and film shape our world and influence our ideas. A highly academic subject combined with a focus on creativity, Media Studies sets students up to be aware of the media landscape they are active consumers, but not always active critiquers of; this gives them the tools to not only analyse, but also to create media content.
Available from Year 11, students will analyse media genres and representations. They will also gain the skills required to produce media products, aiming to showcase them in the annual Hoscars (Media Studies awards night).
Studying media this year has challenged me to think differently, and look deeper. From creating our own PSAs to studying conventions of romantic comedies, each lesson provided a new insight to how media and society interact. Media is everywhere. It has never been more important to understand the power and influence it has. For me, it isn’t just about learning a school subject, it is about learning a relevant subject that I will be able to transfer into my life. I have been able to apply the skills I have learnt in media to other subjects such as English. Media was my top pick for my learning in 2019. Amelia Walshe, Year 11
Media Studies offers the opportunity to dive deep into society; exploring cultures, historical events, representations and much more, all through the world of media. It’s a subject which opens your eyes to the world around you and allows you to have creative freedom in the way you work, whether it is individually or in a group. This level of creativity has allowed me to enjoyably carve my own way through the various assignments during the year, creating a learning experience that has been unmatched throughout my schooling life. Louis Rutherford, Year 12
Basing ourselves within the Hutt Valley and Greater Wellington Region, Te Awakairangi is a course designed to make global issues local. Using the knowledge of our local place we will look back in history, and into the future, to understand where it is we find ourselves now.
We are offering a course designed to appeal to socially conscious students who want to better recognise their place in this world, develop a sense of social responsibility, understand biodiversity and our ecological footprint, and grasp differing perspectives on local and global issues.
Te Awakairangi combines aspects of all subjects in such an enjoyable and educational way everyone can enjoy. The atmosphere in the classroom encourages students to get involved and to try. Learning about current worldwide issues and how they affect our was a great way to help us understand more about the environment we are living in. Then being able to put our own ideas into practice and see first hand the benefits is encouraging and rewarding. I enjoyed the options that were given within this course as well; this meant we were able to choose standards and topics within the standards that we would enjoy learning about and completing. Kayla Morrison, Year 13
Te Awakairangi for me was a great experience. I wasn’t really doing well in English but this subject gave me a chance to learn a lot about my country while developing my English capabilities. It opened my mind up about thinking of worldviews and all aspects of sustainability. Personally, I would recommend this subject to everyone that wants to learn more about our place and how to be sustainable members of the community while developing their English knowledge, then Te Awakairangi is the perfect subject for you. Quintyn Matagi, Year 13
Literacy is an option at Year 9 and Year 10. There are two types of Literacy offered: Literacy Strategies and Literacy Learning Differences.
The Literacy Strategies class supports students whose comprehension levels are low and who need help navigating the literacy demands of school. These classes provide them with strategies and skills to become independent learners. They will make significant gains in their ability to read, spell and write structured texts. Students will gain confidence and develop a more positive attitude towards learning.
Students in the Literacy Learning Differences class are typically academically able, but struggle to understand texts and/or express their ideas clearly in written form and, therefore, generally do not achieve at a level commensurate with their ability. These classes give students an understanding of how their brains work and how they process information differently from others. They will develop skills specific to their learning needs, and learn strategies which will grow their confidence and self-esteem, and will improve their ability to learn across all subject areas.
This year, the Literacy option has helped me to improve in English and develop a range of more advanced skills. It has given me more support to keep up to date with English work, to understand the mechanics of writing, and mostly it has given me more confidence in other subjects that involve literacy skills. I have really enjoyed the freedom and choice that LITS has offered me. - Tegan Reid, Year 10
The Literacy option in Year 9 has helped me to improve my reading skills by using digital activities to give me more confidence and practise. I have also improved my writing skills and learnt more about how language works. The environment has been supportive, and I have felt like I was able to get individualised help on what I needed. I have enjoyed the typing because I know it is preparing me for the senior school and NCEA, and the assessments are designed for us to experience success. - Janisha Mehta, Year 9