With a diverse range of personalities, the Auckland Grammar School English Department continues to inspire students in the study of literature, language, reading, speaking and writing. A range of different courses and qualifications are offered to suit students of all ability levels.

Form 4:

Course description/aims: All Form 4 students will study the same, general course that covers a range of skills that build upon the Form 3 programme. The programme is designed to introduce students to the skills required at the next level, whether it be NCEA Level 1 or Pre-Q.

Work covered includes:

Literature: Poetry, Film and Drama (Shakespeare or Non-Shakespearean) will be taught, along with the teacher's choice of Non-Fiction or Novel. Elements of style, structure, character, setting and theme will be analysed and students will respond by writing transactional essays.

Language of the Writer's Craft: Students will study the use and effect of writing techniques, including narrative point of view, figures of speech, sound devices and methods of characterisation.

Film: Film techniques (camera, lighting, sound and editing) will be revisited, in conjunction with a study of a film as text.

Writing: Students will write in a variety of different creative and transactional styles: narrative, descriptive and discursive/argumentative.

Static Images: This study will examine the use of visual texts for communication. The use of images, colour, contrast, lettering and layout will be incorporated into the design and production of a book dust jacket.

Speaking: Public speaking and reading aloud in a formal setting are part of the programme.

Comprehension: Students will be given the task of reading written, oral and visual unfamiliar texts, often tied to the focal topic of the term, and will need to answer questions that test or enhance their ability to comprehend basic, as well as inferential questions.

Language: Students will continue their study of basic grammar (parts of speech, punctuation, syntax, paragraphing, and spelling) from the department grammar booklet that all Form 3 students receive.

Form 5 (Pre-Q):

Course outline: Students will study one novel, one drama, and one film. These will be tested by essay under examination conditions. Students will also study the writer's craft and be tested, under examination conditions, on their reading comprehension.

Methods of assessment: A range of supplementary course work activities will be undertaken during these text studies to augment the programme.

  • Paper 1: Reading Comprehension (course work component)
  • Paper 2: Novel essay
  • Paper 3: Drama essay
  • Paper 4: Film essay

School examination:

  • 1 x 1 hour examination - end of Term 1
  • 1 x 2 hour examination - end of Term 2 (includes Paper 1 component – 25% of Pre-Q)
  • 1 x 3 hour examination - end of Term 4 (Papers 2, 3, and 4 - 75% of Pre-Q)

Form 5 (NCEA Level 1):

Course outline: The Form 5 NCEA Level 1 English course is based upon selected internally-assessed and externally-assessed Achievement Standards as follows:

  • 1.4 Creative Writing [3 credits, Internal]
  • 1.5 Formal Writing [3 credits, Internal]
  • 1.6 Speech [3 credits, Internal]
  • Written Text - novel or non-fiction [4 credits, Internal]
  • Visual Text - film [4 credits, Internal]
  • Unfamiliar Written Texts [4 credits, Internal]

Methods of assessment: There will be several Achievement Standards offered during the year, from which students can acquire 21 credits: 9 from internal assessment and 12 from the three-hour external examination.

Students will also sit School examinations:

  • 1 x 1 hour examination - end of Term 1
  • 1 x 2 hour examination - end of Term 2
  • 1 x 3 hour examination - end of Term 3

Literacy - Form 5 (NCEA Level 1):

Pre-requisites: This course is designed for students from 4O-4P in 2019 and it provides students who need additional support in reading and writing the opportunity to improve their literacy skills.

Course descriptions/aims: The course will provide direct teaching in reading and writing. The aim is to improve students’ literacy skills so they can manage the demands of study in the Senior School in a variety of curriculum areas. The course provides additional credits towards the literacy requirements for NCEA Level 1.

Work Covered includes:

Visual Language: Explain how aspects of visual texts work together to create meaning

Writing Accurately: Paragraphing, punctuation and spelling, sentence structure and control and eliminating patterns of error

Writing Strategies:

  • How to write creatively (narrative and descriptive stories)
  • How to write formally (formal personal correspondence)
  • Personalised 'Next Steps' to develop each students writing skills

Improving Reading Comprehension and Fluency:

  • Instruction in Reading Comprehension strategies
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Participation in the Reading Plus programme

Methods of assessment: This course is internally assessed through the completion of NCEA Level 1 Unit and/or Achievement Standards: AS90856, US10792, US1273 and US24731 (14 credits).

Form 6 (NCEA Level 2):

Methods of assessment: There will be six Achievement Standards. Students can acquire 25 credits: 13 from internal assessment and 12 from the external examination.

  • 2.1 - Analyse specified aspects of studied written texts, with supporting evidence [4 credits, External]
  • 2.2 - Analyse specified aspects of studied visual or oral texts, with supporting evidence [4 credits, External]
  • 2.3 - Analyse significant aspects of unfamiliar texts through close reading with supporting evidence [4 credits, External]
  • 2.4 - Produce a selection of crafted and controlled writing [6 credits, Internal]
  • 2.5 - Construct and deliver a crafted and controlled oral text [3 credits, Internal]
  • 2.9 - Form developed personal responses to independently read texts, supported by evidence [4 credits, Internal]

Literature - Form 6 (AS):

Methods of assessment: This rigorous literature-only programme is examined externally at the end of the year as a stand-alone course or as the first half of a two-year course (the second being Cambridge A Level (A2) Literature).

Students will present for two external examinations at the end of the year - Paper 3: Poetry and Prose [2 hours] and Paper 4: Drama [2 hours]. Each paper contributes 50% and students will study 4 texts: a novel, poetry and two plays and write a 25-mark, 700-plus word essay on each. A range of supplementary activities will be undertaken during these text studies to augment the programme.

Literature and Language - Form 6 (AS):

One class only of this stand-alone course is offered to students (subject to marks gained in Pre-Q) who are NOT going to do English in Form 7 as it does not carry through to A Level.

There is a little less time pressure on in this course as two literature texts are studied (instead of four with Cambridge AS Literature). The language component comprises writing in a variety of creative (narrative and descriptive) and formal (discursive and persuasive) styles.

Methods of assessment:

  • Paper 2: Composition [2 hours] - 2 pieces of writing
  • Paper 9: Poetry, Prose and Drama [2 hours] - 2 literature essays

Form 7 (NCEA Level 3):

Pre-requisites: The NCEA Level 3 English course is significantly more difficult than Level 2 and only students with a very good English skills base should consider opting for it.

A minimum of ten reading and writing credits at Level 2 (i.e. not counting the speech) including one external standard are expected of students wanting to enter NCEA Level 3 English. For example, the following would qualify:

  • The Level 2 writing internal plus at least one Level 2 external
  • The Level 2 reading internal plus at least two Level 2 externals

Methods of assessment: Six Achievement Standards worth 22 credits are on offer from internal and external assessment as follows:

  • 3.1 Written Text (poetry, short story, novel, drama or non-fiction study) [4 credits, External]
  • 3.2 Film Text Study [4 credits, External]
  • 3.3 Respond Critically to Unfamiliar Prose and Poetry Texts [4 credits, External]
  • 3.5 Create and Deliver an Oral Presentation [3 credits, Internal]
  • 3.8 Develop a critical understanding of literature [4 credits, Internal]
  • 3.9 Respond Critically to Visual Texts [3 credits, Internal]

Literature - Form 7 (A2):

This course is an extension of the same rigorous, literature-only programme where students present for two external examinations at the end of the year:

  • Paper 5: Shakespeare and other Pre-20th Century Writers [2 hours]
  • Paper 6: Modern Writing [2 hours]

Methods of assessment: Each paper contributes 50% and students will study four texts - two for Paper 5 (a Shakespeare play and either poetry, a novel or a non-Shakespearean play) and two for Paper 6 (poetry, a novel or a non-Shakespearean play).

Students will write 25-mark, 900-word transactional essays on each text and will cite secondary material/criticism in the process. A range of supplementary activities will be undertaken during these text studies to augment the programme.

Those students who had difficulty with AS Literature may opt to study NCEA Level 3.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff today.