English is the study, use, and enjoyment of the English language and its literature, communicated orally, visually, and in writing, for a range of purposes and audiences and in a variety of forms.

By understanding how language works students are equipped to make appropriate language choices and apply them in a range of contexts. By studying English at Waimate High School students will learn to analyse texts in order to understand the power that language has to enrich and shape their own and others’ lives.

The literacy skills students develop in the study of English will give them access to the understanding, knowledge, and skills they need to participate fully in the social, cultural, political, and economic life of New Zealand and the wider world. To be successful participants, they need to be effective oral, written, and visual communicators who are able to think critically and in-depth.

Students will learn to appreciate and enjoy texts in all their forms and gain a better understanding of how the literature of Aotearoa New Zealand, the literature of the Pacific, and world literature contribute to their developing sense of identity, their awareness of Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique heritage, and their understanding of the world.

Understanding, using, and creating oral, written, and visual texts of increasing complexity is at the heart of English teaching and learning. By engaging with text-based activities students will become skilled and sophisticated speakers, listeners, writers, readers, presenters, and viewers.

Student units of work may include novels, short stories, poems, articles, podcasts, films, TV programmes, static images, speech transcripts and websites. The contexts in which students learn are flexible. Teachers will spend time at the start of the year getting to know their students’ strengths and weaknesses and use this to plan which texts will best suit the interests and needs of their students.



Who do you think you are?


English as a way to express ourselves as individuals – in written, visual and oral forms.

year 8

Heroes and Villains.


Literature as a way to explore the best and worst of humanity.

yEAR 9

What are our literary roots?


What written/ visual/oral traditions inform the texts we consume today?

yEAR 10

The power of language.


How can language be used as a powerful tool to manipulate, persuade, inspire, and motivate?


Literature as social commentary.


How does literature explore flaws in society and/or offer solutions to these problems?


Literature as an exploration of the human condition.


How can we connect to literature from different times and contexts through our common humanity?


Literature through the looking glass.


The study of texts which can have a diverse range of interpretations, depending on the lens with which they are viewed.


The English Department offers a range of opportunities for students to explore their talents.

  • Rotary Speech Competition at all levels.

  • CAM Kiwi English Competitions

  • English Department reporter for the school website

  • Creating articles/images/stories for the Waimate High School magazine

contact us


  • Libraries
  • Journalism — broadcast and print
  • Writing
  • YouTube content creation
  • Film-making
  • Museums
  • Communications and public relations
  • Event organisation
  • Cultural development
  • Art galleries
  • Theatres
  • Education
  • Publishing
  • Marketing and advertising
  • English language tuition
  • Community liaison
  • Customer services
  • Technology and digital services

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