Curriculum and Learning

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 text forms. Learning English encompasses learning the language, learning through the language, and learning about the language.

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 become increasingly skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.

English is structured around two interconnected strands, each encompassing the oral, written, and visual forms of the language. The strands differentiate between the modes in which students are primarily:

  • making meaning of ideas or information they receive (listening, reading, and viewing)
  • creating meaning for themselves or others (speaking, writing, and presenting)

Students need to practise making meaning and creating meaning at each level of the curriculum. This need is reflected in the way that the achievement objectives are structured. As they progress, students use their skills to engage with tasks and texts that are increasingly sophisticated and challenging, and they do this in increasing depth.

Year 9

English Discovery

Do you want to discover more about the world and your role in it?  Would you like to have more confidence in expressing yourself?  

This course allows you to build on English skills that will enable you to understand, use and create oral, written and visual texts.  We will explore prior knowledge, take a quick check on the basics, and continue to build on knowledge, checking confidence with new learning as we go.

English Expand

Interested in why people do what they do? How to get your voice heard? What influences our ideas and beliefs? Then English Expand is the class for you.

In this course you will develop your ability to think and respond critically to a wide variety of texts, visual, oral, and written. Bring your problem-solving skills and big picture thinking to create written, visual, and oral texts that will prove the real-world impact your words can have. 

Year 10

English Developed

In English Developed you will build on the knowledge you discovered in Year 9.    

This class will develop your English skills so that you will be able to understand, use and create oral, written and visual texts of increasing difficulty, building on confidence with new learning as we go.

You will have the chance to explore a range of different texts.  We will be delving deeply into what we read, view and listen to, aiming for increasing independence with more complex texts, to develop the skills needed for success at NCEA.

Cambridge English

No text ever exists in isolation. And neither do you. Test yourself on the international stage and accept the challenge of sitting the mind-broadening Cambridge Exams, cementing your study and time-management skills before hitting the NCEA years.

You will critically engage with written, visual, and oral texts developing your ability to understand how texts can influence people and who is trying to influence you. You will also create your own texts, developing your ability to effectively influence your audience to get your voice heard on the global stage.

Level 1 NCEA

English 101

While a broad base of English is central to this course, there is the opportunity to pursue in-depth learning of some aspects of writing and literary analysis.  The focus for assessment includes specialising in a chosen genre of writing, as well as wide reading, speech making and external assessment of literary and language analysis.

English 102

Course Information: A general range of English skills and learning which will give a solid base from which to pursue further English study.  Assessment includes creative and formal writing, speech making, wide reading, research and literary analysis.

Level 2 NCEA

English 201

This course is an extension English programme focused on the advanced study of literature and language.  201 English provides an enriching foundation for the further study of English at Level 3.

English 202

This is a stimulating course and covers a selection of internal and external achievement standards.  This programme is based on a study of literature and language.  It provides a sound foundation for the study of English at Level 3.

Level 3 NCEA

English 301

This course is an extension English programme and will cover close reading of and response to language and literature texts from both visual and written strands.  There will be opportunities to deepen study of some genres through individual research and critical analysis.  The achievement standards available to be assessed against will encompass both internal and external assessment.

301 English provides an enriching foundation for those who intend to study further in humanities or sciences.

English 302

302 English is designed with a communication focus in mind to prepare you for the real world; this course of study includes analysis of written and visual texts as well as opportunities to create meaning through oral and visual texts.  It is an ideal course of study for those who need to further their skills in English for vocational purposes.  The assessment focus is on both internally and externally assessed standards.


Scholarship English is an opportunity for students to synthesise information from various sources, draw conclusions from unseen texts and respond thoughtfully to fundamental questions about humanity.  In Scholarship English students are challenged to ponder issues such as what Greek Tragedy has in common with Reality TV, what The Simpsons can teach you about Shakespeare and how an Instagram post can be as witty as Jane Austen.

Extra-Curricular Activities

  • SGHS Writing Competition
  • National and International Writing Competitions
  • Debating
  • School Speech Competition 
  • Readers’ Cup
  • Ugly Shakespeare
  • Visiting Speakers

Contact details

Book a Tour of Enwood House

Come and see all that Southland Girls’ High School offers boarders with a tour of Enwood House that allows you to see our facilities in action, while meeting the staff and the students.

To book in for a tour of the boarding house, please email Jenni Dennis, or telephone 03 211 6030.

RISKS Disclosure

This event contains risks, including possible injuries. This event is managed by school staff or other organisations who will manage risk and hazards according to the school’s/organisation’s safety management plan. This includes careful consideration of all procedures while carrrying out the activites. While risks can be maintained to acceptable levels they cannot be totally eliminated. Some risk is retained for its learning and experiential value.

If you wish to come in to school to see our safety management systems or have any questions please phone 03 211 6030.


I understand that playing sport is an opportunity for me to learn, practice skills, and gain attitudes and values in an environment outside of the school.  I realise that this requires me to take on genuine responsibility for my own enjoyment and safety and that of others.

I agree to do the following to make this happen:

  • Show courtesy and consideration to others.
  • Follow the rules and instructions of staff and other supervisors at the events.
  • Look after myself and my personal belongings.
  • Declare medical conditions that could affect participation in the events.
  • Accept the rules set by the school for the events.

I understand that my parents / caregivers will be contacted and I may be sent home at their expense if:

  • My actions are considered unacceptable by staff / supervisors of these events.
  • I breach the behaviour / discipline standards of the school.
  • My actions put me or others in any danger.

Book a School Tour

Come and see all that Southland Girls’ High School offers students with a school tour that allows you to see our facilities in action, while meeting the staff and the students.

Student tour guides will answer questions and offer a student’s perspective, before meeting with a senior member of staff to discuss your child’s enrolment.

To book in for a tour of the school, please email Nicola Macpherson on or telephone 03 211 6030.

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