ASHS English Department Guidelines

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This handbook has been designed for and by English teachers at Albany Senior High School and outlines the important concepts and procedures in the department as well as expectations of teachers. It will change as systems and procedures are adjusted to be responsive to student needs. Please suggest any improvements and feel free to correct any grammatical errors or typos.

Department Operational Framework/Guidelines

NEGs and NAGs

The National Education Goals (NEGs)

  1. The highest standards of achievement, through programmes which enable all students to realise their full potential as individuals, and to develop the values needed to become full members of New Zealand's society.
  2. Equality of educational opportunity for all New Zealanders, by identifying and removing barriers to achievement.
  3. Development of the knowledge, understanding and skills needed by New Zealanders to compete successfully in the modern, ever-changing world.
  4. A sound foundation in the early years for future learning and achievement through programmes which include support for parents in their vital role as their children's first teachers.
  5. A broad education through a balanced curriculum covering essential learning areas. Priority should be given to the development of high levels of competence (knowledge and skills) in literacy and numeracy, science and technology and physical activity.
  6. Excellence achieved through the establishment of clear learning objectives, monitoring student performance against those objectives, and programmes to meet individual need.
  7. Success in their learning for those with special needs by ensuring that they are identified and receive appropriate support.
  8. Access for students to a nationally and internationally recognised qualifications system to encourage a high level of participation in post-school education in New Zealand.
  9. Increased participation and success by Mäori through the advancement of Mäori education initiatives, including education in Te Reo Mäori, consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  10. Respect for the diverse ethnic and cultural heritage of New Zealand people, with acknowledgement of the unique place of Mäori, and New Zealand's role in the Pacific and as a member of the international community of nations.

The National Administration Guidelines (NAGs)


Each Board of Trustees is required to foster student achievement by providing teaching and learning programmes which incorporate the New Zealand Curriculum (essential learning areas, essential skills and attitudes and values) as expressed in National Curriculum Statements. Each Board, through the principal and staff, is required to:

(i) develop and implement teaching and learning programmes:
    (a) to provide all students in years 1-10 with opportunities to achieve for success in all the essential learning and skill areas of the New Zealand curriculum;
    (b) giving priority to student achievement in literacy and numeracy, especially in years 1-4;
    (c) giving priority to regular quality physical activity that develops movement skills for all students, especially in years 1-6;

(ii) through a range of assessment practices, gather information that is sufficiently comprehensive to enable the progress and achievement of students to be evaluated; giving priority first to:
    (a) student achievement in literacy and numeracy, especially in years 1-4;
and then to:
     (b) breadth and depth of learning related to the needs, abilities and interests of students, the nature of the school's curriculum, and the scope of the New Zealand curriculum (as expressed in the National Curriculum Statements);

(iii) on the basis of good quality assessment information, identify students and groups of students;
    (a) who are not achieving;
     (b) who are at risk of not achieving;
     (c) who have special needs
     (d) aspects of the curriculum which require particular attention;

(iv) develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of students and aspects of the curriculum identified in (iii) above;

(v) in consultation with the school's Maori community, develop and make known to the school's community policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Maori students;

(vi) provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in year 7 and above, with a particular emphasis on specific career guidance for those students who have been identified by the school as being at risk of leaving school unprepared for the transition to the workplace or further education/training.


Each Board of Trustees, with the principal and teaching staff, is required to:

(i) develop a strategic plan which documents how they are giving effect to the National Education Guidelines through their policies, plans and programmes, including those for curriculum, assessment and staff professional development;

(ii) maintain an on-going programme of self-review in relation to the above policies, plans and programmes, including evaluation of information on student achievement;

(iii) report to students and their parents on the achievement of individual students, and to the school's community on the achievement of students as a whole and of groups (identified through 1(iii) above) including the achievement of Maori students against the plans and targets referred to in 1(v) above.


According to the legislation on employment and personnel matters, each Board of Trustees is required in particular to:
(i) develop and implement personnel and industrial policies, within policy and procedural frameworks set by the Government from time to time, which promote high levels of staff performance, use educational resources effectively and recognise the needs of students;

(ii) be a good employer as defined in the State Sector Act 1988 and comply with the conditions contained in employment contracts applying to teaching and non-teaching staff.


According to legislation on financial and property matters, each Board of Trustees is also required in particular to:

(i) allocate funds to reflect the school's priorities as stated in the charter;

(ii) monitor and control school expenditure, and ensure that annual accounts are prepared and audited as required by the Public Finance Act 1989 and the Education Act 1989;

(iii) comply with the negotiated conditions of any current asset management agreement, and implement a maintenance programme to ensure that the school's buildings and facilities provide a safe, healthy learning environment for students.


Each Board of Trustees is also required to:

(i) provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students;

(ii) promote healthy food and nutrition for all students;

(iii) where food and beverages are sold on school premises, make only healthy options available; and

(iv) comply in full with any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure the safety of students and employees.


Each Board of Trustees is also expected to comply with all general legislation concerning requirements such as attendance, the length of the school day, and the length of the school year. 1 including gifted and talented students

Summary of key parts of National Curriculum statement on English

What is English about?

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.

Why study English?

Literacy in English gives students 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. By understanding how language works, students are equipped to make appropriate language choices and apply them in a range of contexts. Students learn to deconstruct and critically interrogate texts in order to understand the power of language to enrich and shape their own and others’ lives. Students appreciate and enjoy texts in all their forms. The study of New Zealand and world literature contributes to students’ developing sense of identity, their awareness of New Zealand’s bi-cultural heritage, and their understanding of the world. Success in English is fundamental to success across the curriculum. All learning areas (with the possible exception of languages) require students to receive, process, and present ideas or information using the English language as a medium. English can be studied both as a heritage language and as an additional language. English presents students with opportunities to engage with and develop the key competencies in diverse contexts. How is the learning area structured? 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). The achievement objectives within each strand suggest progressions through which most students move as they become more effective oral, written, and visual communicators. Using a set of underpinning processes and strategies, students develop knowledge, skills, and understandings related to:

  • text purposes and audiences
  • ideas within language contexts
  • language features that enhance texts
  • the structure and organisation of texts.

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.

Significant school planning documents

eg relevant parts of 5 Year plan. Need links here to relevant school planning once it's on WE.

Department Management

Department and annual and longer term strategic plan

Annual plan 2011

Departmental Goal
Success Indicators

Implement programmes that allow students to achieve personal excellence.

Grade targets for each standard are met or surpassed.

Excellence and merit grade are increased across all standards.

Students are engaged and interested.

Students are identifying personal success and taking short and medium term steps to achieve this.

Students are taking responsibility for their assessment work and utilising all possible sources of expertise and assistance.

Courses are themed at years 12 and 13 for increased engagement and smoother integration and identification of themes across texts.


Themed course readers are compiled and given to students
Data are analysed during the year at a department and individual teacher level.
Course content milestones are implemented and parents are kept informed of student progress.
Re-implemented in 2012
Provide teachers a regular forum to communicate successful strategies and methods from personal practice and PI.
Implement leadership positions where leaders drive task setting, extra curriculuar and wider opportunities in a language area.
Refining for 2012
Run English week activities; writing competition and debating competition.
Publish excellence creative writing collection
In progress
Maintain a focus on big concepts (ideas, structure, style) across standards. Outline this to teachers and students. Complete
Course skeletons (to outline English curriculum links across standards) are published and teachers are assisted in using them in planning Canned this idea

How will the effectiveness of this programme be assessed?

The different courses are evaluated in three main ways:

1) Ongoing refinement of courses during the year as issues crop up. Decisions are made concerning these issues at departmental meetings.

2) Ongoing analysis and review of standard grades, facillitated by leaders in various areas (see leadership responsibility section). This is compared to the department grade targets for the year and interventions are discussed and actioned.

3) Course reviews at end of year including:

  • Structure of the course,
  • standards included;
  • texts studied;
  • grade targets and analysis;
  • department goals;
  • and student feedback analysis on each of the above.

Professional Inquiry and Appraisal

This is linked to the work of individual staff in their PI. Staff should:

  • collect information and evidence from PI to use in their self-appraisal.
  • report relevant findings to other English teachers informally and in departmental meetings.

Policy/guidelines on teaching and learning English

This section sets out overview of key pedagogical beliefs practices of department. It includes expectations of classroom planning. English teachers will take into account the following:

Big Concepts Focus

One of the important features of the English curriculum is the way that that concepts across it relate to all kinds of language. Structure, ideas, style, audience, purpose, techniques and conventions are all concepts that relate just as well to a piece of writing as to a media presentation. It is important to deliberately take up the challenge of articulating these links to students. To ensure, for example, that they understand that structure can look like the layout of elements in a static image and also the way ideas are divided into paragraphs in a piece of writing. These are both methods of grouping ideas with the intention of clear and effective communication.

Communicating these big concepts is a challenge in a high-stakes course where the urgency of assessments can eclipse the learning the surrounds big concepts and how they relate to artifacts of work. The connections between these concepts across assessments should be reflected in the discussions between teachers, students and in the order of learning experiences during the year.

Split screen

This is about making the what (are we learning) why (are we learning it!) and how (are we going to use it in the future/with our other knowledge) as explicit as possible. Sometimes it may be justifying a particular task (links to the outside world) or it could be explaining exactly what a learning task has been designed to do. While going over this for every task will not always be appropriate, lesson plans should have evidence of split screening (see ASHS 100 minute lesson plan template.)

Lesson Planning

Lessons can be planned using whichever tools suit teachers preferences and strengths. The following fundamentals are integrated in weekly lesson plans:

Prior knowledge (based on profiling) - Focusing Inquiry Detail the basis of your learning intentions for this lesson

Specific learning objectives, learning intentions and success criteria - Focusing Inquiry These should be specific and based on processes, strategies and student understandings. Share and clarify these with students. Link intentions to tasks. Carry this over to reflection phase.

Interventions - Teaching Inquiry for individual students based on previously collected data and/or present professional inquiry.

Tasks, split screening and reflection - Teaching & Learning Clear intentions for each and links with the SLI. Opportunities for students to reflect are scaffolded and integrated with the lesson flow.

Teacher evaluation (of learning/lesson) / next steps - Learning Inquiry Teacher observations, conversations with students and products (artifacts of work) all feed into this.


Students will be given opportunities to perform as they would in a role relevant to English. This could be as a writer of fiction, writer of non-fiction (journalism, marketing, other specialised writers.) Students cold also perform as the character within a text providing an infinite number of opportunities to increase immersion or develop the students understanding of characters and their (albeit fictional) role in society. Students could also be given opportunities to lead class and group discussion, take the role of group organiser (ensuring the group meets set time-frames etc) and give feedback on each other's work.


Ascertaining and responding to student needs in real time. This could be achieved by basing 100 minute lesson planners on the course skeletons, providing flexibility. It is also about creating an environment in which students are aware of ways to express needs in workable ways. There can be a tension between this and planning, as a department ideally we will share ways of combining effective planning and responsivity. Also see the text selection section under programmes of work.

Authentic Learning

This is learning which is linked to real life skills, process and projects. These could be possibly career based experiences or simply the kinds of things people do with English once they've left school. Practically it could be things such as writing a blog in a clear and entertaining fashion, writing a concise and well structured report, writing an article to a deadline, and studying texts that are linked to students interests and contexts.

Respectful relationships

Respectful relationships with all students create an environment with positive learning conditions. Students have chances to engage with meaningful and authentic learning experiences because the social behaviour of others takes into account the learning environment. Choices around conduct and relationships that contribute to this kind of environment are made explicit to students. Consistently applied consequences and positive interaction surrounding learning experiences are part of maintaining this respect.

NOTE: The scenarios below hits point might still be potentially useful but there is also a school-wide document on respectful relationships here.

Discussions with students in a variety of contexts are a major factor in establishing this environment. Focusing on the desired choice (rather than the negative behaviour in cases where it is occurring) and explaining why it is required is essential to maintaining respectful relationships between the student, teacher and group. These kinds of conversations could be centred around a student's own learning and/or the learning of the community as a whole. It's also sometimes about keeping your cool on the outside, when on the inside, you're about ready to strangle someone.

Given the horribly abstract nature of the above stuff, here's some examples that illustrate some of the issues around respectful relationships and a few other concepts along the way. These are not (but could be similar to) the students' real names...

Scenario 1

Horatio is regularly interrupting people in class. His interruptions are often insightful comments about the work at hand and sometimes irrelevant. After being asked not to interrupt, Horatio continues to the point that the interruptions are significantly effecting the rest of the classes opportunities to learn. Given the choice between not interrupting and going to Student Services, Horatio makes the disastrous mistake of interrupting again and is asked to go to Student Services. He is fairly upset about this but eventually complies.

Possible with conversation with Horatio at student services:

MR SMITHERS: So what happened in class just now Horatio?

HORATIO (annoyed): You told me to stop talking and then you sent me down here!

MR SMITHERS: I guess you're a bit annoyed about the whole thing huh?

HORATIO (slightly less annoyed): #$%& yes!

MR SMITHERS: OK. I can see how being sent down here would be frustrating. Can you listen so I can explain to you what the deal with this kind of thing is?

HORATIO (grumbles): Yeah.

MR SMITHERS: Well, to be honest, some of the things you were saying were really insightful and are the kinds of things it's really good to talk about during text studies.

HORATIO (annoyed again): Well, why $%^%, sorry. I mean why did you send me down here?

MR SMITHERS: One of the issues when you're in a group of people discussing something is when is a good time to put forward your opinion and also how you should deliver it. Shouting something in the middle of someone else talking for instance, doesn't always help the discussion to develop because that person hasn't been able to finish explaining what they were saying.

HORATIO: I guess...

MR SMITHERS: Sometimes too, I'll be explaining something important that could be quite complex. So if something interrupts that, you and the other students won't have much chance of understanding it.

PAUSE. Horatio looks a bit grumpy.

MR SMITHERS: So this has happened a few times over the last while ay Horatio?


MR SMITHERS: The other problem is, every time you have to come down here you miss out on more time you could be learning too. Not to mention the fact that these conversations can be pretty painful.

HORATIO I'll say.

MR SMITHERS: It's really important for your own sanity Horatio that you realise why you get removed from class in these instances. Because you might find you get angry and feel like you're being picked on sometimes?


MR SMITHERS: Even though it might feel like you're only being picked on, often there's other things in the situation that effect people. During an interruption, it's also about all the other people in the discussion too. So why, this time, did you have to come down here?

HORATIO: Because I talked.

MR SMITHERS: Yeah, kind of. But you can and should talk during class discussion. It's often about when though. There's just some things you need to remember about how you do it. What do you think you should do to make sure you don't interrupt someone?

HORATIO: I guess I could wait until they've finished talking.

MR SMITHERS: Nice. Then you'll still get to say what you want to add and they'll get to finish too. What can you do to stop the stuff coming out that isn't helpful or doesn't contribute to the topic at hand?

HORATIO: I dunno... Maybe think about whether I should say it or not, like whether it's relevant or something...

MR SMITHERS: Yep. That would be excellent. You might also find it's going to be a bit hard for you to retrain yourself to not interrupt over the next wee while too. So I'll make it clear to you in class that you need to make sure you don't interrupt inappropriately if it crops up. If I point it out in class, can you do your best to make sure you'll try to get on top of it?

HORATIO: Yeah, I spose.


Here's a few things to note in this situation:

  1. Respect has been maintained in the exchange because the student's feelings have been acknowledged.
  2. Respect has also been maintained because the student has been given a clear explanation of the situation; the relevant issues other than the student himself, the negative repercussions of their behaviour and some guidelines on how to deal with the same situation next time. It's not just a punishment with no explanation.
  3. Also, when the student is required to consider a solution they have to face up to the effect of their actions on other people. In the long run, it can sometimes be worth pointing out to students that using an anger reaction (ie: I'm being picked up) is not an excuse not to consider the effect of their own actions.

Scenario 2

Mr Smithers is attempting to explain the requirements of a group-task to the class. The task is also up on the whiteboard but he wants to ensure that he's pointed out the potential problems for students and that they have a chance to ask questions. While he is explaining the task, Odelia (for the most part) is quietly talking to her friends.

MR SMITHERS: So, you'll need to tall make sure that your organiser has a solid understanding of all the tasks and that they're dishing out...

ODELIA: (talks to friends)

MR SMITHERS: Odelia, can you make sure you're listening please, this task can get tricky.

ODELIA: (angry) I am listening!

MR SMITHERS: (continues) So to make sure you're working efficiently and will finish on time, your organisers need to be dishing out tasks to the other group members. It's up to you how you....

ODELIA: (talks to friends again)

MR SMITHERS: (stops talking and waits)

ODELIA: (after a meaningful look from one of her friends, turns back to Mr Smithers and glares) We were just talking about the task! Faaaaaaaaaar out!!!

MR SMITHERS: (addressing the rest of the class) It's up to you how you decide to divide up these tasks. Just ensure that all the group members understand what they're doing and that they are all happy with the task they've got. Are there any....

ODELIA: (starts talking to her friends again)

MR SMITHERS: Are there any questions? (Answers a student's question and then sends everyone off on their task. He then – secretly a bit apprehensive, frustrated and after taking a deep breath – approaches the group Odelia is with.)

MR SMITHERS: Odelia, I need to have a quick word before we get into this task. Can we talk over here please?

ODELIA: (grunts, stands up and follow Mr Smithers away from the desk)

MR SMITHERS: I'll make this quick Odelia because it's really important that you get into this task with the rest of your group.


MR SMITHERS: There are some times during class when it's good to talk to other students and other times when you need to listen. When is a time when you think it's important to listen?

ODELIA: When you're talking. But we were talking about the thing we were about to do!

MR SMITHERS (doesn't really believe her) Sure. That's really good but there's plenty of time to sort that out later. Lots of these tasks can get difficult and it's important you understand how it should work. How are you going to make sure you understand the important bits?

ODELIA: Listening to you when you're explaining it I guess.


ODELIA: Can I go now?

MR SMITHERS: In a second. I just want to make sure you understand the task. What is the group organiser going to be doing?

ODELIA: Organising tasks for the rest of us to do.

MR SMITHERS: Excellent. So make sure you're helping with that.

ODELIA: Yeah, yeah. (goes back to her group.)

MR SMITHERS: (stifles a sigh.)

Things to note in this situation:

  1. Respect and safety has been maintained because Mr Smithers chose not to strangle Odelia.
  2. Respect has been maintained when Mr Smithers (instead of just using her name) stated what it was Odelia should be doing after the first time she talked.
  3. Mr Smithers made a potentially difficult decision to ignore Odelia when she begins to talk again the third time. He has done this in the interests of getting the rest of the class onto the task.
  4. He also chose to ignore the inappropriate secondaries “Faaaar out!” etc. to avoid getting into an argument with/manipulated by Odelia even though they annoyed him.
  5. He then demonstrated that respect for the teacher would also be maintained because the issue would be dealt with by following it up after the rest of the class had gotten into the task.
  6. He maintained respect and potentially diffused Odelia's desire for attention by dealing with her away from the rest of the group. This also made the discussion less confrontational.
  7. By questioning Odelia (even if she only answered him to get away) Mr Smithers ensured she articulated and hopefully understood why the stated behaviour in the situation was important.
  8. See scenario three for one possible option if she regularly continues with the same behaviour.

Scenario 3 (the ongoing saga)

Mr Smithers is again trying to explain a task to the class. This time it's an individual task and it is again written up on the whiteboard as well as given to the students on paper.

MR SMITHERS: You'll also need to make sure that you keep track of how much time you have left, while this isn't an exam it's good to get used to managing your time as you...

ODELIA: (talks to her friends)

MR SMITHERS: Listen please Odelia.

ODELIA: (keeps talking to her friends)

MR SMITHERS: (pauses for a moment) Odelia, can you pop outside please? I need to have a word to you in a moment.

ODELIA: (angry) Why do you have to pick on me all the time? I'm not going outside, I want to do this writing.

MR SMITHERS: It's up to you Odelia whether you go or not. You just need to understand that if you choose not to, then the consequences will be more serious. (He can't actually think of a 'more serious' consequence at this stage.)

MR SMITHERS: (Addresses the rest of the class again) So, the time management thing is an important skill to develop before your exam, especially as you'll have more than one paper to manage at the end of the year. Make sure you keep an eye on the clock and give yourself at least ten minutes to proofread and edit your work at the end.

ODELIA (eventually stands up and moves outside)

MR SMITHERS: Are there any questions? (answers some questions before walking outside to talk to Odelia)

MR SMITHERS: We've talked about this quite a few times over the last few weeks ay Odelia?

ODELIA: Is this going to take long?

MR SMITHERS: Yes, potentially. It's important you understand exactly what the issue is here.

ODELIA (grumbles) If you stopped hassling me all the time it wouldn't be a problem.

MR SMITHERS: I can understand that that might seem like a good solution to you Odelia but I'm responsible for ensuring you've got good opportunities to learn and that the rest of the class does too. What do you think should happen if you continually talk while things are being explained to the class?

ODELIA: I was just asking Alice for a pencil though, how am I supposed to work if I don't have a pencil?

MR SMITHERS: Ok, I'm going to need to explain exactly what the issues are here. When you talk while...

ODELIA: I just told you! I was only asking for a pencil!!!

MR SMITHERS: Odelia, I've listened to you a lot over the past few weeks. You need to make sure you don't interrupt me as I explain this. I want you to understand what's going on here so you know what you need to do and why AND so that you don't feel like I'm just picking on you all the time.

OEDLIA (grumbles)

MR SMITHERS: So, the effect of talking while I'm explaining things is twofold. Firstly, the rest of the class might not be able to understand what's being said because they're having to listen to two people at once and that can get confusing.

ODELIA: They should stay outta my business and conversations then.

MR SMITHERS: The other problem is that you might, and often do, miss out on important things you need to be aware of before getting into a task. If this kind of thing happens every once in a while it's not a big deal but when it happens all the time it becomes a real problem. Does that make sense?


MR SMITHERS: Would you like me to explain it again?

ODELIA: #&@* no. I get it.

MR SMITHERS: Can you tell me what the two effects of this ongoing behaviour are then?

ODELIA: If I'm talking, other people miss stuff and I might miss stuff too. Why you needed to use so many words to explain that....

MR SMITHERS: Excellent. That's right on. So when I ask you to listen and not to talk, it might make you angry and feel like I'm picking on you but there's other things that are important too. (pauses) Does that make sense?


MR SMITHERS: Right. Because this has been happening for a while now and we need to figure some other way of dealing with it. It's getting you really frustrated and is a problem for everyone else. What do you think should happen when you are talking during these important explanation times?

ODELIA: I dunno. Could you just give me some kind of signal and give me a chance to stop before you send me out?

MR SMITHERS: Yes. I can just say something like: “listen please Odelia.” You need to respond to that in a respectful way too. Sometimes your responses are disrespectful in those situations aren't they?


MR SMITHERS: You need to make sure you're trying really hard to deal with your frustration when this happens. Because this frustration will probably continue to be an issue for you for a while. It also gets you into trouble sometimes. If you want to make things easier, make sure you pause when you notice you're getting frustrated and try to think about the wider issues and other people involved before you flip out.

ODELIA: (nods)

MR SMITHERS: Because just stopping talking for a few moments and waiting to do it until later isn't really that bigger deal is it?

ODELIA: I guess not...

MR SMITHERS: And if you talking while things are being explained comes up again, what do you think should happen then?

ODELIA: I guess ring my parents or tell my tutor or something.

MR SMITHERS: That sounds good. Getting support from them could help. I'll contact both of them if things get to this point again. I'll make sure I tell you about this before I contact your tutor and home.

Things to note in this situation:

  1. Mr Smithers has given Odelia the illusion of choice when he explains to her she can choose go outside or to stay.
  2. He also continues to talk to the rest of the class instead of standing over Odelia and ordering her to go outside. This makes it clear that he expects her to do it and is respectful as it gives her an opportunity save some face by doing it slightly later than straight away.
  3. He has maintained respect by acknowledging Odelia's feelings without condoning her actions.
  4. He has also specified that she must maintain respect for him by listening to his explanation of the situation and for the other students by accepting that her actions effect them as well.
  5. He has also maintained respect and cunningly tried to make Odelia take responsibility for the solution by asking her what she thinks should be done about it.
  6. He has taken this opportunity to point out in a non-accusatory (but clear) way the times Odelia is disrespectful of him and that this isn't acceptable.
  7. He has been realistic about the situation by explaining that Odelia's frustration will probably continue to be an issue, has suggested how this anger is making things harder for her in the long run and has given a suggestion on how she might deal with it.
  8. He has also kept personal pronouns out of what things should happen. IE: Instead of saying “What do you think I should do?” he has said, “What do you think should be done?” This infers that the solution is something the Odelia needs to take responsibility for as well and makes it seem less like it's something that's being done to her by the teacher.
  9. He has ensured respect is maintained by promising that he'll tell her if he's going to contact her parents and tutor.

Supportive Environment

Making regular links to groups outside of school or not necessarily represented in school as well as individual responsibility can encourage students to consider their part in the community. The concept of community is also frequently raised in texts and making links between these and the ASHS community could increase students awareness and constructive participation in the lives of other members of the community. Also maintaining a consistent approach to expectations surrounding relating to others is an effective way of promoting this in class.

Assessment policies and guidelines

Internal Assessment Practice

Flexibility and catering for the varying rates at which students learn is an integral part of the NZ curriculum; refer “sufficient opportunities to learn” page 34 NZC. Teachers should always consider whether students are ready for assessment and how to cater for the diversity in their classes. Non test-based internal assessments (such as English and EAP writing standards) should be conducted in an ongoing and manageable way that allows the students who are likely to achieve the mark they are aiming for early on. Other students may spend longer on an assessment artifact and in some cases, may require a re-assessment as specific feedback and advice that invalidates their work as an assessment piece.

Managing this in a class can be challenging. Teachers should keep track of where their students are at with an assessment and discuss progress with students and expectations they have of themselves. A professional judgment call on whether a piece could stand as an assessment piece in the future can come at any point in the process and students should be aware of whether or not they are working on an assessment.

Towards the end of the work on a particular assessment, it may be appropriate to have some students moving onto other work (such as externals) while others continue with assessment. As long as the authenticity of work can be maintained through the use of google docs, supervision by English teachers while students are working and any other means necessary, this approach should be taken where ever possible.

Guidelines for Feedback on Assessments

Is is important that students are given feedback during assessments that gives them opportunities to improve their work. This feedback should:

  • Communicate the knowledge they need to improve their work.
  • Ensure the work is the student's own and still valid for assessment.

Here is a process to ensure both these requirements are met.

  1. Identify the biggest issue in a student's piece of work.
  2. Explain the general piece of advice based on your observation.
  3. Give a clear example, from the student's work, where they could apply this piece of advice.
  4. Either explain to them or get them to identify what needs to be done to fix the issue.
  5. Reinforce the general piece of advice again.
  6. Set the student off to fix the other occurrences of the problem.

This method is helpful because:

  • It does not invalidate the assessment as you've only helped fix one instance of the problem.
  • The students are able to consider their own piece of work in relation to the piece of advice. This may make it more authentic than a worked example that isn't their own work.
  • The high stakes nature of the work provides an incentive for students to work hard to put the advice into practice.

Conditions for Assessment

These are varied across different standards in English and ESOL and should be made clear to students at the beginning of each assessment. Students need to have this reinforced during the course of the work as well and various electronic tools can be used to keep track of student work. For writing-based standards, google docs should be used by all students (revision history can be tracked) or students should hand in all written work at the end of each period. For standards such as static image, students should hand in any hard materials or with electronic media, a copy of the work should be submitted to the teacher at the end of each period.

Through working with students during the planning and implementation process teachers will have a clear idea of where a student is headed with a piece of work. As well retaining student work, the teacher's knowledge of where the students are at with a piece - gained through working closely with them during the planning and editing process - is an equally important factor in determining authenticity. In any circumstance where students have breached the conditions of assessment or a completed or almost completed piece of work appears at the last minute, the issues should be explained to the student and then referred to the Specialist Subject Leader.

Procedures for Internal Moderation and Returning Grades

  1. Teachers begin marking assessments.
  2. Peer moderation of 'guinea pig' work early on in the assessment process with a colleague.
  3. Departmental meeting moderation. Judgements of guinea pig artifacts and others confirmed. Where required, ESOL will moderate English ASs in the English department or ESOL standards externally (cluster groups), the ESOL support teacher or with English teachers.
  4. Any students continuing with assessment work are identified and catered for. Tutors are notified so they can give support.
  5. Grades for completed work are entered in KAMAR.
  6. Grades for complete work are returned to students.

Retaining student work

Student work, authenticity statements and marks sign-offs should be retained for the year following the assessment. Teachers should store student work during the year; hard copies of electronic media should be printed or stored on the departmental drive. At the end of the year, this work is passed onto the SSL for storage in the Lundia shelving in the staffroom.

Reporting to students and parents

Description of system and guidelines for teachers.

From the staff handbook section on reporting: For individual students it is intended that formative report meetings will be scheduled for around week 6 of term one, and week 2 of term 3. These will be a three way conference (learning dialogue) run by the student with parent and tutor attending to discuss progress and learning targets that will enable improved outcomes. Students will use journals and e-portfolios of their work with specialist subject feedback to facilitate these discussions. Summative reports will be sent out that include achievement and unit standard grades in line with NAME at the end of semester 1 (15 weeks into the year), and at the end of semester 2 (at the beginning of term 4).

Profiling, red flagging and specialist subject drop-ins.

These should also be integrated into planning and practice. Teachers can use red flagging to indicate students they are concerned about. This should be used for students who the teacher considers are not achieving their potential; any expected level of achievement in assessments or other class work. The process is intended to facilitate ways to support students and specialist subject drop-ins can be then used to discuss this with parents. Profiling is the ongoing tracking of student achievement and expectations based on data.

Student expectations including policy on communicating with parents

In terms of communication with parents, students should be informed of any planned contact with home and English teachers should discuss with parents subject related considerations and/or discipline matters. If a teacher has concerns about a students learning, they should discuss this with the SSL and the parents of the student. At any point a teacher feels unhappy or uncomfortable with discussions with parents they are encouraged to discuss the matter with the SSL or any other member of staff for support.


These provide students with an indicator of what they need to have finished by the end of a term. At the beginning of the year they are focused on completing and artefact of work rather than gaining credits. Out of the four milestones for each term, two are work to be completed in class and two are to be completed at home. Teachers can customise the actual work involved in these to be specific to their classes. They are reported at the end of each term in KAMAR as either complete or incomplete.

Dept operations/management procedures


English departmental meetings will take place generally every week on Thursdays. Minutes should be added to the English department google doc.

External PI and PD

NZATE and AATEL offer professional development. The annual NZATE conference and regular sessions organised locally by AATEL are worth keeping an eye out for. The SSL will pass on all material sent to the school on these and other sessions. Staff interested in a particular piece of outside P.D. should notify the SSL to have this approved and relief organised.


Print and visual media is managed and issued to students through the library. Any teachers who wish to study a particular text at a year level should put this forward at departmental meetings for discussion. To purchase other resources, teachers should see the SSL. Please return all departmental electronic devices and other resources to the relevant resource room at the end of each period.

Programmes of work

Are here: English coursebook.