Studying language, literature and the media broadens horizons by connecting us with the past and understanding the present.

We delve into literary classics as well as modern texts, study narratives from different periods and places, and from a range of perspectives and genres. Our goal is to develop our students’ literacy to aid them in every area of life.

English is considered a critical subject, and thus all students at the college take English until the end of Year 12; in Year 13 it is an optional subject. Reading is highly valued and emphasised in all five years of study.

In Years 9 and 10, the courses integrate the study of language accuracy with the study of literature, which includes Shakespeare, novels, and poetry. Students are taught to write accurately, both in creative and literary writing.

In the senior school, the Year 11 English course engages in the close reading of film, delves into New Zealand poetry, and tackles a senior novel. In the final two years, students are offered a choice of courses, ranging from Creative Writing, Non-fiction and Literature in Year 12, and Novel or Literature in Year 13. Complex and interesting texts are explored in every course. 

We delve into literary classics as well as modern texts, study narratives from different periods and places, and from a range of perspectives and genres. Our goal is to develop our students’ literacy to aid them in every area of life.

Extension English is offered at all levels, culminating in the Scholarship classes in Year 13. English for Literacy courses are also offered to help students who struggle with English. 

Media Studies is available to students from Year 11 to 13, and Scholarship is also offered. Media Studies is a growing field, and one that critically examines the phenomenon of the mass media which plays such a critical role in our society. The courses focus on the visual media of film and television, and there is a very popular practical element at each year level.

The privilege of teaching English is the opportunity it affords us to grow our students’ ability to understand and be understood by the world around them. We help them learn to communicate through their own writing; at the same time, we expose them to ideas and modes of expression that expand their horizons.
- JENNY MATTHEWS, ASSISTANT HOD ENGLISH

Christine Parkinson

Masters of Education Graduate Diploma of teaching (Secondary) Applied Linguistics (Hons) Bachelor of Journalism

I have been teaching in the Rangitoto College English Department for 26 years. I was a Dean for five years and have been privileged to hold the position of HOD for the last 17 years. I have seen many changes at the college in my time here, and continue to relish the challenge of leading a vibrant and exciting department.