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English Classes

We have four English classes at Brocklehurst Academy:

  1. Stage 1 (Year 7)

  2. Stage 2 (Year 8)​

  3. Stage 3 (Year 9)

  4. Classics Reading Class (Years 7–9)

Stages 1, 2 and 3

Each Stage class is comprised of four units, which take place termly. The units build on one another. In Stage 1, essential skills for English – often not emphasised in the school classroom – are covered in detail. Students are carefully led through foundational requisites in English such as grammar and essay writing. By Stage 2, students will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to apply to their analysis of poetry, Shakespeare, and prose. By Stage 3, students take on units that interrogate key themes in English literature. All skills will be constantly covered in these final units, preparing students for their exam years at school.

Classics Reading Class

  • Current text: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

  • Location: All classes are online, via Zoom.

  • Duration: each class is 2 hours long.

  • Times: Monday evenings (7.00–9.00pm)

  • Terms: this class runs all year long with exceptions of holiday breaks

  • Teacher: Daniel Brocklehurst (Head of English)

  • Number of students: 5–10 students in each class

  • Cost: $100 per lesson.

  • Suitability: this class is suitable for any student from year 7 to year 9. 

Holiday Classes

  • We also have holiday classes that complement the term units. The holiday classes also work as stand-alone lessons from which any student will benefit.

  • Please contact us for further information.

English Class Policies

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Stage 1 (Year 7)

This stage covers the essential skills in English: Over the course of the four units, students will learn the fundamentals of English: the mechanics of grammar, how to write a successful essay, how to write persuasively, and how to answer questions succinctly. Reading comprehension is also a focus throughout the units, as is writing creatively. This stage will provide students with knowledge and skills often left out of the typical school curriculum.

Units:

Foundation

Term 1: Foundations of English

The Essential Skills

In Foundations of English, you will learn fundamental skills that are essential for success. In order to fully benefit from the other courses, it is paramount that you lay the groundwork in skills such as reading, writing, grammar and analysis.

Unit Content

In this course, you will:

  • increase your comprehension and inference skills;

  • acquire essential knowledge about grammar and punctuation;

  • improve your ability to respond to questions in timed conditions;

  • learn how to write analytical paragraphs;

  • learn how to engage with challenging poetry;

  • improve your creative writing skills;

  • build your vocabulary.

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Unit Structure

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • learn about word classes;

  • learn about the functions of words;

  • learn how to identify and use word phrases, clause types and sentence types;

  • be able to identify common grammatical mistakes and learn how to avoid them;

  • learn the art of the comma;

  • learn how to use advanced punctuation, including colon, semicolons and dashes;

  • understand the different kinds of tenses, how they can be used and the various effects they have.

Term 2: English Grammar

The Mechanics of the English Language

No student can perform at the highest level in English without a solid understandings of grammar. In this course, we cover all essential aspects of English grammar – from the simplest knowledge to more complex rules and prescriptions. A clear understanding of grammatical rules and concepts is balanced with ample opportunity to practise the rules in one's own writing.

Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

Many grammar books differ. While we are aware of many prescriptive grammar styles, we adhere to English grammar as outlined in the Oxford Modern English Grammar model.

Term 3: Essay Writing

The Art of the Argument

Writing an essay is both challenging and rewarding. This course breaks down the essay form, introduces effective structures and teaches the art of making a cogent argument. You will learn how to develop ideas in well-crafted paragraphs.

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Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • learn about the history of the essay form;

  • learn a number of basic essay structures;

  • learn how to generate and develop ideas;

  • learn how to structure a paragraph;

  • learn how to integrate quotations and textual evidence into your arguments;

  • practise writing essays in response to a wide range of prompts.

Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

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Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

Term 4: Persuasive Writing

How to Convince Your Audience

Persuading your audience is an essential skill. In this course, you will learn how to structure convincing essays, speeches and articles. The art of rhetoric will be studied intensively, and you will learn and practise a variety of techniques, from figurative devices to structural patterns.

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • explore some of the most famous and effective persuasive texts, from politicians' speeches to newspaper op-eds;

  • learn how to effectively use a wide range of rhetorical devices;

  • learn a variety of ways to structure a persuasive text;

  • learn how to disarm an oppositional argument and persuade your audience to agree with your stance.

Stage 2 (Years 8)

This stage provides students with more challenging texts. The skills learned in the previous units will be applied to a wide range of texts types to hone students' abilities to engage with literature. Students will write essays in response to poetry, Shakespeare, a novel, short stories and other texts. Finally, the analytical skillset will be applied to students' own creative writing to help develop a compelling, sophisticated and accurate writing ability.

Units:

Term 1: Poetry

Imaginative Awareness

Poetry is a challenge for many, but when one gains a familiarity with the form, it is enriching and highly educative. This course will enable students to become more familiar with poetry forms and increase their ability to discern meaning and purpose in poems.

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • become familiar with some of the most iconic poems in the English language;

  • learn how to read challenging poetry;

  • learn a variety of poetic forms;

  • learn how to identify and interpret metre, poetic devices and structural features.

Course Structure

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Term 2: Shakespeare

The Genius of the Bard

Appreciating Shakespeare is essential if one is to excel in the study of English. This course focuses on Shakespeare's life, poetry and plays. 

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • learn about Shakespeare's life and context;

  • study his play Much Ado About Nothing;

  • gain familiarity with Shakespeare's language;

  • study a number of Shakespeare's sonnets;

  • learn how to respond to challenging questions about Shakespeare's texts.

Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

Term 3: Prose

The Bedrock of Writing

Prose is the most common form of writing. Novels, biographies, short stories, and essays are all in the prose form. Understanding how to effectively read and analyse prose is essential for success in English – not just to improve performance in essays but also to improve one's creative writing.

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • read John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (1937) and analyse its themes, language, and structure;

  • read and respond to a variety of short stories;

  • practise writing short-answer questions;

  • improve your essay writing skills;

  • increase your vocabulary;

  • increase your creative writing skills.

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Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

Term 4: Creative Writing

How to Tell a Story

Writing outstanding imaginative fiction requires a plethora of skills. This course will offer insight into what makes successful stories stand out from the rest. You will learn how to plan, structure and craft an effective short story.

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • learn how to use effective short-story structures;

  • increase your vocabulary;

  • evaluative the efficacy of celebrated short stories;

  • learn how to use dialogue effectively

  • learn how to craft effective sentences and phrases;

  • learn how to prepare for creative writing assessments.

Stage 3 (Year 9)

This stage enables students to apply their knowledge to analyse increasingly challenging texts. It also allows learners to become familiar with some of the most iconic and celebrated works of literature. Understanding how context informs interpretation is a key component of this unit. The essays, analytical tasks, creative writing and vocabulary involved in these four units will ensure that students are thoroughly prepared for the demands of their final exam years in school.

Units:

Term 1: Coming of Age

The Growth of the Mind

Growing, learning, maturing – these are processes that many great works of literature engage with. Examining a range of texts, from Bildungsroman novels to poems of self-reflection, this unit provides students with the opportunity to build their skills of interpretation and analysis in English. 

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • read extracts from important classics, such as Charles Dickens's David Copperfield (1850) and Great Expectations (1861), Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847), William Wordsworth's The Prelude (1850), Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981);

  • develop your ability to analyse form, language and structure;

  • develop and practise your essay writing skills;

  • develop your creative writing;

  • increase your vocabulary.

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Course Structure

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Term 2: Journeys

Venturing Forth

In this unit, students discover a myriad of texts that all depict one of literature's most predominant themes: journeys. From the heroic adventures of Odysseus to the desperate escapes of refugees, students will improve their analytical and essay writing skills while becoming acquainted with compelling and challenging texts.

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • engage with a number of classic texts such as Homer's The Odyssey (c. 800 BC), Dante's Divine Comedy (1321), Herman Melville's Moby Dick (1851), Oulaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative (1789), and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899);

  • engage with more modern accounts of journeys, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel (2007) and Yeonmi Park's In Order to Live (2015);

  • develop your essay writing skills;

  • revisit the mechanics of grammar;

  • expand your vocabulary;

  • improve your imaginative writing.

Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

Term 3: Conflict

An Eye for an Eye...

Conflict pervades literature from the earliest surviving texts. This unit covers a wide range of text types – novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, and historical accounts – all focusing on human conflict. Through the exploration of these texts, students will refine their ability to analyse rhetorical, poetic and structural devices, understand how context can inform analysis, and hone their own imaginative and discursive writing.

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • read extracts from a plethora of texts, including Homer's The Iliad (c. 800 BC), Sun Tzu's The Art of War (c. 500 BC), Thomas Hobbe's The Leviathan, Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (1867), and poetry ranging from Alfred Lord Tennyson's 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' (1854) to Ted Hughes's 'Bayonet Charge' (1957).

  • develop your ability to analyse form, language and structure;

  • develop and practise your essay writing skills;

  • develop your imaginative, persuasive and discursive writing;

  • increase your vocabulary.

Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

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Course Structure

  • 10 weeks

  • 2-hour lessons​

  • Online

Term 4: Nature

Let Nature be Your Teacher

Nature surrounds us, and the healing and destructive power of nature in literature provides students with opportunities to develop their skills in comprehension, interpretation, analysis, and essay writing. The attention to details in nature in texts ranging from novels, poems and scientific literature also inform our own imaginative, discursive and persuasive writing.

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • engage with the Romantics – writers such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and John Clare;

  • become familiar with challenging poetry and prose;

  • refine your essay writing skills, ready for HSC and beyond;

  • understand what makes an outstanding essay;

  • expand your vocabulary;

  • improve all aspects of your writing.

Classics Reading Class (Years 7–9)

Unveiling Literary Masterpieces

Reading classics isn't just an academic exercise; it's a profound exploration that can transform your intellectual landscape.

In this class, you'll delve into the masterpieces of world literature, from Austen's wit to Tolstoy's epic narratives. Why classics? Beyond their intrinsic literary value, these works are portals to understanding history, philosophy, and human nature. They provide a unique lens through which you can explore different cultures, periods, and perspectives, fostering a deeper comprehension of the world.

Academically, engaging with classics enhances vocabulary and comprehension skills. The language of these works is often rich and nuanced, offering a linguistic challenge that sharpens your verbal abilities. The complex narratives also train your mind to analyse and synthesise information – a skill set invaluable in all academic pursuits.

Beyond the academic realm, the knowledge gained from classics extends into real-world applications. Whether you're interested in history, philosophy, economics, or simply desire a well-rounded education, the wisdom encapsulated in these books serves as a reservoir of insights.

Course Content

In this course, you will:

  • read the most important works of literature produced;

  • increase your vocabulary;

  • increase your reading skills and comprehension;

  • widen your knowledge of history, philosophy, other areas of learning;

  • discuss, debate, and present your own opinions about the texts.

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Course Structure

  • Weekly

  • Ongoing

Upcoming Texts

  • Homer, The Odyssey

  • Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (‘The General Prologue’, ‘The Miller’s Tale’, ‘The Nun’s Priest’s Tale’)

  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet

  • The Bible (Genesis, Exodus, The Book of Job, The New Testament (including Revelation))

  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

  • Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  • Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

  • George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • Plato, Republic

  • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

  • John Milton, Paradise Lost

  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

  • Aeschylus, Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides)

  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

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