Study at St Hilda’s


English aims to build a love of language

As teachers we start with the aim of building a love of language and literature with the girls. We want the girls to enjoy what they read and be excited to discuss the characters they meet and the ideas they encounter.

The study of English at school is about the discovery of emotions, dilemmas and subtle thoughts about the most difficult of issues. We know that we get better at the use of our language by using it to unwrap difficult thoughts. Language can empower the most important thoughts in our lives. The characters in our novels and the issues in plays or prose become the entry point for the development of our thinking.

In class we discuss, debate, argue and write about the ideas we notice. Essential to our English classrooms is the necessity for the girls to have the comfort to listen to others, consider contentious viewpoints and the willingness to talk about ideas and characters. Ultimately, the style with which the girls write and speak matters. We want the girls to write with style that captures ideas with elegant precision and we want them to express their thoughts with confidence that persuades.

Across the years we have the girls encounter a wide range of literary genres. We emphasise some of our culture’s traditional texts because the ideas they contain are timeless and often profound in wisdom. We present some modern texts within our courses where they show fresh approaches to style and insight. The girls clearly love to discuss and reflect on contemporary texts. In every year level the girls are asked to make an oral presentation. The benefit of doing this is seen in the confidence they display in all other sections of the subject.

We want the study of English to be lively, enlightening and a key to success in every subject. We want the girls to enjoy the subject because it shapes their character and provides depth to their personality.

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace