Head of English
The brain learns best and retains most when the organism is actively involved in exploring physical sites and materials and asking questions to which it actually craves the answer.
In 2018 the English faculty furthered their commitment to providing authentic cross-curricular experiences which embody the Loreto commitment to being an ecology and people centred school. We introduced new texts and programs reflecting the growing concerns of both the Loreto and wider Australian community to address the importance of working towards reconciliation and environmental sustainability.
In Year 7 we developed a new unit of work which explored Australia’s complex relationship with the land through poetry. We chose a range of poems from indigenous and non-indigenous composers which invited robust discussion about the impact, both past and present, that colonisers have had on the environment as well as indigenous culture and peoples. The diversity of responses and poets studied ranged from Dorothea Mackellar to Oodgeroo Noonuccal and Midnight Oil. Students interrogated not only the concerns of the poems, but importantly, the ways that these are represented through poetic form and features.
For the Year 9 course we revised our approach and choice of text for an Indigenous Voices unit of work which complemented and extended upon the concerns addressed in Integrated Learning and the Far North Queensland Experience. Our critical study of the play ‘7 Stages of Grieving’ by Deborah Mailman and Wesley Enoch provided a platform for students to further their study from Term One of the representation of women from an indigenous perspective and draw directly upon their first hand experiences in FNQ. Their final assessment required them to create an additional scene from the text and in doing so demonstrate both an understanding of the female indigenous experience and theatrical conventions.
As a faculty we continue to look for opportunities to revise our programs to reflect the increasing demands of our Loreto and wider community to seek answers to the question of how we can minimise further harm to our environment and our rich and diverse cultural heritage. Literature has the ability to provoke these questions.
Ms Belinda White
Head of English