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Developing Effective Communicators

English as an academic subject is all about communication.  We communicate with others our whole lives, from the moment we first open our eyes, trying to make sense of the blurry images and sounds around us.  For many children in our school, the first words they hear are English words. More than half of the world’s people speak at least some English, so as a communication device, it is useful in most places we may go.

It is an ever-adapting mongrel language.  For thousands of years, it has been developing, absorbing new words and expressions not only from England’s various invaders such as the Romans, the Vikings and the Normans but also from traders and travellers.  More recently technology continues to add to it.  Result?  In the 21st century English is one of the richest languages in the world, an amazing tool for communication. Can you tell we are passionate about this heritage?

At Okaihau College, the English department sees its job as helping our students to appreciate our language and to learn to use it to its full potential in all areas of their lives.  With this in mind, students develop their English skills in three strands: written, oral and visual communication. The written strand comprises reading and writing, the oral listening and speaking and the visual viewing and presenting using visual media, both still and moving.  We run a seamless programme from Y7 to Y13 developing the skills needed for this. Every year, all students work on these three strands, developing their communication skills and smoothing their way in the world they will enter when they leave us.