Y10 English – Course Outline

The Year 10 English course will differ from class to class, depending on the interests of the students and the approaches of the teacher. Regardless of what texts are taught in each class, core skills will be taught and are outline below:

Formal Writing

  • Planning a Formal Essay
  • Essay Structure – with a significant focus on skills involved in writing literature essays, revisited throughout the year. This gives students opportunities to practise their essay writing skills on NCEA type questions.

Creative Writing

  • Used as a way of building vocabulary and experimentation with sentence structures.
  • May be explored in a variety of styles: stories, poetry, diary entries, narratives etc.

Speaking/Dramatic Presentation

  • Speeches must be persuasive and students will be encouraged to utilise a range of research resources such as EPIC or the non-fiction section of the library.
  • Dramatic presentations could come from their texts e.g. monologues, group performance for Shakespeare Day, poetry performance etc.


  • At least one novel to be studied in depth over the course of the year. Aspects covered may include: narrative, structure, characterization, setting, theme, style and tone.
  • Close reading skills/ critical analysis and writing skills.

Short Stories

  • Covering aspects such as: narrative, structure, characterization, setting, theme, style and tone.
  • Close reading skills/ critical analysis and writing skills.


  • Focusing specifically on poetic language and its intended effect: enjambment, onomatopoeia, assonance, alliteration, rhyme, repetition, symbolism, irony, extended metaphor/metaphor/motif, simile and personification.
  • Close reading skills/critical analysis and writing skills.


  • Read a Shakespeare play (Romeo and Juliet or The Taming of the Shrew) with the emphasis on enjoying and experiencing the text. Film interpretations may be used to help bring the play to life.
  • This will be complemented by ‘Shakespeare Day’ where students will be immersed in all things Shakespeare. They will participate in workshops, work in small groups for the ‘Amazing Race’ and watch performances to enhance their appreciation of the playwright and the enduring nature of his works.

Film Study

  • Reinforcing knowledge of film techniques with close analysis of film shots, angles and movement, use of diegetic and non-diegetic sound, lighting and colour etc.
  • Mise en scene: structure, theme, character and how these are developed through the use of film techniques.

Personal Reading

  • Year 10 students will be introduced to AS 90854 Form personal responses to independently read texts, supported by evidence at the beginning of the year and will have entries ready to be marked at regular checkpoints throughout the year, as directed by the teacher. A future blog post will focus on what a student needs to know for this standard.
  • Students will be encouraged to ‘read’ a range of texts and text types and look for ideas or characters that they can relate to in the text, explaining how and why they relate to them specifically.

Language Skills

  • In order to help students with their communication skills students will be supported in growing their understanding of certain basic language features: verbs, nouns, adjectives, conjunctions, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, comparative adjectives, superlative adjectives, auxiliary verbs, past/present/future tenses, hyperbole, cliché, prefixes, suffixes, plurals, synonyms, antonyms, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, apostrophes (possession and omission) semi-colons, colons, direct speech, indirect speech, phrases, clauses, subordinate clauses, simple, compound and complex sentences.
  • Language skills will be a significant focus and integrated in the teaching of writing, speaking and the close reading of text wherever possible.

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