The English curriculum is built around the three interrelated strands of language, literature and literacy. Our students study a variety of text types, from novels, play scripts, poetry, film, advertising, short stories and everyday texts. They have the opportunity to explore the different ways to inform, entertain and engage an audience using a variety of literary devices and stylistic features.

A student who enjoys English may choose to take up a variety of opportunities outside of regular lessons, such as the Campus Book Cup, attending the Meet the Writer's Festival, and to enter their writing in annual competitions.

Students who enjoy English and have achieved strong academic results in Year 9 English may wish to consider the English Accelerated Semester 2 course, which will allow students to study English as a Stage 1 subject in the second semester of Year 10, in order to achieve 10 SACE credits. A number of pathways are open to students who wish to study English in Year 11 and 12, in either English, Essential English, or English Literary Studies.

The Learning Team structure in the Middle School provides opportunities for students to participate in integrated units of work, across a range of disciplines. Gleeson College also recognises the importance of Independent Reading, which is an indicator of student success. This is why all students in Years 7 to 9 also participate in one lesson a week dedicated to reading and literacy.

The goal of our enthusiastic and passionate English Staff is to help our students come to understand how words can shape the world and the ways that literature can provide a window into different times, different cultures and different human experiences. We achieve this by providing authentic tasks in which students can discuss, process and synthesise information, while practicing communication skills and a range of critical, written, oral and multimodal literacies.

For more information, please contact Literacy Learning Leader, Jessica McCarthy, via email at jessica.mccarthy@gleeson.catholic.edu.au and check out our YouTube video here:

Year 11 & Year 12 English: https://youtu.be/7yusMJNyaW4



Writer's Blog: Issue 5

Posted by Gleeson College on 24 November 2021
Writer's Blog: Issue 5

This week's creative writing task is an example of a text transformation. Jacob Trimboli (Year 10) transformed the well known Aesop's fable The Tortoise and the Hare into a sports commentary, imagining how this race would be broadcast in a televised event. Transformation involves the use of intertextual links, language features and conventions to imagine a text for a new purpose and audience. I'm sure you will enjoy Jacob's creative retelling of the classic tale.

- Mrs McCarthy

#thetortoiseandthehare #sportscommentary #texttransformation #acceleratedenglish #yeahnah



The Tortoise and the Hare – Sports Commentary 


Bruce: Welcome folks to today’s event … brought to you by Aesop’s Library, all your favourite fables in the one place. It’s a beautiful day down at the Forest Racecourse and we’ve got one for the ages today, Brian.  

Brian: We certainly do Bruce, there hasn’t been an event like this since the ants upset the grasshopper . A real David and Goliath tale, it’s the Hare versing the Tortoise , I know who I’ve got my money on. 

Bruce: Interesting matchup today, the Hare weighing in at 4kg and 63cm tall. Known to be the fastest animal in the forest, he’s got speed, agility, he hasn’t lost a race to date, coming in as red-hot favourite today. 

Brian: He’s gonna be tough to beat Bruce.  

Bruce: He sure will Brian, especially for the tortoise. Weighing in at 227kg and 81cm, he’s the slowest animal in the forest and this is going to be his debut amateur race.

Brian: This could get ugly …  


“On your marks - Get Set” *BANG* 


Bruce: And the hare off to a great start, he has flown by like an arrow. 

Brian: And the tortoise, the tortoise… is walking. Bruce, we could be here for a while. 

Bruce: The hare going well, going really well, he is on track to set a new record. Interesting fact Brian the current record was also set by the hare himself. 

Brian: Let's go now to Chris, our correspondent at the track, how’s it looking down there? 

Chris: I have absolutely no sight of the tortoise lads, but the hare has just passed me, WOW that was quick. 

Bruce: He’s currently travelling at 70km/h, that is a record pace. 

Brian: And the tortoise *sigh*, the tortoise is moving at 2km/h. 

Bruce: The tortoise is still trudging away, there is no denying he is putting in a good effort today. 

Brian: Yeah, but it would be good if he trudged a bit quicker, I’d like to make it home in time for dinner tonight.  

Bruce: The tortoise has made some ground; he has just made it over the hill. But it looks like the hare is pulling away again, he’s not mucking around Brian.

Brian: This could be over pretty quickly, Bruce.

Bruce: There’s about 400m to go for the hare, this has been an absolute smashing of the tortoise.  

Brian: Can’t say it’s come as a surpri- 

Bruce: -Sorry to cut you off there Brian but it appears the hare has gone down, Chris what’s happening down there? 

Chris: Well Bruce, I can confirm there is no sign of injury, the hare is, well, he’s sleeping. 

Bruce: Sleeping?! 

Brian: This is unbelievable, some of us have lives outside of commentary you know.  

Chris: With the tortoise still not in sight, the hare has decided to take a nap under a nearby tree. It’s a bold tactic lads, let’s see if it pays off.  

Bruce: Wow, well we have never seen this before, we’re going to cut to a short ad break, but we’ll be back shortly, with more scintillating action from today’s race. 


  • After an hour Ad Break  


Brian: Bruce it’s been an hour, the hare is still asleep, and this race is still going, I’m almost about to fall asleep myself.  

Brian: Just hold your horses there Bruce. The tortoise has passed the hare! Chris, are you there? 

Chris: Yes, lads, the turtle is about 50 meters away from the finish line! The atmosphere down here is incredible, it’s so loud the hare has woken up! 

Brian: I can’t believe what I am seeing! The hare is making ground, the tortoise is walking his heart out! 

Bruce: Its close, its reallyyy close, they’ve crossed the line and it’s the tortoise by a hair ! 

Chris: Guys I am here with the tortoise, mate congratulations, that was a fantastic race, how are you feeling?  

Tortoise: Yeah, nah, it feels good Chris.  

Chris: Right… what was your plan to beat the hare today?  

Tortoise: You know I just took it one step and a time, yeah nah, yeah , my game plan was just slow and steady, Chris . 

Chris: Well, thank you for your time and congratulations


Bruce: Well, we’ve have seen it all today, can’t wait for next week’s action when the frogs take on the ox . Thanks to Aesop’s Library, all your favourite fables in the one place, we’ll see you next time.  


Posted in:english  

Writer's Blog: Issue 4

Posted by Gleeson College on 17 November 2021
Writer's Blog: Issue 4

This week we have another fantastic example of a dual narrative created by Year 11 student Chanel Balaza earlier this year. I really like the way that dancing is used as a motif for friendship throughout both halves of this narrative.

- Mrs McCarthy

#dualnarrative #perspectives #Year11 #greatwriting


Dancing After Death 

Bonnie’s Perspective 

All night I kept hearing strange noises, as if someone were walking on the roof and banging on the walls. We moved all the way from Germany into this old furnished mansion on Saturday. It has long halls and walls decorated top to bottom with ancient paintings and rusted mirrors. The lounges are silky, and the dining sets and cabinets are made of polished wood. Mother said this was built in the 1920s and owned by a rich British family. No one has been here since the 1940s.  

The noises kept getting louder. I was sick of the racket keeping me awake. So, I lit a candle that was sitting on my bedside, it did not seem to be lit for ages. I then got up from bed and set off to put a stop to this madness. I could not see anyone. Everyone was asleep. Maybe it was just wind? Or maybe a ghost?  

I ventured into the lounge room and saw things moving on their own. The vases on the coffee table were knocked over, and the pictures on the mantel fell to the ground, smashing all over the red carpet. That was no wind.  

One of the pictures from the mantel had shattered on the ground. It was of a lovely family. A mother, father, and son. I flipped the photo around and saw Mrs. Amelia Campbell, Mr. Felix Campbell, and Peter Campbell, and the year ‘1941’ written in faded ink.  

I pointed to the picture, looking up and asked, “Is this you?” praying for a response.  

“Yes.” He spoke. A ghost! “I died when I was young.” 

“You look handsome,” I complimented him, nervously, though I could not see him.  

“Thank you,” He replied, softly spoken. His tone was sad. 

I did not know what to say. I felt sorrowful, though fascinated by this rare encounter.  

I started exploring around the antiquated room and spotted an old machine with a massive horn on the side. There was something that looked like a giant CD from the olden times on top. A record, I think. I flicked a switch and the record started spinning. Muffled music started coming out of the horn like component.  

The music sound so different, which made me laugh. I held out my hands, yelling, “Let’s dance!” I hoped Peter would join and take mine. Though I could not feel anything but a friendly presence, I danced anyway. I was the happiest I had ever been. I think I made a new friend.

Peter’s Perspective 

I have been here for over ninety years, if you count the eleven years I was alive for. Eighty years alone. That was until a family moved into my family manor. They were German, I could tell by their accents. My father told me years ago why the Germans were such wicked people, and why we went to war. Their mere presence made me feel infuriated, but also fearful. I wanted them gone. Far away from my home. They did not belong here.  

Among them was a little girl, her name was Bonnie. I thought if I could scare her, I could force them to leave. While she was walking around the lounge room one night, with my childhood candle as light, I decided it was time. I pushed over the porcelain vases on the coffee table, knocking out the expired water and dried roses. I threw the pictures from the mantle onto the ground. I regretted that, as one of the frames smashed. The girl picked up the broken frame. It was an old picture of my family. Just the sight of it made me choke up. I missed them so much.  

After looking at the photo for some time, she flipped it over and read the back, with all our names and the year 1941. She looked up into nothing, as if looking for someone, and asked if it was me. I replied, telling her I died young. She seemed downhearted but continued to call me handsome. I had not spoken to anyone in so long. Such a simple, small compliment had made me feel so warm and cared for. A feeling I almost forgot.  

We went silent after that. The girl started looking around the room, like she lost something, though she seemed determined to find whatever she was searching for. She went over to my mother’s old record player and started playing a song I had not heard in decades, sparking so many heartfelt memories. She looked up and asked me to dance, holding out her arms. I held her small hands, though I doubt she felt mine. For the first time in what felt like forever, long after death, I felt alive dancing with her. Maybe, despite our differences, we could be friends after all.  

Posted in:english  

Writer's Blog: Issue 3

Posted by Gleeson College on 10 November 2021
Writer's Blog: Issue 3

Recently the Year 10 Accelerated English classes participated in a formative task when reviewing the concept of intertextuality, writing a short story excerpt based on the lyrics and video for the Queen song, Bohemian Rhapsody. Here is a great example from Year 10 student Jessie Morgan.

- Mrs McCarthy

#intertextual #microfiction #bohemianrhapsody



Bohemian Rhapsody


I remember the night she left me alone, without any explanation as to where she was going. I was wearing a white jumpsuit, about 4 or 5 bangles on my left wrist, I hadn't had time to brush out my hair before we left, so it was all over the place, but she didn’t seem to care. We walked up towards a stage with flashing strobe lights, and I think the there was a band playing as well, but the flashing lights were too distracting. After the band had finished playing, the drummer got out of his seat and walked towards a big golden gong.  

"Wow, these guys are goo-," I turned towards her to say something about the band, but she had left me. As I looked around to find her, the drummer had just finished banging the big gong from before. I was too busy looking around to notice how loud the cheers were. They sounded like the Queen had just walked onto the stage, either that or they had just heard the greatest song of all time.  I had to find out where she was, I pushed my way through the cheering crowd, some of them got angry with me, but I didn’t have any time to argue with anyone.

Posted in:english  

Writer's Blog Issue 2

Posted by Gleeson College on 7 November 2021
Writer's Blog Issue 2

This week, read a fantastic dual perspective narrative written by Year 11 student Trinity Allen. The narrative tells the same story from two different perspectives, which is a great way to create suspense and intrigue!

- Mrs Jessica McCarthy


Waterlogged Crime by Trinity Allen

Charlie’s point of view 

Water fell in thick heavy sheets, driving all signs of life indoors. Charlie rested his head against the window of his taxi as his final passenger raced through the torrent outside. He alone remained on the streets, hidden amongst towering buildings that seemed to stretch towards the dark clouds overhead. He sighed, rubbing a hand over his unshaven face as he surveyed the flood of old takeaway coffee cups and fast food wrappers beside him. He had been working more night shifts lately and he knew that the pull of caffeine would only grow stronger as the night progressed. However, the heavy rain bought a lull in taxi demand. Instead, Charlie settled in his chair, the unrelentless drum of the rain comforting and alluring him into sleep. 

It wasn’t until the darkened street became awash in red and blue lights that he awoke. Charlie blinked blearily and clumsily triggered the windshield wipers to peer out onto the dismal road. A split second later, a brown pick-up truck roared down the street, quickly pursued by four sleek police cars. Charlie was still rubbing his eyes when a sudden thud shook his car. He frantically looked out the shotgun window only to be greeted by a sodden grin. The door was wrenched open as the figure slipped inside, weighed down by a coarse calico bag. Charlie looked at the man as he regained some form of composure—as much as he could while still being half asleep and surrounded by a moat of rubbish. 

“ W-Where can I take you sir?” Charlie stuttered, fastening his seatbelt. He shivered at the answering grin’s resemblance to the Cheshire Cat.  

In a fatal swoop, the man pulled a wad of cash out of the bag. “Take me to the other side of town. Ken’s Bookshop.” He paused for a second. “The name’s Jas by the way.” 

Charlie only stared with his mouth agape, his chubby fingers gripping the wad of money tightly. With a quick snap, his mouth was shut and he gave Jas a firm nod as he peeled the car off the curb. 

“Charlie.” He stated. 

If only he knew what was to come.  


Jas’ point of view 

Jas’ Saturday night was not going to plan.  

It wasn’t his fault he accidently robbed a bank. After all, accidents do happen. If you were suddenly pulled into a bank robbery that was not your design, what’s left to do other than play along? He needed the cash anyway. 

After the gang he infiltrated realised he was an outsider, he took off, almost giddy as he snagged a bag stuffed full of cash. He watched as the gang’s worn, obviously outdated pick-up truck was chased by several police cars and silently thanked the Gods for the torrential rain that cleared the streets. He was granted with the perfect cover to slip into a nearby cab.  

After a quick exchange of cash and his signature grin, he was speeding off in the opposite direction. 

That was, of course, until they were stopped by a straying police car. 

His driver looked at him then at the bag of money, his face slowly draining of colour. The sharp rap of fingers on the windscreen startled him, causing him to slowly wind down the window with a single gulp. Jasper met the eyes of the officer. 

“ Wha—er hol’ up ofisher?” He slurred, turning his gaze unfocused with a lopsided smile. The officer’s lip curled slightly before turning his attention to the driver.  

“Name and licence please.” 

Jas watched as Charlie carefully pulled his wallet out of his pocket with shaking hands. For the second time that day, Jas thanked the Gods for the churning weather that resulted in low visibility. With a huff, the officer glanced at him once more before waving dismissively. 

“Drive safely.” He said, his tone disinterested. 

Charlie nodded nervously and pulled back onto the street. 

A few blocks down the road, Jas laughed, swatting Charlie on the back. “Way to go man! You totally fooled him!” 

Charlie looked over at him with his own grin. He quickly turned back to the road, swerving just in time to narrowly miss a head on collision with a certain truck.  They spiralled, skidding down the rain-slicked bitumen. Jas leapt from the car as it ploughed straight into Ken’s bookshop. 

With a groan, he pulled himself from the concrete, his head pounding like a waterfall. 

“Charlie,” he muttered, taking a staggering step towards the crushed car. 

Jas froze as cool metal brushed against the back of his head. 

His eyes searched for the truck, shivering as he noticed all the doors were open and no one was inside. 

There was a resonating click.  

The rain only poured louder. 

Posted in:english  

Writer's Blog: Issue 1

Posted by Gleeson College on 20 October 2021
Writer's Blog: Issue 1

Mrs McCarthy: Here is some excellent lore from Year 10 student James Dwyer, elaborating on the characters from some of his fantasy writing. Thanks for sharing, James!


The Enchanters of Milenia: 

In the beginning, the Gods created Milenia - a world of green and blue and beauty. It seemed in all the world that it was perfect. The gods prided themselves on their world. There was one above all else in particular who took it upon himself to destroy his family; the god of chaos and destruction... Charos. He was jealous that he had to share 'his' world with the others, and therefore, devised a plan to imprison them. He conquered them with his might, and imprisoned them deep within the world, imprisoning them in a chamber of unbreakable chains of earth and fire. It is this moment when Charos took the world for himself, covering it in a great mist of red and black, claiming Milenia as the world of Charos. 

A thousand years passed, and the Gods had regained some of their strength, but not enough to escape their prison. Instead of using the little power they had toward escaping, the Gods began to chant. They chanted in their own ancient tongues, their voices echoing from the ground, creating a great quake in the ground. From the ground of the world, the sky turned red in one single spot -  which spawned a swarm of meteorites that had a direct collision course with the world. Before impact, most of the meteorites burned up, being obliterated in a matter of seconds. 

Out of the many there were, only eight survived, and were scattered around the world. With a loud entrance onto the now frail land of Milenia, there emerged people from them, almost as if the rocky exterior was a cocoon to shield them from harm. It was here, that the Gods' greatest servants came from, the Enchanters. For many years, the eight wandered, avoiding the red mist at all costs, as they feared the way it looked. As the years went by, they had created homes for themselves, not knowing that they were destined for something more. 

For many hundreds of years they lived, and it seemed that they could not age. It was only when they obtained a great age, did each of them discover their powers of magic and enchantments. It was only when they had learned to read the stars, did they understand, coming from them many years ago. Not know where they were going, each of them journeyed far from their homes, following their gut on which direction to take. After many years, they reunited, all eight. Though they did not know each other at first, they felt like they knew each other. 

It was at this time that they received a message from the gods of their destinies, and together, they would go on to defeat Charos and banish the mist to which came of the God. His body was ripped of his soul, and his soul became trapped in a glass orb, becoming an aura of evil, never used by any of the enchanters. Once the Gods were freed from their chamber of solitude, they began work on the creation of the inhabitants of the world. All different creatures were created in the different images of the Gods. 

Humanity was created first, and soon, Centaur came to inhabit the forests, the Dwarves and Goblins would come to call the mountains their home - just to name a few. The first great city of man was named Ethilok, which resided in the country of Rethomar. The Enchanters would call this place home, protecting its citizens from harm of war. The Enchanters created their own order many years later... the Order of Ethilok. 


#gleesonwritersblog #2021 #theOrderofEthilok

Posted in:english