Part of the Ruyton philosophy is to provide a dynamic and
innovative learning community. The English faculty has
aimed to provide this in 2012 through our teaching and
learning opportunities both within and outside of the
This year in English we have focussed on using ICT to
provide new forums for the presentation of student work,
as well as keeping in mind the demands of the Australian
Curriculum. Innovative units of work have been developed
from Years 7-10 which have included wikis with embedded
videos, blogs, wordles and on-line discussion boards. It is
through some of these forums that students were able
to use Visible Thinking Routines which led to greater
awareness and development of independent learning skills.
We have continued the support our studies of Shakespeare
at Years 9 and 10, and Arthur Miller at Year 12, with CWTC
productions of
Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet,
The Crucible
visiting the School. In the performances, there is an
interactive element with the students taking assigned roles
and discussing features of the plays at the end. In addition,
as part of their learning outcomes, Year 12 Literature
students attended a literature soiree, at the home of
teacher Mrs Di Berold, where the students’ understanding
was enhanced through a play-reading of Mr Michael Frayn’s
In public speaking, we have had a wonderful response in
from students keen to participate. In fact, student
enthusiasm was proven when we had to often run internal
competitions to determine the School representatives
for the different public speaking competitions. External
competitions in which Ruyton girls have successfully
represented the School include Rotary’s Four Way Test, the
Ainger Award, as well the prestigious VCAA Plain English
Speaking Award. In this latter competition, one of our
students progressed to the semi finals. Furthermore, all
students in Years 7-10 participated in the keenly-contested
Orator of the Year Awards, and a number of students chose
to participate in the Year 11 Suzanne Northey and Year 12
Alan Patterson competitions. These competitions were
celebrated and the students awarded at the Senior School
Public Speaking Finals on the last day of Term 3. This proved
to be an entertaining and thought-provoking afternoon.
Thanks must go to Ms Danielle Cooper for her assistance in
organising these competitions, and to Ms Suzanne Northey
for her judging of the Alan Patterson Award.
Student writing continues to advance at Ruyton and
has been no exception; we have had a number of
successes across the levels in both internal and external
competitions. HannahWinspear-Schillings (Year 8) won
the James Cook writing competition earlier in the year, was
a published finalist for the Time toWrite 2012 Short Story
Prize, and was a finalist for The Age MS Readathon Ultimate
Story competition for 2012. In addition, Anjali Bethune
Year 12) won the prestigious John Button EssayWriting
Competition. This competition required senior students to
discuss Australian politics or policy; big ideas for Australia’s
future. Her prize was awarded at the MelbourneWriters’
Festival at the annual John Button Oration.
Furthermore, four students from Years 8-11 were recognised
with awards in the Boroondara Literary Competition
for both poetry and prose. Students in Years 7-11 also
participated in the annual Isobelle Carmody Creative
Writing Competition. Once again, the quality of the writing
was extremely high. Our judge this year was Ms Karen
Tayleur. She is author of fifteen published works and she
also has over ten years experience in publishing, with eight
years as an editor at Black Dog Books. The winning pieces of
these competitions, as well as the writing of other talented
students, can be seen in the English Department Literary
Stand-out achievements for the English Department in
have also included excellent results in the national
ICAS competition (from students in Years 7-10) with a
number of distinctions and high distinctions awarded.
It is the dedication of the staff in the Department that has
provided the many opportunities for students to excel and,
as also reflected in the School’s philosophy, that dedication
has allowed for the pursuit of educational excellence in
English and a sense of personal fulfilment in our students.
Ms Georgina Canty,
Dean of English
Annual Report 2012