English Learning Team

English is a core part of the curriculum, from year 9 through to year 13.

To be successful New Zealanders, students need to be effective oral, written and visual communicators who are able to think deeply and critically.

The Mairehau High School English Learning Team is committed to enabling students to be engaged, confident and perceptive learners, able to articulate ideas and support these ideas with evidence from personal experience, other texts and from wider contexts.

We focus on identifying students’ skills, strengths and weaknesses. We utilise comprehensive and regular standardised testing as well as teacher judgement to identify these strengths and weaknesses and students can expect plenty of support, challenge and extension.

Our goals are to improve attitude to reading, to improve vocabulary and to help students to develop their personal reading skills and find genres and authors to enjoy.

The teachers in our department are committed to offering extension and support opportunities through a range of extra-curricular activities. These include creative writing, public speaking, Court Theatre visits and debating.

Our teachers also run after-school and holiday tutorials, so students can catch up, or extend themselves.

If you have any queries about English at Mairehau High School please contact:
John McCartney
Learning Team Leader English

Ko te reo te tuakiri
Ko te reo tōku ahurei
Ko te reo te ora.

Language is my identity.
Language is my uniqueness.
Language is life.

NCEA Literacy Requirement

Any level of an NCEA certificate requires 10 Literacy credits.

These credits are gained primarily in English, however some other subjects do have a Literacy component and can also contribute towards the 10 credits. (eg. Health, Geography and even Mathematics). Your subject teacher will know if an Achievement Standard can be used toward Literacy.
Note: Gaining the minimum 10 Literacy credits is insufficient to continue with level 2 English the following year.


Year 12 and 13 focus on UE Literacy, which requires 5 Reading credits and 5 Writing credits at Level 2 or above. Year 13’s also aim for 14 credits at Level 3 to meet requirements for gaining University Entrance.

Successful participation in a Level 2 and 3 English course prepares students for many courses of further study requiring reading, writing and critical thinking skills.

Reading and Writing Literacy credits at Level 2 and above, are also often required for entry into many Polytechnic courses, the Police and Armed Forces, Colleges of Education, Art Schools and many jobs or professions require suitable grades in Level 2 or Level 3 English.

We run a Scholarship English course for selected Year 13 students.


for students and parents is accessible on the school Moodle site

English Staff

John McCartney


Learning Team Leader

Vanessa Gopperth


Assistant LTL

Tania Swann



Rebecca Swanson



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