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Foundational Statement

Foundational Principle: The inherent value of each individual

Regardless of background, for boys at Scotch subject English is not only their key means of communication but, arguably, the most important. Listening to, speaking, reading, viewing and writing English provides them with a primary means to express themselves personally, both as individuals and as functioning, responsible members of society.

In enabling boys to communicate with and to enter into the lives of others, real and vicarious, the subject helps them to establish a sense of belonging to a place beyond themselves and assists them in finding and defining that place while nurturing their individual growth.

Integral to establishing individual identity in today’s world, the study of English has then both an exclusive and an inclusive purpose: to celebrate self-expression as well as encourage an appreciation of the diverse experiences of others, revealing in the process how language and literature reflect social and cultural values as well as identity and social and cultural change.

By immersing boys in a world of text-based and language-based learning, subject English enables them to pursue opportunities for individual creativity, critical engagement with and ownership of the process of meaning-making, deep and thoughtful inquiry into the big ideas which have shaped and continue to shape our world, and an independent criticality fostered through questioning, learning conversations and opportunities for self-directed research and creative and critical expression.


Foundational Question: How did the world evolve to be as it is and how might it be made to evolve for the greater good?

We each have within us our own voice which, with appropriate encouragement and development, can be used not only to enable us to define our own best place in the world but also to assist others to find and express theirs.

Language and story are the first and most powerful means by which we engage with the human narrative and English teachers at Scotch seek to stimulate and enhance our boys’ capacity to participate with strong voice. Boys are empowered by the language and literature they hear, speak, write and see and, through their own work and the relationships they form with their English teachers, they are inspired to realise their communicative potential for the greater social good.

As we encourage boys to engage with the human story and to embrace their own capacity to communicate, we foster their agency in the world by nurturing opportunities for them to grow and develop, not only as individuals, but as productive and responsible members of local, national and global communities. Though they inhabit a diverse, complex and sometimes daunting world, in developing their own voice they are equipped to view this challenging landscape as bearing opportunity for genuine achievement and progress for all.

Scotch teachers of English, Literature, English Language and Film and Media value sustained engagement with the big ideas that confront humanity. Through connecting with our boys’ innate desires to dig deeper, to look closer and to challenge assumptions and preconceptions, we embrace human complexity and help them to explore with criticality the worlds which they inhabit and share.

Our teaching, then, targets our boys’ necessary development of problem solving, collaboration, creative innovation and communication skills. We help them to hone the written and verbal skills and processes necessary to better engage with the world and its challenges. We foster an appreciation of Indigenous and Australian literature and an awareness of our country and its history, while also embarking on provocative international textual journeys, inspiring boys “to hold, as ‘twere, a mirror up to nature…” in their own lives and those of others, thus teaching empathy, ethics and values, and ensuring their participation in the ongoing legacy of learning: discovery of how greater knowledge of the human story can be used to enhance the human condition.