English Staff

Faculty Leader               Isabel Michell (Acting) 


Suey Bignall

Hannah Coombe

Linda Johnson

Reuven Korff

Oscar Mardell

Clare McGivern

Susan Radford

Emma Roxburgh

Christopher Smith

Melissa Spragg

Beverley Steward (ESL))

Monique Williams


English is compulsory for years 7 to 12 for all girls at St Mary's College.

Junior English for a planned progression

The junior English programme at St Mary’s College is designed to provide a varied and carefully-planned progression through the English Curriculum Achievement Objectives using a spiral approach where the key skills of reading/writing/viewing/presenting/listening and speaking are built on each year.

Progress is measured through the use of Curriculum levels in the junior school and NCEA criteria in the senior school. Texts are selected for the purpose of developing critically aware, confident and articulate young women. The aim is for all girls to have a passion for literature which will last throughout their lives. Reading and Writing credits are offered at Year 12 so the girls can meet the UE Literacy requirement before Year 13.

Senior English – a subject option

In Year 13, students may choose English as one of their subject options. Students complete five achievement standards, qualifying them for 19 credits towards NCEA Level 3. Scholarship English is offered at both Year 12 and 13 by way of lunchtime tutorials and in consultation with the English teacher.

Media Studies 

Media Studies is a subject that examines the relationship between the various media we consume, such as films, the news, television and social media, and how it interacts with society. Level 2 Media Studies focuses on the structures that the media uses, and Level 3 Media Studies looks at the ideologies and how it influences and is influences by society.

Teacher in Charge of Media - Christopher Smith

Media Teacher - Connie Fraser

ESL support for our International Students

(English for Speakers of Other Languages)

Most second language learners need some support, from beginners to students who are working towards University Entrance. The ESL Department’s role is to provide programmes to meet these learners’ needs, providing language and curriculum support.

At St Mary’s College we recognise each student as unique and special. As such, our ESL classes are small and individualised. In this way, students can get all the targeted support they need in a caring environment. 

Prior to arrival, and then on arrival, students from second language backgrounds are tested to determine their language learning needs. Then they are placed in an appropriate ESL programme. Programmes are flexible and are based on students’ learning needs. However, generally there are three options available:

ESL 1 – Pre-intermediate

This class is for junior and short-term students who are at a pre-intermediate level or below. Students learn language through a series of units such as ‘Getting to know New Zealand’, ‘The Natural Environment’ and ‘Many Cultures’. These units introduce the students to the New Zealand curriculum. Junior students are withdrawn from their mainstream classes to attend lessons.

ESL 2 – Working towards NCEA

This class is for senior students who are ready to do academic work and are working towards NCEA Level 1. The students learn English and are offered some NCEA assessments. The aim is to support the students’ language learning and teach them the skills they need for University Entrance Literacy assessments the following year.

ESL 3 – Academic English

This class is for senior students who are working towards University Entrance in their Level 2 English class. The aim is to support the students with their learning and allow them additional time to complete their English standards. If students have a sufficiently advanced level of English, they may be offered Academic English Language Standards.