Big Questions – How we use English’s skills and knowledge in authentic contexts across the Curriculum
Term 1

Year 7: Our local history. Northcross Intermediate, Browns Bay, the North Shore.
How has the past shaped our present? How might the past change our future? How have past environmental events changed the local landscape? How have these changes impacted on our local community?
Year 8: The Waikato River system.
What is a river? How is it used? How was it used in the past? What about the future?

Terms 2 and 3: Years 7 and 8

Uniquely Me

“The most powerful vehicle you will ever drive is your own body.” Sir Peter Gluckman. How am I unique? What have I inherited from the past? What were the conditions or choices of the past? What choices do I make now? How do my choices now pass on to the future? What is good nutrition (for me)? Why does good nutrition matter (for me)? What changes can I make to my choices? How will changes I make to my choices make a positive difference in the future?


English is an exciting subject at Northcross. We take pride in our Integrated Studies Curriculum, with the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking being developed in authentic contexts of student inquiry, or answering ‘big questions’.

Students will work on reading, writing, visual literacy, listening, speaking and spelling, across a range of forms, genre and topics. Across the whole Curriculum at Northcross, there’s an emphasis on ‘learning how to learn’.


Students will be exposed to a range of writing forms during their two years at Northcross Intermediate.  For the second year running, we are using an exciting, research-based online writing tool called Write That Essay. We are running a parent information evening on this software early in Term 2. Writing is implicit in all subjects, but the fundamentals are taught during English sessions and practised across the curriculum.  We assess writing using our school writing rubric, which gives students a clear idea of their next steps. Extending students’ vocabulary is a key focus for our school and the students are encouraged to use sophisticated language in all of their written work. 


Grouped reading takes place in all classes with students working through a variety of texts during their reading sessions.  We teach and use a range of strategies in our reading programmes to help students with new texts. Students are exposed to a wide variety of reading material throughout the week including library sessions where they can select personal novels, exemplars of the written form they are using, journals, sophisticated picture books, articles, novels and online texts.  

Visual Literacy (presenting)

Students have the opportunity to show their knowledge through graphic organisers and film. Early in Term- 4 we are looking forward to the Northcross Two-Minute Film Festival – a very exciting and motivational event. Every term students will work on a piece of visual literacy work aimed at developing their digital and design skills.  We work with the kids on balancing visuals and text across a range of forms.  This includes posters, PowerPoint presentations, brochures, picture book design and film.


Through the English programme, we work hard to develop our student's ability to speak in front of a range of audiences.  Students have the opportunity to compete in a school-wide Speech Contest in Term 2. Winners then compete in the North Auckland Rotary Speech Competition. Students will be involved in speaking assignments each term to help develop their confidence and skills in addressing groups of people.  This will be in group, pair and individual situations. The Poetry Slam is a popular event in Term 3, enjoyed by everyone.

Wider Opportunities in English 

Kid’s Lit Quiz, Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, ICAS: English, Writing, Spelling, Barefoot & Thompson Young Author’s Challenge, The Elise Locke Writing Awards, Auckland Museum ANZAC Poetry Competition, Film Club, Book Clubs.
Many of our school-wide English events, such as Spelling Bees, Poetry Slam and the Two-Minute Film Festival are planned and presented by our students with the help of the extension English team. So, many of our students are experienced Event Planners by the time they leave for College!

Literacy Support 

A range of programmes is available to support our students’ needs. We offer tailored withdrawal programmes in spelling and reading which, which achieve accelerated progress.  English teachers coordinate with the learning centre staff to ensure students are best supported with their literacy needs.

Differentiated Learning Approach

Each English class works on a differentiated approach where students will be working in groups based on their needs and assessment data. Course work will be differentiated in reading, spelling and writing to best support our learners. We make judgements on students learning needs through our three-pronged approaches; formal observation, learning conversations and standardised assessment results.

Assessment Tools

We make judgements on students learning needs through our three-pronged approaches; formal observation, learning conversations and standardised assessment results. Students will be assessed with standardised testing tools for reading, spelling, vocabulary, and Punctuation and Grammar. A school-wide writing success criteria rubric will help to guide their writing. This is similar to speaking and presentation work as well.  Teachers meet often to moderate the work to ensure consistency across the English teaching team.

Write that Essay

write that esaay.pngThis year at Northcross Intermediate we are using Write that Essay software to assist in the development of your child’s skills in Writing. This is a programme which focuses on composition skills, and how to use them to meet the demands of Writing across the curriculum.

Students are able to access online modules which address specific learning gaps they have in Writing, as well as practice skills in planning, selecting ideas, and adding flair to their writing.


NX Upcoming Events

Wed December 13
7:30pm - 9:30pm
Thu December 14
Fri December 15
School will finish at 12pm.

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