Priya Binning
(Dept. Head)

New Media 10

English 9, LA 10, 11

Trevor Found Trevor.Found@burnabyschools.ca English 9  
Doreen Larisch Doreen.Larisch@burnabyschools.ca

Creative Writing 10

English 10, 12
English Lit 12 AP

Michelle Rhodes Michelle.Rhodes@burnabyschools.ca English 8, 11
Communications 12


Liam Grogan Liam.Grogan@burnabyschools.ca English 8  
Erin Seong Erin.Seong@burnabyschools.ca English 9, 11, 12  


Check out all the writing contests you can enter! For more information about a contest, see Ms. Binning, or check the wall in the English wing. Entry forms can be obtained from any English teacher.

Voice of the Mind Writing Contest

Take part in Cariboo Hill’s very own writing contest. You can submit poems or prose (prose word limit is 500 words). There are great prizes for category winners at each grade level!



English 8 is the first of five (5) required years of study in the English Language Arts, and forms the essential foundation for further work in the English Department. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the format of secondary school English classes, establish good study habits, and begin study of the units that will reappear in their journey through secondary school English courses: writing skills, poetry, short fiction, the novel, and drama – the play. Great effort is made to support these young students in their beginning studies, from both a curricular and social perspective, to ensure that they leave the course with a strong sense of self and their ability to interact with works of literature.

English 9 is a course prescribed by the Ministry of Education for all students. It builds on the units introduced in English 8, and prepares students for success in senior English courses.

Students will receive 4 credits total, for two two-credit course options:

This course will prepare ESL Level 3 / 4 students for entrance and success in required senior English courses. The course is designed to give students graduation credit for English 10, while allowing them to continue to develop as ESL students through direct, explicit language instruction. The two main goals of the course are to help students build their academic language skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing, and to assist students in developing an understanding of the core content in English 10. At the beginning of the course, students are expected to be able to work with literary texts at a basic level, and to have some recognition of literary devices.


Focused Literary Studies 10 is designed to help increase literacy skills through close reading of appropriately challenging texts and enhance your development of the English Language Arts competencies and abilities. It will expand your development as educated global citizens, and broaden your understanding of yourself and the world.

The following are possible areas of focus in Focused Literary Studies 10:

  • genre-specific studies
  • Canadian literature
  • First Peoples texts
  • thematic studies
  • specific author studies

 and 2 credits for ONE of the following course OPTIONS:

New Media 10 is a program of studies designed to have students reflect on the changing role of technology in today’s society and the increasing importance of digital media in communicating and exchanging ideas. It recognizes that digital literacy is an essential characteristic of the educated citizen and is aimed at providing a set of skills vital for success in an increasingly complex digital world, and demonstrating understanding and communicating ideas through a variety of digital and print media.

 Creative Writing 10 is designed for students who have an interest in creative expression through language. The course provides students with in-depth opportunities to become better writers, through the exploration of personal and cultural identities, memories, and stories in a wide range of genres.  Within a supportive community of writers, you will collaborate and develop your skills through writing and design processes. This course is grounded in the exploration and application of writing processes, inviting you to express yourself creatively as you experiment with, reflect on, extend, and refine your writing. In this course, there will be strong emphasis placed on fiction and poetry text(s).

Spoken Language 10 is a program of studies designed to have students develop their skills in the area of spoken language, and develop an awareness of spoken language skills as a necessity in everyday, educational, and professional contexts. Spoken Language 10 will appeal to students who enjoy public performance or oral storytelling or who want to gain more experience and skill in this area. This course may be of particular interest to students with strong verbal communication skills, ELL students who want to develop their oral language skills, students going into professions in which presentation skills are an asset and/or students who may wish to help maintain oral traditions such as local story knowledge and oral history.

English 11 is a course prescribed by the Ministry of Education for all students. It builds on the units introduced in the junior levels of the English Language Arts, and prepares students for success in senior English courses. English 11 is considered the first year of senior English, and includes introductions to formal academic writing, the Provincial 6-point scale for the holistic marking of student writing, and elements of the English 12 Provincial Exam.

This course allows motivated students with a demonstrated aptitude for the English Language Arts to meet learning outcomes and expectations required by the Ministry of Education and work with other students characterized by open-mindedness, a strong work ethic, willingness to go beyond bare requirements, and a desire to achieve academic excellence. The classroom activities encourage students to move beyond literal understanding and interaction with acknowledged works of literature, usually different from those studied in regular English 11 classes, to a level where deduction, inference, interpretation and analysis all combine to form a sophisticated understanding of literary works. In general, students enrolled in Honours English classes enjoy smaller class sizes, the opportunity for introduction to skills applicable to higher grade levels, greater opportunity for field experiences, and a more intense focus on exceeding the expectations set forth by the Ministry of Education for their grade level. Parents and students considering application to Honours courses should be achieving a minimum of 80% in the preceding level, and understand that application does not mean automatic enrolment.

This course develops and extends student appreciation, knowledge and skill in reading prose and poetry writing, in a variety of genres, speaking, listening and viewing. Analytical and critical skills will be stressed. Literature to be read may include short stories, poetry, contemporary and ancient drama, Shakespeare, novels, and non-fiction works. A mandatory Provincial exam worth 40% of the final course mark is written in June.

Communications 12 is designed to encourage students to read for a variety of purposes, to appreciate various styles of writing, to improve vocabulary and comprehension, and to enjoy literature as a recreational pursuit that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. This course also focuses on improving writing, speaking and listening skills as methods of everyday communication, and is recommended for students who have experienced difficulty with prescribed English Language Arts courses in the past. The course builds on skills learned in English and Communications 11, and focuses on the practical application of English skills as opposed to academic writing skills. Parents and students should note that students who graduate with Communications 12 will not have the academic requirements to enter university, but will meet both the Language Arts graduation requirement, as well as entrance requirements for many post-secondary institutions. A mandatory Provincial exam worth 40% of the final course mark is written in June.

Join this class of motivated learners on a journey that spans the earliest recorded epic of the hero Beowulf to the most well-known writers of the 20th century. Along the way, the class will meet many of the greatest acknowledged writers of the major literary periods, learn about the historical events and contexts that shaped their writing, and take a peek at some of the lesser known aspects of their lives. This course is truly a journey of discovery and learning for any student with a love of literature, reading, history, or drama. The writing focus in English Literature 12 is on formal academic composition, which begins in September and continues all year which is invaluable for any student who plans on attending any major university. Students will find that enrolment in this course aids them tremendously with English 12 (the one academic course required by the Ministry of Education for all graduating students).

From the splendid illustration and simple stories of children’s literature to the solemn profundity of a personal epitaph, Writing 12 follows the progress of human existence, providing strategies for effective composition and improved creativity across a variety of genres. Students are encouraged to perceive these life writing assignments as part of the process of making meaning and memory from mere words upon the page.  Writing 12 offers both charm and challenge to those students selecting it as a senior English elective in grade 11 or 12.

This course provides all students, regardless of ethnic and cultural background, the opportunity to engage with indigenous creative expression and enter the worlds of First Peoples provincially, nationally, and internationally. Students will be exposed to various forms of text including oral story, speech, poetry, dramatic work, dance, song, film, and prose (non-fiction and fiction). EFP 12 is the academic equivalent of English 12, and students will develop the English language and literacy skills and capacities they must have in order to meet British Columbia’s graduation requirements. Students will write a mandatory provincial examination for this course, and may use their results to earn a provincial scholarship.

Advanced Placement English 12 is offered to those students who have demonstrated an aptitude for the English Language Arts, and who wish to study at a level that previews that of first-year post-secondary study. English Literature 12 is required as a concurrent course choice in the student’s grade 12 year, since the curriculum includes material for the AP Exam in May and results in significantly higher exam results for those students who wish to achieve a score of 4 or 5. Advanced Placement is ideal preparation for those Arts or Science students who plan on attending post-secondary institutions in either Canada or the United States, and those students who score highly enough (4 or 5 out of 5) on the AP Exam can apply to specific universities for first-year credit/exemption for English courses. This course continues the work of Honours courses in the English Department, and helps students to develop into self-sufficient, lifelong learners who can succeed in almost any academic setting in which they find themselves.