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English/Language Arts


Highwood’s English Department learning from Dr. Carrington. August 2019. 


Grammar Police!  Highwood’s English Department plays the part at Halloween. 2019. 

English Language Arts uses a recursive pattern of learning to continue with the same strands and general outcomes your students work with from Kindergarten all the way to grade 12. Each year we deepen students’ understanding of text so that they graduate with the skills and knowledge to be successful in their adult lives. 

When students move forward from English Language Arts Nine, to Senior High English Language Arts, there are two course sequences to best meet the varied needs of student interests, objectives and ambitions.

Stream One:

ELA  10-2, 20-2 and 30-2, provides a study of texts at different levels of sophistication. The focus is on practical, real-life communication skills so that students will be able to communicate successfully in the world of work. Through the literature studied, students gain an increased understanding and awareness of themselves and the world.

Stream Two: 

ELA 10-1, 20-1 and 30-1 is a literature based, academic English class intended for students who plan to attend post-secondary school. Emphasis in these courses is placed on critical analysis of texts and formal writing intended to transition students to university. 

Staff Biographies:


Mrs. Derakhshan with one of her favorite students - her son! 

Patricia Derakhshan

My teaching career began in Ontario, and I have been teaching at Highwood since 1998. It is my passion to share literature and learning with the students who come through my door. Poetry is one of my favourite genres to teach. 

Laura Myers

My favourite thing to teach is Shakespeare! I began with the Foothills School Division in 1996 at EFCSH/AHFSA where I taught English, Drama, Theatre and Dance. I directed several musicals, and several more Shakespeare plays. At Highwood since 2008, I love to encourage all students to read more, listen more, and perform random acts of kindness. Pay it Forward!


Ms. Myers with a few of her favourite things! (Missing: Shakespeare)


Mrs. Wendy Laird pursuing a passion for travel

I have been working in the ELA department at Highwood for 23 years. During that time I have worked hard to become a master teacher, always challenging myself to provide instruction that is curriculum driven and engaging, but also demanding and rigorous. As well, building strong relationships with students has always been an integral part of my teaching philosophy. In the scope of 23 years many trends in education have come and gone. However, I have tried to always see the value in every new approach, adjusting my teaching methods and classroom environment to the changing needs of my students.

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