English study is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.
In English, students learn about the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written and visual texts through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected. Complexity increases as students progress through their schooling.
Developing proficiency in English enables students to take their place as confident communicators; critical and imaginative thinkers; lifelong learners; and informed, active participants in Australian society. Their understanding of English through knowledge and skills acquisition is essential to their intellectual, social and emotional development.
The study of English should develop a love of literature and learning and be challenging and enjoyable. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become active, independent and lifelong learners, to work with each other and to reflect on their learning.
Years 7 to 10
In Years 7 to 10, English encompasses the following elements.
- Reading and viewing: students study a diverse range of novels, poetry, visual images and film.
- Communication: students develop their skills in communicating through speaking, listening, reading, writing, viewing and representing their ideas in different forms.
- Composition: students develop the ability to compose different forms of texts, including stories, essays and multimedia. This allows for creative, imaginative and interpretative thinking.
- Reflection on own learning: students learn to reflect on the ways they learn most effectively in English.
By the time students reach Year 11, they have a more developed understanding of themselves and the ways they learn. They must then choose the appropriate English course for their final two years of high school.
Courses taught in Years 11 to 12
- English advanced - designed for students to undertake the challenge of higher-order thinking in order to enhance their personal, social and working lives. Students study a variety of texts including Shakespeare's Hamlet.
- English standard - designed for students to increase their expertise in English in order to enhance their personal, social and working lives. Students study a variety of texts including the Australian play "the shoehorn sonata by Debra Oswald".
- English as a second language (ESL) - designed for students from diverse non-English speaking, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island backgrounds to develop their proficiency in, and enjoyment of English. Students study a range of texts including the novel Unpolished Gem by Pam Macintyre.
- English studies - designed for students who wish to complete their HSC (Higher School Certificate), but do not want to receive an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). The aim of this course is to allow students to understand, use and enjoy the English language and become effective communicators. Students study a diverse range of topics including travel writing, Australian identity and the language of the workplace.
- English extension 1 - designed for students undertaking English (advanced) who choose to study at a more intensive level. Students engage in specific and intensive study of genre and its conventions.
- English extension 2 - designed for students undertaking English (Advanced) and English extension 1, to further develop their knowledge, understanding and skills. Students to independently plain and compose a major work, such as a short story or film.
All English courses in Years 11 and 12 aim to develop students' critical and imaginative thinking skills, as well as their ability to communicate effectively.