The English Life Skills Stage 6 Syllabus rationale is consistent with the common rationale for the study of English in Stage 6. The English rationale is provided below.
Language shapes our understanding of ourselves and our world. It is the primary means by which we relate to others and is central to the intellectual, social and emotional development of all students. In the years of schooling from Kindergarten to Year 12, English is the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts of varying complexity through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected.
In acknowledgement of its role as the national language, English is the mandatory subject from Kindergarten to Year 12 in the NSW curriculum. Knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes acquired in English are central to the learning and development of students. 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. It supports the development and expression of a system of personal values, based on students’ understanding of moral and ethical matters, and gives expression to their aspirations and ideals.
The study of English in Stage 6 develops in students an understanding of literary expression and nurtures an appreciation of aesthetic values. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become innovative, active, independent learners, to collaborate and to reflect on their learning.
Through responding to and composing texts from Kindergarten to Year 12, students learn about the power, value and art of the English language for communication, knowledge, enjoyment and agency. They engage with and explore texts that include widely acknowledged quality literature of past and contemporary societies and engage with the literature and literary heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. By composing and responding students develop an understanding of themselves and of diverse human experiences and cultures.
The study of English in this syllabus is founded on the belief that language learning is recursive and develops through ever-widening contexts. Students learn English through explicit teaching of language and literacy, and through their engagement with a diverse range of purposeful and increasingly demanding textual experiences. The English Stage 6 syllabuses enable teachers to draw on various theoretical perspectives and pedagogical models for teaching English to assist their students to achieve the syllabus outcomes at the highest levels.
In their study of English, students continue to develop their critical and imaginative faculties and broaden their capacity for cultural understanding. They examine various contexts of language usage to understand how making meaning is complex and shaped by a multiplicity of factors. As students' command of English continues to grow, they are provided with opportunities to question, assess, challenge, reformulate information, identify and clarify issues, negotiate and solve problems. They can become creative and confident users of a range of digital technologies and understand and reflect on the ongoing impact of these technologies on society. These skills and understandings allow them to develop their control of language for lifelong learning, in their careers and lives in a global world.