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NSW Syllabuses


Rationale for English in Stage 6 Curriculum

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.

Rationale for English Standard

The English Standard course is designed for students to increase their expertise in English to enhance their personal, educational, social and vocational lives. The English Standard course provides students, who have a diverse range of literacy skills, with the opportunity to analyse, study and enjoy a breadth and variety of English texts to become confident and effective communicators. English Standard offers a rich language experience that is reflected through the integrated modes of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing.

Students engage with texts that include widely acknowledged quality literature from the past and contemporary texts from Australia and other cultures. They explore language forms, features and structures of texts in a range of academic, personal, social, historical, cultural and workplace contexts. Students study, analyse, respond to and compose texts to extend experience, access information and assess its reliability. They synthesise the knowledge gained from a range of sources to fulfil a variety of purposes. Responding to and composing texts provide students with the opportunity to appreciate the imaginative and the affective domains and to recognise the ways texts convey, interpret, question and reflect opinions and perspectives. 

In their study of English students continue to develop their creative and critical faculties and broaden their capacity for cultural understanding. The course provides diverse approaches to texts so that students may become flexible and critical thinkers, capable of appreciating the variety of cultural heritages and differences that make up Australian society. They further develop skills in literacy, and independent, collaborative and reflective learning. Such skills form the basis of sound practices of investigation and analysis required for adult life, including the world of work as well as post-school training and education. The course encourages students to analyse, reconsider and refine meaning and reflect on their own processes of writing, responding, composing and learning.