Language shapes our understanding of ourselves and our world, and is the primary means by which we relate to others. Skills, knowledge and understanding acquired in English are central to the learning and development of students. At Sylvania High School, all students are given the opportunity to achieve to their potential, preparing them well for their lives as successful global citizens.

Years 7 – 10 (Stage 4 and 5)

This English course at Sylvania High School gives students the opportunity to read critically, and respond imaginatively and analytically to a range of texts. Students study a range of texts such as fiction, drama, poetry, film, multi-media and media.

Students engage in the close reading of texts and wide reading of a range of different kinds of texts. Students explore texts through a balance of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing.

The focus is on developing effective communication skills. Therefore, reading, writing, viewing, speaking, listening and representing are integrated in all Stage 4, 5 and 6 programs. The programs themselves are devised to offer students a broad range of focuses that include: classical, multicultural, popular culture and genre based studies.

Students of all ability levels are catered for in English. Years 7 – 8 are comprised of a gifted and talented class and all other classes are streamed. The nature of the English subject area allows students to experience a range of task types that may include practical, creative or group based activities.

Years 11 – 12 (Stage 6)

For the senior years of study all BOSTES courses are offered. Students are able to study English Standard, Advanced, English Studies (where numbers permit a class to be formed), Extension 1 and Extension 2.

Preliminary Standard – The Standard English course gives students the opportunity to explore the ways events, experiences, ideas and processes are represented in and through texts.

Preliminary Advanced – The Advanced English course gives students the opportunity to explore the ways events, experiences, ideas, values and processes are represented in and through texts and analyse the ways in which texts reflect different attitudes and values

HSC Standard – In this course students reflect on and demonstrate the effectiveness of texts for different audiences and purposes.

HSC Advanced – Students analyse and evaluate texts and the ways they are valued in their contexts.

HSC Extension I – Students explore ideas of value and consider how cultural values and systems of valuation arise.

HSC Extension II – This course gives students the opportunity to develop an extended composition and document and reflect on this process. Students develop a Major Work through independent but guided investigation in a chosen area.

Extra-Curricular Programs Linked to English

In addition, the teachers within the English faculty work hard to provide students with a range of extra-curricular activities. Students are encouraged to participate in debating and public speaking competitions; Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year; Dorothea Mackellar Poetry competition; Australian Schools English and Writing competitions.

In teaching of our programs we endeavour to make the learning as relevant and connected to the students as possible. Our Year 11 Creative Writer’s Day provides authentic writing workshops facilitated by Creative Arts students from UoW. Through our Year  7 “Fairy Tales” Day we approach the teaching of content in a highly original and motivating way by utilising human movement, dress ups, video analysis, communication and inclusivity.