North Sydney Public School

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New English Syllabus

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), in collaboration with states and territories, has developed an agreed Australian curriculum for English including content statements that represent essential learning for all Australian students.

In NSW, the Board of Studies has worked closely with teachers and key education stakeholders to develop syllabuses that include the Australian curriculum content and further detail that clarifies learning. As a result of this work, Kindergarten to Year 10 syllabuses provide direction to ensure greater consistency between NSW schools.

The content in the new English syllabus is organised around the key idea of Making meaning through language.

In the English K–10 Syllabus, the study of English is an active pursuit where students use language to learn about language. The key processes of responding to and composing texts are central to students using language purposefully and meaningfully and engaging with a wide range of texts.

'Responding' is the activity that occurs as students read, listen to or view texts. It encompasses the personal and intellectual connection a student makes with texts. It also recognises that students and the texts to which they respond reflect social contexts.

In this syllabus, 'composing' is the activity that occurs as students produce written, spoken or visual texts.

Responding and Composing are represented by these 6 modes

  • Speaking and Listening
  • Writing and Representing
  • Reading and Viewing

As students undertake the key processes of responding to and composing texts in their study of English, they undertake a number of other integrated and concurrent processes which also highlight the importance of students as active users and learners of language. The processes in this syllabus are intended to emphasise student agency through students developing and applying knowledge and understanding of context and language forms and features, and reflecting on their learning. In addition to the key processes of responding and composing, these processes include:

  • Engaging personally with texts
  • Developing and applying contextual knowledge
  • Understanding and applying knowledge of language forms and features.

When will the new English syllabus for K–6 be taught?

The new NSW English syllabus is being implemented from 2014. Teachers at NSDS have participated in consistent professional development and curriculum planning around this new syllabus since early 2013 and are well equipped to work with this new document. Reporting student achievement against new English syllabus outcomes will begin from Semester 1 2014.

Current Initiatives at NSDS

In 2014 NSDS teachers continue to plan and program with the support of the school's English Committee.

Current initiatives include professional development and programs in the following areas:

  • Competing in the NSW Multicultural Public Speaking Competition
  • Competing in the NSW Premier's Debating Competition
  • Utilising the four forms of spelling – visual, phonological, metamorphic and etymological
  • Competing in the NSW Premier's Spelling Bee
  • Dialogic Teaching and the English program
  • Multimodal texts
  • Premier's Reading Challenge
  • Guided Reading and Reading Recovery
  • Home Reading program
  • Literature Circles and Reading Groups
  • Super 6 Comprehension Strategies for reading
  • North Shore Historical Society history writing prize
  • Functional Grammar
  • Best Start and PLAN in conjunction with the Literacy Continuum.


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