English: what your child will learn during their HSC

HSC English will improve your child’s language and literacy skills and provide them with opportunities to explore a wide variety of texts, as well as composing their own.

This information is subject to change as the NSW Government reforms the curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12 so every student is prepared and ready for their future. Learn more about the NSW Curriculum reform.

Whether studying Shakespeare, Margaret Atwood or Tim Winton, the HSC English syllabus provides your child with rich and varied ways to improve their language and literacy skills.

While experiencing a wide range of different texts, students explore different literary formats and forms, audiences and motivations. They will also engage in different writing activities including extended responses (essay), creative writing and multi-modal presentations.

What your child will learn in English Years 11 and 12

Your child in Year 11 and 12 will have the opportunity to:

  • Study prose, poetry, plays and film, fiction and non-fiction and digital and media texts
  • Explore texts that expand their cultural, social and gender perspectives
  • Respond to and write a wide range of different texts for different audiences and purposes
  • Look at how different texts convey events, ideas and experiences
  • Build on their English skills to use them in different contexts, including work, education and their social and personal lives.

HSC English subjects

In Years 11 and 12, your child may be able to choose from six courses of study which are counted towards their HSC:

Years 11 and 12
Units: 2

Content – English Standard Year 11

This course covers:

  • A common module: Reading to Write – Transition to Senior English
    Your child can develop the skills and knowledge to appreciate, understand, analyse and evaluate texts.
  • Module A: Contemporary Possibilities
    They can extend their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the ways we respond to digital, multimedia, multimodal and non-linear texts.
  • Module B: Close Study of Literature
    Your child can learn to analyse, examine, identify and consider aspects of a literary print text, such as a prose fiction, drama or poetry collection, in detail.

Content – English Standard Year 12

This course covers:

  • A common module: Texts and Human Experiences
    By focusing on their prescribed texts, your child can develop a deeper understanding of the individual and collective human experience.
  • Module A: Language, Identity and Culture
    They can learn about how language reflects and shapes identity, culture and community through the close study of the prescribed text or texts.
  • Module B: Close Study of Literature
    Your child can learn to consider the interplay between the ideas, forms and language within a text and analyse its ideas and characteristics.
  • Module C: The Craft of Writing
    They can deliberate on the choices composers make when crafting and manipulating language to convey powerful ideas with precision. They adopt similar approaches of textual construction when writing their own compositions.

Years 11 and 12
Units: 2

Content – English Advanced Year 11

This course covers:

  • A common module: Reading to Write – Transition to Senior English

Your child can develop the skills and knowledge to appreciate, understand, analyse and evaluate texts.

  • Module A: Narratives that Shape our World

Your child can consider how aspects of narrative are used to create imagined worlds that reflect contextual concerns. They explore how these stories influence individuals and societies and have the power to challenge existing social, historical, political and/or cultural structures and practices.

  • Module B: Critical Study of Literature

Your child can develop analytical and critical knowledge and a deep understanding and appreciation of a single literary text appropriate to their needs and interests.

Content – English Advanced Year 12

This course covers:

  • A common module: Texts and Human Experiences

Your child can learn to develop a deeper understanding of the individual and collective human experience.

  • Module A: Textual Conversations

Your child can consider the interplay of the two texts through purpose and audience. They explore how various aspects of a text, such as the social, historical, political and/or cultural context, can shape and reshape the meaning.

  • Module B: Critical Study of Literature

They explore how texts are crafted and shaped, consider subtle and explicit intentions and examine how ideas and techniques combine to make a unified text.

English Extension 1

Year 12
Unit: 1

Your child will experiment with language forms, features and structures and conceptualise texts in more complex and sophisticated ways. They will expand their understanding of how texts contribute to the attitudes, perspectives, awareness and diversity of ideas of individuals and groups.

Content – English Extension Year 11

This course covers:

  • A mandatory module: Texts, Culture and Value
    Here your child can learn to examine how aspects and concerns of texts from the past have been carried forward, borrowed from and/or appropriated into more recent culture and texts.

Content – English Extension Year 12

English Extension 1

This course covers:

  • A common module: Literary Worlds
    Your child must complete one of these five electives:
    • Literary Homelands
    • Worlds of Upheaval
    • Re-imagined Worlds
    • Literary Mindscapes
    • Intersecting Worlds

English Extension 2

Year 12
Unit: 1

During this course your child will:

  • Undertake an independent investigation and composition process to complete a major work.
  • Document their process in a major work journal and complete a reflection statement.

Years 11 and 12
Units: 2

This course is for students who have been educated in English for five years or less, either in Australia or overseas. Eligibility rules apply to qualify.

Content – EAL/D Year 11

Your child will study:

  • 3-4 modules: These include Language and Texts in Context, Close Study of Text and Texts and Society. During these modules your child will acquire, develop and use English language skills to explore texts and aspects of how meaning is shaped.
  • An optional teacher developed module: If this is considered appropriate to cater to the needs, interests and abilities of the students.

Content – EAL/D Year 12

Your child will study:

  • Module A: Texts and Human Experiences
    Your child will deal with the question of what it means to be human by interpreting and responding to a variety of texts.
  • Module B: Language, Identity and Culture
    This unit encourages your child to explore, question, negotiate and express as they examine questions of identity and culture through a text or texts.
  • Module C: Close Study of Text
    Your child will consider how a prescribed text has been composed and assembled. They develop a more informed understanding, knowledge and appreciation of the text. In the process they examine information, ideas, attitudes and values communicated in and through the text.
  • Concurrent module: Focus on Writing
    Your child will compose and respond to a range of texts. Through the process of writing they will generate ideas, experiment with techniques, styles and forms and

Years 11 and 12
Units: 2

This subject consolidates literacy skills and refines English skills and knowledge for students intending to proceed from school directly into employment or vocational training.

Content – English Studies Year 11

Your child will study:

  • The mandatory module: Achieving through English – English in education, work and community
    This helps to improve your child’s practical competence in the use of language to improve access to opportunities in schooling, training and employment.
  • Additional syllabus modules (selected based on your child’s needs and interests).
  • An optional teacher-developed module.

Content – English Studies Year 12

Your child will study:

  • Module one: Texts and Human Experiences, where students analyse and explore texts and apply a range of English skills.
  • 2–4 additional syllabus modules (selected based on their needs and interests).
  • An optional teacher-developed module.

Years 11 and 12
Units: 2

This course is for children with special education needs, particularly those with an intellectual disability, who are unable to access the outcomes of the regular courses, even with adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment. Children are expected to address or achieve one or more of the Stage 6 English Life Skills outcomes. They don’t need to address or complete all content to demonstrate achievement of an outcome.

Content – English Life Skills Year 11 and 12

Your child will:

  • Be provided with appropriate opportunities to engage with a range of texts to assist them to broaden and develop their language skills.
  • Address or achieve one or more of the Year 11 and Year 12 English Life Skills outcomes. Your child will not have to address or complete them all.
  • Benefit from the flexibility of the teacher’s approach to develop programs appropriate to the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of the student.

Flexible learning

Across all subjects, teachers have the flexibility to make decisions about the sequence of topics and emphasis given to content to suit the school’s resources and the individual needs, interests and abilities of the students.

Meeting every child’s needs

The high school syllabus takes an inclusive approach to ensure the learning needs of every student are addressed, including children with:

  • a physical or intellectual disability
  • English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
  • other special needs
  • no special needs.

Teachers and parents in partnership

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s English HSC learning or study areas, make an appointment to talk to their English teacher.

Category:

  • Teaching and learning

Topics:

  • English
  • Learning

Business Unit:

  • Communication and Engagement
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