English – Early Stage 1 – units

Twenty sample units for Early Stage 1 will be available for download, released in a phased manner across 2022 and 2023.


Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from English K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2021.

These units are cumulative and are designed to be taught in numerical order.

A suggested term-by-term approach, aligned with the department’s scope and sequence is outlined below, including the mentor textual concept(s) and unit description.

Unit 1 – Context

Students engage with texts related to starting school and learn from their own and others’ experiences.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 1 – Context (DOCX 4.2 MB)

Unit 2 – Narrative

Students learn about narrative story structure by exploring character journeys.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 2 – Narrative (DOCX 461 KB)

Unit 3 – Character

Students engage with a range of texts to compare characters, their features and actions. Students share their feelings towards characters and identify characteristics that they also see in themselves.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 3 – Character (DOCX 1.5 MB)

Unit 4 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students read and create texts using word play devices such as rhyme, onomatopoeia and alliteration. They explore the importance of illustrations in texts for a range of purposes and audiences.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 4 – Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 2.8 MB)

Unit 5 – Perspective and argument

Students revisit concepts explored throughout the term, including the beginning, middle and end of narratives, and identifying the main character in texts. Students will play with words and consider simple descriptions to express their preferences for texts and characters.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 5 – Perspective and argument (DOCX 742 KB)

Unit 6 – Context

Students explore text diversity and are provided with opportunities to read texts designed for different audiences and purposes.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 6 – Context (DOCX 319 KB)

Unit 7 – Narrative

Students learn how narratives, including characters and their experiences, can be real and imagined. They build on previous learning about narrative structure and retell familiar stories to develop their understanding.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 7 – Narrative (DOCX 456 KB)

Unit 8 – Character

Students explore how characters can be represented by how they look, what they say and do, and their thoughts. They will engage with texts that have a central character and identify language that describes them, then compose literary descriptions of characters from familiar texts.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 8 – Character (DOCX 722 KB)

Unit 9– Imagery, symbol and connotation

Through a study of wordless picture books, students learn how visual features enhance meaning and enjoyment in texts. They will consider how authors convey meaning through illustrations, exploring use of colour and layout.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 9 – Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 1 MB)

Unit 10 – Perspective

Students will deepen their understanding of perspective by expressing preferences of familiar texts. They will view familiar texts through a critical lens, focusing on specific features such as illustrations, structure and language.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 10 – Perspective (DOCX 725 KB)

Unit 11 – Context

Students will engage with imaginative and informative texts and consider purpose and audiences. They will explore the language and structural features of texts that inform and entertain.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 11 – Context (DOCX 480 KB)

Unit 12 – Narrative

Students will build on their understanding of narrative structures and features. They will consider how narratives can be presented through different modes and media and explore intertextuality through a study of quality literature and fairy tales. Students will innovate from mentor and supporting texts to compose narratives with key language and structural features.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 12 – Narrative (DOCX 431 KB)

Unit 13 – Character

Students will deepen their understanding of character, using background knowledge to consider why a character may act a certain way. They will explore how visual cues and illustrations contribute to meaning and enhance audience understanding of character.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 13 – Character (DOCX 362 KB)

Unit 14– Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students will engage with texts with creative language features including onomatopoeia, alliteration and rhyme. They will explore how visual features interact with and support creative language to enhance meaning. Students will innovate from mentor and supporting texts to compose a poem.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 14 – Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 228 KB)

Unit 15 – Perspective

Students will explore perspective as an understanding of how people see the world and engage with texts that present a shift in perspective. They reflect on their own perspective by considering personal likes and dislikes.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 15 – Perspective (DOCX 324 KB)

Unit 16 – Context

Students will consider how personal context can influence their experiences of the world. They will consider how context can inform a character’s motivations and feelings. Students will create a range of descriptive texts that represent their own context, culture, settings, motivations and feelings.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 16 – Context (DOCX 693 KB)

Unit 17 – Narrative

Students will build on their understanding of narratives. They will engage with print and audio narratives and consider how they can be real or imagined. Students will apply their understanding of narrative features and structures to compose their own texts.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 17 – Narrative (DOCX 934 KB)

Unit 18 – Character

Students will consider characters actions, thoughts and feelings and explore how these can be represented through intentional language choices. They will innovate from mentor and supporting texts to compose literary descriptions of real or imagined characters.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 18 – Character (DOCX 1.4 MB)

Unit 19 – Imagery, symbol and connotation

Students will explore how word order and word choice influence meaning and support creative play with language. They will consider how creative language features enhance enjoyment of texts.

Early Stage 1 – Unit 19 – Imagery, symbol and connotation (DOCX 2.24 MB)

Unit 20 – Perspective

Students will compare opinions and ideas presented in mentor and supporting texts. They will consider their own strengths and the strengths of their peers. Students will compose texts that present their own perspective about themselves and their world

Early Stage 1 – Unit 20 – Perspective (DOCX 2 MB)

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