English K–2 units

Sample units to support implementation of the English K–10 Syllabus.

Unit features

Sample units are optional resources forming part of the curriculum reform support package in English for primary teachers. These units are designed for teachers of K–2 students and represent ‘one way’ of designing teaching and learning experiences.

The English K–10 Syllabus affords a refreshed approach to English units. Sample units include value-added features that support this approach.

Timeframe for use

Each unit is 2 weeks in duration, aligned to department scope and sequences.

Sample units

  • are structured around 2 ‘components’ that support cumulative, explicit and systematic teaching
    • component A (foundational literacy skills)
    • component B (conceptual understandings of subject English)
  • exemplify the importance of learning about and enjoying literature through the study of quality texts
  • include suggested ‘mentor’ and ‘supporting’ texts that meet NESA’s text requirements for English K-2
  • link to a Grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPC) instructional sequence and Lesson advice guides that provide additional guidance on best practice teaching of foundational skills
  • support teachers to identify, plan for and teach ‘connected content’ in ways that reflect the latest research
  • include resources and suggestions for assessment and differentiation
  • address all syllabus outcomes and content for Early Stage 1 and Stage 1.
  • Comply with curriculum policy and registration requirements
  • are 2 weeks in duration and align with departmental scope and sequences
  • comply with curriculum policy and registration requirements
  • are inclusive of people with vision impairment and comply with legislative requirements for accessibility

Before engaging with sample units, it is imperative to develop a deep understanding of the English K–10 Syllabus and the underpinning evidence base.

Professional learning courses and resources that support the teaching of these units.

Professional learning

  • English K–2 – NR32968 (elective professional development) – department microlearning course

  • Introduction to English K–10 Syllabus (NESA) – all NSW teachers have access to the course by logging into NESA Online Learning.

Resources

How to use sample units

Sample units are optional resources to support classroom teachers in designing high-quality teaching and learning experiences for students.

Like any resource, sample units must be reviewed for suitability prior to use. They are designed to be adopted and adapted for your school context and student learning needs. Teachers should exercise professional judgement when making these decisions.

Note

Where staff cannot adapt or modify sample units, consider use of alternatives that:

  • have a strong evidence base
  • are better matched to local-level curriculum requirements
  • are more effective in meeting student needs.

All units are best viewed digitally as opposed to printed hard copies.

To move through sections of a unit, open the unit and view the navigation pane (Ctrl+F or selecting View > Navigation Pane). In the navigation pane, select the Headings tab.

To go to a heading in a sample unit, select that heading in the navigation pane. This allows teachers to view headings without scrolling.

Each sample unit has been designed using the following structure:

  • Title – indicates key learning area, stage of learning and unit number.
  • Contents – key reference page to support navigation.
  • Unit overview and instructions for use – outlines suggested duration, explicit teaching focus areas and the preparation required to teach each component of the unit.
  • Teacher notes – provides additional information to support the teaching of the unit, including definitions, descriptions, additional resources and ideas for integration with other key learning areas.
  • Outcomes and content – Component A – details syllabus focus areas, outcomes and content points to be addressed in the Component A teaching and learning sequence and links to National Literacy Learning Progression (Version 3) where relevant.
  • Outcomes and content – Component B – details syllabus focus areas, outcomes and content points that are addressed in the Component B teaching and learning sequence and links to National Literacy Learning Progression (Version 3) where relevant.
  • Week 1: Component A teaching and learning – provides a scaffold for planning and documenting Week 1 Component A teaching and learning. Links to teaching advice documents and sample teaching and learning sequences are included.
  • Week 1: Component B teaching and learning – includes an example learning intention and success criteria, the required resources and a suggested teaching and learning sequence for lessons 1-5. Differentiation ideas, assessment suggestions and additional notes are also included.
  • Week 2: Component A teaching and learning – provides a scaffold for planning and documenting Week 2 Component A teaching and learning. Links to teaching advice documents and sample teaching and learning sequences are included.
  • Week 2: Component B teaching and learning – includes an example learning intention and success criteria, the required resources and suggested teaching and learning sequence for lessons 6-10. Differentiation ideas, assessment suggestions and additional notes are also included.
  • Resources – printable resources to support teaching and learning, including teacher reference material and student activities.
  • References – provide links to third-party material, websites and further reading.

Sample units are provided as a starting point for teachers to contextualise learning for their students. Implementation of inclusive practices in planning, programming and assessing supports learning for the full range of students and ensure all students can access and engage with the units.

In NSW classrooms there is a diverse range of students including:

  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students
  • students learning English as an additional language or dialect, including Aboriginal English speakers
  • high potential and gifted students
  • students with disability.

Some students may identify with more than one of these groups, or possibly all of them.

Advice for teachers on curriculum planning for every student in every classroom.

Teachers are also encouraged to enrol in ‘Curriculum planning for every student in every classroom’, available in MyPL, to explore curriculum planning strategies and resources to optimise learning for every student.

Use comments to annotate a unit, including to show evidence of strategies to optimise learning for specific groups of students, or individual students. This could include strategies to enhance teaching and learning, such as differentiation or personalised adjustments.

To learn how to share comments read Share and collaborate with Word for the web. Staff can reply to a comment, adding further detail about the level, type and effectiveness of support provided to a student or group of students.

Suggested mentor and supporting texts

A mentor text is a text that is studied as an example to show how specific textual features are crafted. The text provides students with a model to emulate when crafting their own text (NESA, 2021). Supporting texts provide further opportunities to extend and deepen learning.

Mentor and supporting text lists have been developed to help teachers prepare for teaching and learning activities in sample units. These documents detail the mentor and supporting texts studied in units for Early Stage 1, Stage 1 and K-2 multi-age. Links to digital texts are included in the units but are not included in these lists. They will be released gradually alongside the units.

Text selection

Where staff cannot source a suggested text, select alternatives that:

  • address the identified outcomes and content
  • align to the same mentor or supporting textual concept.

Resources to help teachers choose alternatives that support teaching and learning:

Mentor and supporting texts

The following documents detail the mentor and supporting texts studied for Early Stage 1, the first and second year of Stage 1, and K-2 multi-age A and B years.

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. 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.

Stage 1 units

Forty sample units for Stage 1 will be available for download, released in a phased manner across 2022 and 2023. These units are cumulative and therefore 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.

Stage 1 – First year

NSW students in Years 1 and 2 may be working towards Stage 1 outcomes from the English K-2 Syllabus. First-year sample units are designed for early concept development of Stage 1 outcomes, regardless of students’ year level. Teachers should exercise professional judgement in determining the suitability of teaching and learning experiences in meeting the needs of their students.

Stage 1 – Second year

NSW students in Years 1 and 2 may be working towards Stage 1 outcomes from the English K-2 Syllabus. Second-year sample units are designed for later concept development of Stage 1 outcomes, regardless of students’ year level. Teachers should exercise professional judgement in determining the suitability of teaching and learning experiences in meeting the needs of your students.

K-2 multi-age units

Forty sample K-2 multi-age units will be available for download, released in a phased manner across 2022 and 2023. 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. This approach covers all Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 syllabus outcomes and content in both the A and B year cycle.

K-2 multi-age – Year A

Teachers of multi-age classes have the flexibility to select Year A or Year B sample units to reflect their cycle of programming.

K-2 multi-age – Year B

Teachers of multi-age classes have the flexibility to select Year A or Year B sample units to reflect their cycle of programming.

Quality assurance

Sample units have undergone a rigorous quality assurance process as part of our commitment to improving school support. The process ensures that all sample units provided to schools are relevant, of high quality, and underpinned by evidence-based practice.

Alignment to School Excellence Framework

These resources support the School Excellence Framework and clearly align to the following domains and themes.

Learning domain
  • Curriculum: Curriculum provision, Teaching and learning programs
  • Assessment: Whole school monitoring of student learning
  • Student performance measures: NAPLAN
Teaching domain
  • Effective classroom practice: Lesson planning, Explicit teaching
  • Learning and development: Collaborative practice and feedback; Expertise and innovation
Leading domain

Educational leadership: Instructional leadership

Alignment to system priorities and, or needs

These resources reflect the following existing frameworks:

Consultation

Resources have been refined based on findings from consultation with key stakeholder groups and tested by NSW teachers as part of the Accelerated adopter and self-selector schools project in 2022. Subject matter experts from Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners and Literacy and Numeracy reviewed documents to ensure the accuracy of the content.

Evidence base

The evidence base for these resources is:

  • English K-2 Syllabus
  • K-2 English research toolkit
  • Beck IL, McKeown MG and Kucan L (2002) Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction, The Guilford Press, New York.
  • Castles A, Rastle K and Nation K (2018) ‘Ending the reading wars: Reading acquisition from novice to expert’, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19:5–51, doi:10.1177/1529100618772271.
  • CESE (Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation) (2017) Cognitive load theory: Research that teachers really need to understand.
  • Daffern T (2016) ‘What happens when a teacher uses metalanguage to teach spelling?’, The Reading Teacher, 70(4):423–434,
  • Graham S (2020) ‘The sciences of reading and writing must become more fully integrated’, Reading Research Quarterly, 55(S1), S35–S44, doi:10.1002/rrq.332
  • Jones S, Myhill D and Bailey T (2012) ‘Grammar for writing?’, An investigation of the effects of contextualised grammar teaching on students’ writing, 26(8):1241–1263, doi:10.1007/s11145-012-9416-1.
  • Konza D (2010) Research into practice: Understanding the reading process, Government of South Australia,
  • Mackenzie NM (2011) ‘From drawing to writing: What happens when you shift teaching priorities in the first six months of school?’, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 34(3):322–340.
  • NSW Department of Education and Communities (2020) What works best: 2020 update
  • NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) (2021) Evidence-based practices for planning and programming
  • NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) (2021) Additional teaching advice documents
  • Parkin J (2021) ‘The simple views of reading and writing: Frameworks for interpretation of the Woodcock–Johnson IV’, Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 39(7):1–16, doi:10.1177/07342829211023325.
  • Serafini F and Moses L (2014) ‘The roles of children’s literature in the primary grades’, The Reading Teacher, 67(6):465–468, doi:10.1002/trtr.1236.
  • Snow P (2020) SOLAR: ‘The science of language and reading’, Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 1–12, doi:10.1177/0265659020947817.

Contact

Email questions, comments and feedback about sample units to EnglishK6@det.nsw.edu.au using the subject line 'English K-2 units'.

Category:

  • Teaching and learning

Topics:

  • All primary schools
  • Classroom teachers
  • Educational Standards
  • English
  • Kindergarten
  • Resource
  • Teaching and learning
  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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