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NSW English 7-10 Syllabus

The Objectives of the NSW English 7-10 Syllabus aims to engage junior secondary students in the study of literature, including literary fiction, film and other modalities, as well as encouraging them to develop their own creative skills (see p12 of the Syllabus) The project used the findings of the major secondary literacy research project Write it Right, conducted in NSW schools in the 1990s, to correlate the Syllabus outcomes statements with the literacy demands of the curriculum. This formed a framework for training teachers to select and analyse texts in the English curriculum, and to teach students to read and write them successfully.

The Aim of the English 7-10 Syllabus is stated as follows:

The aim of English in Years 7 to 10 is to enable students to use, understand, appreciate, reflect on and enjoy the English language in a variety of texts and to shape meaning in ways that are imaginative, interpretive, critical and powerful (p12).

The underlying philosophy informing the Syllabus is a one of personal growth through immersion in texts, in the progressivist-constructivist tradition (Brophy 2002). This philosophy is made clear in the Introduction to the Syllabus (p4). Although it makes reference to students with special needs, it is not explicitly concerned with addressing the learning needs of other disadvantaged students, including many Aboriginal students, with respect to their capacity to achieve Syllabus outcomes. As such it is not explicitly framed to provide teachers with tools for teaching the literacy skills they need in the context of the curriculum. However its non-specificity in relation to supporting students in need offers wide opportunities for using strategies that engage students and extend their literacy. Key relevant statements in the Syllabus Rationale and Objectives include the following :

In Years 7-10, English is the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written and visual texts of varying complexity through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected (p7).

Students learn English through explicit teaching of language and through immersion in a diverse range of purposeful and increasingly demanding language experiences

The Syllabus enables teachers to draw on the methods of different theoretical perspectives and models of teaching to assist their students to achieve the Syllabus outcomes at the highest levels

Through responding to and composing texts, students learn about the power, value and art of the English language for communication, knowledge and pleasure

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These materials are provided for research purposes and may contain opinions that are not shared by the Board of Studies NSW.