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Faculty - English

To qualify for the award of the Higher School Certificate (HSC), all students are required to complete a minimum of two units of a Board Developed Course in English or English Studies. 

At Covenant Christian School, the study of English is crucial in order for students to make significant contributions to our modern world. Underpinning many texts are agendas which attempt to manipulate audiences. English assists students to unlock the perspectives from which these texts arise. Moreover, English texts allow an opportunity to investigate and evaluate a variety of worldviews and test these against a biblical framework. The skill acquisition which is integral to the subject allows Christian men and women an opportunity to argue and express a Christian perspective. From the simple acts of letter writing and creative expression to the more complex acts of speech giving, textual analysis and arguing one’s opinion, the freedom and ability to use language for a variety of purposes is absolutely vital.

English Standard

Preliminary course

Content common to the English Standard and English Advanced courses is undertaken through a unit of work called Reading to Write: Transition to Senior English. Students explore texts and consolidate skills required for senior study. Two additional modules, Close Study of Literature and Contemporary Possibilities, enable students to explore and examine texts and analyse aspects of meaning.

HSC course

The HSC Common Content consists of one module, Texts and Human Experiences, which is common to the HSC Standard, the HSC Advanced and the HSC English Studies courses, where students analyse and explore texts and apply skills in synthesis. Three additional modules emphasise particular aspects of shaping meaning and demonstration of the effectiveness of texts for different audiences and purposes.

Download English Standard Course outline

English Advanced

  • English Advanced Preliminary course: students explore, examine and analyse a range of texts which include prose fiction, drama, poetry, nonfiction, film, digital and media, as well as Australian texts. They explore the ways events, experiences, ideas, values and processes are represented in and through texts and analyse the ways texts reflect different attitudes and values.
  • English Advanced HSC Course: students further strengthen their knowledge and understanding of language and literature by analysing and evaluating texts and the ways they are valued in their contexts. Students study at least four prescribed texts drawn from: Shakespearean drama, prose fiction, poetry or drama, film or media or nonfiction.
  • Students who choose the Advanced English course should be willing and able to cope with the high degree of academic rigour required. Students should be capable and confident readers, both for pleasure and for academic purposes. Self-directed learners who enjoy the challenge of engaging with a range of complex texts will find this course to be both enjoyable and stimulating.

Download English Advanced Course outline

English Extension 1
  • In the English Extension Preliminary course, students explore the ways in which aspects and concerns of texts from the past have been carried forward, borrowed from and/or appropriated into more recent culture. They consider how and why cultural values are maintained and changed.
  • In the English Extension 1 HSC Course, students explore, investigate, experiment with and evaluate the ways texts represent and illuminate the complexity of individual and collective lives in literary worlds.
  • Students who choose the Extension 1 English course should be confident readers who can write competently and with precision for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students need to be self-directed, independent learners who enjoy sophisticated analysis and focused research. This course caters for students who wish to grapple with textual concepts and ideas beyond the level of Advanced English.

Download English Extension 1 Course outline

English Extension 2

In the English Extension 2 course, students are required to complete a Major Work which involves students undertaking an extensive independent investigation involving a range of complex texts during the composition process, and document this in their Major Work Journal and Reflection Statement. Students can choose to compose in one of the following forms: short fiction; creative nonfiction; poetry; critical response; script (short film, television, drama); podcasts (drama, storytelling, speeches, performance poetry); and multimedia.

Download English Extension 2 Course outline

English as an Additional Language/Dialect

In the English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) Preliminary course, students acquire and develop specific English language skills, knowledge and understanding by exploring a range of texts which include prose fiction, drama, poetry, nonfiction, film, digital and media, as well as Australian texts. Through this close study of texts, students develop their understanding of the ways ideas and processes are represented in texts.

In the EAL/D HSC course, students reinforce and extend their language skills through the close study of at least three types of prescribed texts drawn from prose fiction, poetry or drama, film or media, or nonfiction. Through this close study of texts, students develop and apply skills in synthesis.

Download English as an Additional Language/Dialect Course outline

English Studies

This course is designed to meet the specific needs of students who wish to refine their skills and knowledge in English and consolidate their literacy skills. It is a course for students who are seeking an alternative to the English Standard course and who intend to proceed from school directly into employment or vocational training.

Due to changes in the English Studies course, students considering choosing this course should be advised that:

  • English Studies is now a Stage 6 Board Developed Course with an optional HSC examination.
  • Students who complete the course and elect to take the optional HSC examination will be reported on a Common Scale with the English Standard and English Advanced courses.
  • Students choosing not to sit for the English Studies HSC examination will still be eligible for the HSC.

Download English Studies Course outline


What is the difference between English Studies, English Standard and English Advanced?

All three subjects have the same number and types of assessments (such as essays, creative writing, presentations, exams). However, the major difference is between the concepts within each Module and the complexity of texts. English Studies texts will be more focused on real world English skills. English Standard texts are more accessible than English Advanced texts, and the specific concepts for focus will also be less complex for Standard than Advanced. English Studies and English Standard also do not study any Shakespearean plays.

How do I choose between the compulsory subjects?

A good question to ask yourself is how did you cope with the level of texts in Year 10? To Kill a Mockingbird is a similar level of complexity of text that you will encounter in English Advanced. Did you finish reading it? Did you understand the concepts that were conveyed? 

Also, your sophistication in your own writing needs to be conveyed through your use of language. Do you feel confident analysing texts? Do you understand and capably use the essay structure you have been taught? Do you like to read widely and experiment with language? 

If you answered yes to all of the above questions, then you should choose English Advanced. If you answered no, then perhaps look at English Studies or English Standard.

If you are thinking of doing a trade when you leave school or don’t think you’ll be going to university, then we would strongly recommend that you choose English Studies. 

If you are still unsure, chat to your teacher and they can give you some more advice.

What types of texts do English Studies, English Standard and English Advanced do?

Each course will study a variety of texts across Stage 6 such as poetry, film, novel, play, etc. The play for Advanced will be a Shakespearean play.

Does English Advanced scale higher than English Standard for the ATAR?

Yes, as it is considered a more advanced subject. However, students should choose the level of English in which they are most likely to enjoy and succeed in.

Who should study Extension English?

Do you love English? Do you enjoy talking with friends (or whoever will listen to you) about plots and characters of various books or TV shows or movies? Does the concept of analysing texts further to discover hidden meanings excite you? Do you enjoy reading? Then maybe you should think about doing Extension English! 

Can I do EAL/D (English as an Additional Language/Dialect)?

You can only do EAL/D if you have been educated in English for less than 5 years and English is your second language.

Can I change my mind if I find my choice is too hard?

Yes. For example, if you are tossing up between Standard and Advanced, we generally recommend that you try Advanced first as it is easier to move to Standard throughout Year 11 rather than the other way around.

Can I change from English Studies to Standard, or Standard to Advanced, at any time?

To move up a level is a little harder than moving down a level. By the end of Term 2 of Year 11, you need to have decided if you wanted to move up a level of English.

Do I have to do Extension 1 to do Extension 2 in Year 12?

Yes. It is a prerequisite for the course and must be studied concurrently in Year 12.

Is there a specific English course that is a prerequisite for university entrance?

Every university is different in terms of their nominated prerequisites. You should go and chat with Mrs Gilbert if you have any questions in this regard. Please note that some courses (such as Education) may prescribe a certain band as a prerequisite for their course.

Which teachers will be teaching which English next year?

It’s a mystery! We don’t know yet…

If you have further questions, please contact:
English Coordinator - Mrs Hailey Bootes