English syllabus under review

The Senior Years English Draft Writing Brief Board Curriculum BOSTES meeting was held recently to consult with important education stakeholders, including employer groups, parent organisations, professional associations, universities and unions.

This consultation is part of the Syllabus Review process, which is at phase two in a four phase timeline. Regular IEU Rep Olivia Gollan who was unable to attend the meeting.

Despite the request to separate assessment, including the HSC examination, from syllabus considerations, participants (particularly practising teachers) were well aware that some draft proposals would require changes to assessment procedures. The proposal to add a written examination to Extension 2 English is an obvious example.

These are some of the shared responses to the draft proposals:

rejection of adding a written examination to Extension 2 English

rejection of common content as part of Extension 1 English

acceptance of common content for Standard/Advanced courses as well as course-specific modules

agreement that the Area of Study should be dropped

rejection of an independent research project in Preliminary Advanced English, and

rejection of having an English Studies HSC examination, either compulsory or optional.

Some strong concerns were expressed about the workload for students and teachers. The following suggestions were supported:

that the Advanced modules be reduced from three to two, and

that other related texts for Standard English be assessed internally.

IEU members are encouraged to respond the BOSTES surveys. It is worth remembering that group submissions, such as that of the English Teachers Association, have more weight than individual ones.

Peter Moore
IEU BOSTES Committee Representative