Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design

Designing Futures

Telephone02 9560 7299



English is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Students learn about the English language through written, spoken and visual texts of increasing complexity as they progress through their schooling.

An understanding of the English language is central to how we communicate and essential for intellectual, social and emotional development.

The study of English should develop a love of literature and learning and be challenging and enjoyable. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become active, independent and lifelong learners, to work with each other and to reflect on their learning.

The Study of English

Meaning is central to the study of English. The study of English makes explicit the language forms and processes of meaning.

Senior English develops this by encouraging students to explore, critically evaluate and appreciate a wide variety of the texts of Australian and other societies, in various forms and media, including multimedia.

The study of English involves exploring, responding to and composing texts

  • in and for a range of personal, social, historical, cultural and workplace contexts
  • using a variety of language modes, forms, features and structures.

Meaning is achieved through responding and composing, which are typically interdependent and ongoing processes.

Courses Offered

English Years 7 to 10 mandatory

Preliminary and HSC Stage 6 English:

  • Advanced English
  • Standard English
  • English Studies
  • Extension 1 English
  • Extension 2 English


The aim of senior English is to enable students to understand, use, enjoy and value the English language in its various textual forms and to become thoughtful, imaginative and effective communicators in a diverse and changing society.

Rationale for Senior English

The study of English is central to the learning and development of students in NSW and is the mandatory subject in the senior curriculum. The importance of English in the curriculum is a recognition of its role as the national language and increasingly as the language of international communication. Proficiency in English enables students to take their place as confident, articulate communicators, critical and imaginative thinkers and active participants in society.

English involves the study and use of language in its various textual forms, encompassing written, spoken and visual texts of varying complexity, including the language systems of English through which meaning is conveyed, interpreted and reflected.

The study of English enables students to recognise and use a diversity of approaches and texts to meet the growing array of literacy demands, including higher-order social, aesthetic and cultural literacy. This study is designed to promote a sound knowledge of the structure and function of the English language and to develop effective English communication skills. The senior English courses develop in students an understanding of literary expression and nurture an appreciation of aesthetic values. Through reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and representing experience, ideas and values, students are encouraged to adopt a critical approach to all texts and to distinguish the qualities of texts.

In the senior course, students come to understand the complexity of meaning, to compose and respond to texts according to their form, content, purpose and audience, and to appreciate the personal, social, historical, cultural and workplace contexts that produce and value them. Students reflect on their reading and learning and understand that these processes are shaped by the contexts in which they respond to and compose texts.

The study of English enables students to make sense of, and to enrich, their lives in personal, social and professional situations and to deal effectively with change. Students develop a strong sense of themselves as autonomous, reflective and creative learners. The senior English syllabus is designed to develop in students the faculty to perceive and understand their world from a variety of perspectives, and it enables them to appreciate the richness of Australia's cultural diversity.

The syllabus is also designed to develop enjoyment of English and an appreciation of its value and role in learning.