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Glenwood High School

Glenwood High School

Opportunity Through Learning

Telephone02 9629 9577


English study is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Committed to developing a love of language and learning in every student, the English Faculty at Glenwood High School focuses on delivering an engaging and enriching program of study through all three stages of secondary school. Integral to this endeavour is the design of a diverse range of dynamic and challenging units of work, through which students explore their world, practise their reading and writing skills, improve their visual and digital literacy, and extend their capacity for effective communication. These units cement and strengthen basic skills, fostering confidence for the rigour of senior study and creating opportunities for success. 

For each unit in Stages 4 and 5,  overarching focus questions encourage students to connect with socially and contextually relevant ideas aligned with their study. For example, in Year 7 students explore the question, ‘How do composers use language to express their worlds?’ through a poetry study. The Fantasy Genre and Film Study asks, ‘Why do we explore imaginary worlds?’ and the Close Study of a Novel wonders, ‘Why do we value stories?’ As they progress into Year 8, students reflect on the importance of storytelling to past and present cultures, and the socio-cultural assumptions, values and expectations imparted through picture books in their analysis of Children’s Literature. Our Digital Worlds unit explicitly teaches students how to interpret and use a range of ICTs to communicate their views of themselves and the world around them in safe, responsible and positive ways, and how to apply digital literacy skills to all facets of their learning. Decoding a variety of texts and evaluating their textual features are key components of each Stage 4 unit of work.   

Throughout Stage 5, some of our focus questions include: ‘How do texts help us to understand the nature of conflict?’, ‘How do composers use the sci-fi genre to communicate concerns about society?’ and, ‘How does Shakespeare help us to understand human thought and action across time?’ The varied selection of texts analysed during this stage includes: Anh Do’s, The Happiest Refugee, the modernist poetry of William Carlos Williams, the canonical novels, To Kill a Mockingbird and Animal Farm, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, the contemporary Indigenous play The 7 Stages of Grieving, and a selection of appropriations of the Sherlock Holmes stories, beginning with the original Conan Doyle texts before an episode of the contemporary BBC Sherlock series. In both Years 9 and 10, there is a particular focus on developing higher-order thinking skills and the capacity to write both critically and creatively. 

In Stage 6, students are offered an array of English courses to best support their individual needs and talents. Students can study Advanced English, Standard English, English Studies, and English as a Second Language. Year 11 students can also elect to undertake Preliminary Extension. This continues as English Extension 1, with the commencement of the HSC course, at which time candidates can add English Extension 2 and complete a Major Work as part of their Year 12 study.  

The English Faculty offers a variety of enrichment programs, including our promotion and celebration of Debating and Public Speaking in a range of school and community contexts. Students also have a number of opportunities to enter writing competitions across the year. In the Glenwood English classroom, particular focus is given to supporting students who are having difficulty mastering particular skills and concepts, including the scaffolding and modification of tasks, an additional teacher and timetabled lessons in the Learning Centre, to ensure all students are provided with the opportunity to succeed. 

Across all stages, students have the opportunity to engage actively in their own learning through experiencing a range of theatrical performances, workshops and guest speaker presentations. Additionally, in both Stages 4 and 5, students complete a structured collaborative learning task, working in teams and harnessing their critical and creative thinking skills to collectively produce a presentation for their peers. Our purposeful wide-reading program, a joint project with the school library, cultivates the delight of reading and we ask parents to support this endeavour by encouraging their child to read beyond the designated texts set for English. 

Creating an enriching environment in each classroom, the Glenwood English Faculty works collaboratively to engender a love of learning through the delivery of an inclusive curriculum, which enhances student empathy, understanding, engagement and achievement. 

Courses of study

Stage 4

In Year 7 and 8, students study:

  • English

Stage 5

In Year 9 and 10, students study:

  • English

Stage 6

In Year 11 and 12, students must study at least 2 units of English. Students can choose to study:

  • English Studies
  • English Standard
  • English Advanced
  • English Extension I
  • English Extension II