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Birrong Girls High School

Birrong Girls High School

Ad Astra - To the stars

Telephone02 9644 5057


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

In English, students learn about the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written and visual texts through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected. Complexity increases as students progress through their schooling.

Developing proficiency in English enables students to take their place as confident communicators; critical and imaginative thinkers; lifelong learners; and informed, active participants in Australian society. Their understanding of English through knowledge and skills acquisition is essential to their 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.

In Year 11 and 12, the study of English is mandatory. Courses offered include:

  • English Extension 2
  • English Extension 1
  • English Advanced
  • English Standard
  • English Studies
  • English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
  • English Life Skills.


The English/Drama faculty at BGHS is a dynamic group committed to delivering quality literacy programs in Years 7-12, empowering students to acquire deep learning, respond to texts, and communicate effectively as critical thinking citizens in a 21st Century world.

Students explore a wide variety of enriching texts and concepts, building their capacity to respond by composing and creating effective written, spoken and visual and multi-media texts.

English 7-10

English is a mandatory course that is studied substantially in each of Years 7–10, with at least 400 hours to be completed by the end of Year 10. The BGHS faculty offers a stimulating range of modules in Stages 4 and 5 which lead to the building and refining of key skills required for successful learning in Stage 6 HSC Courses.

Students study at least one work of fiction, non-fiction, film, drama (including Shakespeare, and a range of poems in each academic year. They experience a range of Australian literary and non-fiction and multimedia texts, valuing and recognising Aboriginal, Asian and multicultural experiences. In addition, students engage with texts from other cultures and countries both past and present, and texts representing popular culture and youth voices. They will become conversant with a range of narrative forms including picture books and multi-media stories, and a range of media and non-fiction texts, including those found in everyday contexts and the workplace.

They are encouraged to develop clear and precise control of language by reading, writing, viewing and representing, listening and speaking for an increasingly wide range of social purposes. Students will express themselves and their relationships with others and the world and develop increasingly sophisticated skills in self-reflection of their learning in English.

Students are required to read widely throughout their English courses. Through reading students learn spelling, grammar and punctuation automatically and the sophistication of writing is developed. Reading opens up new worlds and experiences and is fun.

Satisfactory completion of the mandatory study of English during Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) will be recorded with a grade on the student's Record of School Achievement (ROSA).

Students are offered meaningful co-curricular activities to support their learning in English. This has been provided through the various Artist-in-Residence Programs (see below), incursions by poetry artists, the entry to local writing competitions and a variety of excursions to the Theatre. Students engage in a Speaking Competition in Yrs 7-10, The Henrietta Wooster Speaking Competition, and in Year 9, The Spoken Word Competition. Students with talents in speaking may participate in the school's debating and public speaking programs. Talented English students are encouraged to enter the ICAS competitions run annually.


(Students attending performance by poet, Luka Lesson)

English Years 11-12

English is the only compulsory subject for the HSC. In Stage 6, students have the opportunity to pursue a variety of courses which are designed to meet student needs and interests. These include Extension, Advanced, Standard, ESL, English Studies and Fundamentals of English.

Selection for Advanced, Standard and Extension courses are based on cumulative assessment tasks throughout Year 10.

Extension 1 and 2 Courses are available to students who demonstrate outstanding analytical and writing skills, who read widely and with appreciation. Student applications should be supported by teacher judgement.

Advanced English is offered to students who show the capacity to write in a highly sustained and analytical manner, and who read widely with understanding.

Standard English is undertaken by the majority of students who demonstrate sound analytical and writing skills.

ESL English caters to specific students who meet the requirement of having had less than five years instruction in English prior to the commencement of Year 11.

English Studies is offered to students who wish to follow a Non-ATAR pathway, preparing them for the literacy requirements of TAFE and the workforce.

Fundamentals of English as a I unit or 2 unit course is offered for students who wish to supplement their learning in their 2 unit English course (Standard or English Studies only).


Drama is a form of action in which some form of human experience is portrayed: it is an exploration of experiences and situations through enactment. In Drama, students learn about themselves and others by creating characters and situations.

In Drama, students can investigate, shape and symbolically represent ideas, feelings, attitudes, beliefs and their consequences. By studying this major art form students acquire skills in interpretation, communication, performance and critical analysis and become aware of the technical processes and technologies that may be used to heighten dramatic presentation. In the critical study of drama and theatre students can recognise the collaborative contribution of actors, directors, playwrights, designers and technicians to production. They develop an understanding of the cultural traditions and social contexts of drama and theatre.

Drama is offered as an elective in Years 9-10, and as a HSC course in Years 11-12. The school has a fully functioning theatre space equipped with projector, lighting and sound system.

Students are offered meaningful co-curricular activities to support their learning in Drama. This has been provided through the community links such as The Bell Shakespeare Artist-in-Residence program, The Griffin Ambassador Program and the Multicultural Playwright Project. Students participate in a variety of challenging theatre experiences and Drama workshops to support their understanding of Drama practice and practitioners. The Drama faculty run an after-school Drama club, called the Little Theatre Players, and produce performances for the school community. Through our assembly program, Drama students have the opportunity to regularly perform for their peers.