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NDSHS English learning area
consists of three senior secondary subjects: Essential English, English and Literature. These subjects share common features that include the continuing development of students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, speaking, reading, viewing, designing and writing.
English learning area subjects offer students opportunities to enjoy language and be empowered as functional, purposeful, creative and critical language users who understand how texts can convey and transform personal and cultural perspectives.
Students have opportunities to engage with language and texts through a range of teaching and learning experiences to foster:
  • skills to communicate effectively in Standard Australian English
  • skills to make choices about generic structures, language, textual features and technologies
  • enjoyment and appreciation of texts, the aesthetic use of language, and style
  • creative thinking and imagination, by exploring how texts shape perceptions of the world and enable us to enter the worlds of others
  • critical exploration of ways in which texts may reflect or challenge social and cultural ways of thinking and influence audiences
  • empathy for others and appreciation of different perspectives through studying a range of texts from diverse cultures and periods
A course of study in English promotes open-mindedness, imagination, critical awareness and intellectual flexibility  - skills that prepare students for local and global citizenship, and for lifelong learning across a wide range of contexts.
21st Century Skills in English
Young people are preparing for a very different world, and English learning area subjects are underpinned by 21st Century Skills.  
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Course Content
Reading and viewing varied and complex texts finely tune comprehension skills. The emphasis is on how texts create subtle shades of meaning and the significance of this.
Speaking and listening skills are key to effective communication.
Students learn how to vary according to their social setting and the relationships between the participants. Use interaction skills to present and discuss an idea and to influence and engage an audience by selecting persuasive language, varying voice tone, pitch, and pace, and using elements such as music and sound effects.
Writing and shaping extended forms of writing students learn how to effectively convey abstract and sophisticated ideas. The range includes analysing and persuading, informing and entertaining, as well as imagining and engaging.
English subject choices
The English faculty offers two pathways. The courses in Senior Schooling are either GENERAL or APPLIED QCAA Syllabuses; for extra information about course details refer to the Junior and Secondary Handbooks.
Year 11 & 12
English: is a GENERAL Subject, which counts towards a student's ATAR. It is a course with a focus towards students going onto tertiary study, be it either University or TAFE - see Senior Subject Selection Handbook for details. A pass in English is a prerequisite for most university courses. Please note: students must pass Year 10 English to be eligible for this subject.
Literature: is a GENERAL Subject, which counts towards a student's ATAR. It is a course with a focus towards students going onto tertiary study, be it either University or TAFE - see Senior Subject Selection Handbook for details. A pass in Literature will gain entry into university courses. Please note: students must meet a minimum B standard in Year 10 English to be eligible for this subject.
Essential English: is an APPLIED Subject, which can count towards a student's ATAR as their one APPLIED subject. It is a course with a focus towards students going onto tertiary study, be it either University or TAFE - see Senior Subject Selection Handbook for details.
ATAR Eligibility
Students need to study at least 4 GENERAL and maximum of 1 APPLIED or 1 Certificate III subjects to be eligible for an ATAR. Following link for more information.  
Special Features
 Spoken Tasks
Spoken scripts must all be submitted by the deadline time to ensure equity for all students. However, unlike many other subjects, spoken tasks cannot receive a grade based only a script. They must be spoken.  Generally, students can choose whether they present them to a live audience or prerecord on a usb, unless in Year 11 or 12 English (GENERAL subject) where students must present live to meet syllabus requirements.
Drafting Policy
A draft is a response that is nearly good enough to submit for assessment – it is likely to be the students’ second or third attempt at the task. The draft needs to be at least 80% of task length to gain individual teacher feedback.  The date and manner of draft submission are determined by your class teacher. If a draft is submitted on time it will receive individual feedback about its strengths and weaknesses rather than any editing.  All students receive general feedback as part of a lesson following the draft due date. Students are responsible for applying the feedback and editing work. These skills are assessed in the criteria.
Shake & Stir
Debating Competitions
Voices on the Coast
Rostrum Voice of Youth
Brisbane Writers Festival
QPAC Theatre Visits
English is an important and valuable subject regardless of your future goals.
At university a degree in English hones critical thinking skills essential to a number of careers fields including: writing, publishing – eg (B2B) business to business content writer, SEO search engineer optimizer, copywriter, media and journalism, advertising, legal sector, teaching and research, public relations, business,​​​accounting and finance, advertising, teaching, public servant, sociologist, writer, editor, film and television industry, management, journalism, court recorder, law clerk, social media marketer or sales, retail industry, public sector​


Alarna Priestley

Head of Department

M'Leea Collins Jacqui Cushing Sharon Harris Karen Johnson
Nicole Koinuma Leigh Mackender Bridge Muir Mandy McGuire
Robin Peek P​aula Willis​ Fiona Young
Karen Phillips
Teacher- Aide

Sarah Williams

Last updated 08 March 2019
Last reviewed 08 March 2019