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English at high school

In high school, the study of English helps students develop confidence, literacy skills and cultural knowledge for the future.

The aim of the English learning Area is to develop students’ knowledge of English language, literature, and literacy. Students learn to successfully apply their English skills authentically and in increasingly complex settings.

Class structure and opportunities in English

Year 7

All students take an English class four times a week.

Year 8

All students take an English class four times a week.

Year 9

All students take an English class four times a week.

Year 10

All students take an English class four times a week.

Optional electives:

  • The Writer’s Craft (once a week for one semester only).
  • More Than Just Talk (once a week for one semester only).

Year 11 and 12

Year 11 and 12 students must choose to study one of the below courses and will attend each course four times a week:

  • English (General)
  • English (ATAR)
  • English Literature (ATAR)

English in Years 7 to 10

Curriculum in Years 7 to 10 English

The English curriculum in WA is divided into three major strands, ‘Language’, ‘Literature’, and ‘Literacy’. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills through achievement in four ‘language modes’ that relate to ‘Listening and Speaking’, ‘Reading,’ ‘Writing,’ and ‘Viewing’.

From Year 7, students learn about:

  • Language;
    • how it varies and changes,
    • how it is used for interaction,
    • how texts are structured and organised, and
    • how to express and developing ideas.
  • Literature;
    • how literature and context interact,
    • how to respond to literature,
    • how to examine literature, and
    • how to create literature.
  • Literacy;
    • how texts are influenced by context in which they were created,
    • how to express ideas when interacting with others,
    • how to interpret, analyse and evaluate ideas, and
    • how to creating their own texts.

Mainstream, extension, and focus classes in Years 7 to 10 English

Most students take mainstream English classes in Years 7 to 10. Mainstream English teachers the English according to the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline, designed prepare students for all Year 11 and 12 courses, tertiary study, employment, and life.

In Year 8, 9 and Year 10 students are placed into a class based on their learning needs.

Students that require extra support in English may be selected to receive intensive literacy support through the Focus program. Focus is a modified English course which is delivered in a smaller class. Students may take part in focus on a short-term or long-term basis, depending on their learning needs.

English as a second language in Years 7 to 10

Students with a second or multiple language background may be placed in specialised classes. These classes are designed pa focused on multiple language learning and Students in the program follow courses similar to mainstream classes but benefit from smaller class size. These options are usually discussed at enrolment if the student was born outside of Australia or has studied oversea.

English in Year 11 and Year 12

Four course options for English in Year 11 and Year 12

In Year 11 and Year 12 there are four courses of English study available. Each course is designed to meet the learning needs, interests and abilities of the students enrolled.

  • General English
  • General Foundation English
  • ATAR English
  • ATAR English Literature

More information

Learning content and opportunities

Read about what content is covered in classes, and what opportunities are available within each Learning Area in the Curriculum Handbooks.

Curriculum in Western Australia

Read more about the curriculum in WA on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s webpages for Pre-primary to Year 10 and Year 11 and Year 12.