The English Department at Marist College Eastwood is committed to developing each student’s potential as an effective communicator. The English syllabus gives considerable scope for achieving the necessary literacy outcomes. The program thus covers such aspects as writing in a range of genres with awareness of different concepts and audiences, speaking and listening effectively, and responding critically to both written and visual texts.
In the junior school such outcomes for critical literacy are pursued through a class structure of three streams:
* The more advanced students, a number of whom would be gifted and talented, form a top stream where more challenging extension work is possible.
* A middle stream of two equal classes seeks to develop and extend average students to better achieve course outcomes.
* When the need arises, a class that includes students who need extra time, attention and possibly one on one withdrawal and support may be formed. Students for whom English is an additional language or dialect and whose skills in English are undeveloped may also form part of this group until they are achieving more confidently in communication skills.
Senior English in both the Year 11 and 12 offers the full range of courses. The more demanding Advanced and Extension One courses are suitable for students who have strongly developed skills, love reading and are passionate about the subject. There are two to three classes of Standard English, and ESL is offered to students who qualify when the numbers enrolled justify it and students meet the criteria set by NESA. English Studies is also available for students seeking a more practical development of reading and writing skills to enhance their personal, educational and vocational lives.
In Year 12, students who have performed well in Advanced and Extension One Preliminary courses continue these for the HSC, but may add a fourth unit of English called Extension Two, which requires the production of a major work.
The new English syllabus, with Stage 6 implemented in Year 11 2018, and Stages 4 and 5 in place since 2015 has certainly strengthened the position of English in the pursuit of literacy and therefore has a central role at Marist College Eastwood.