The English Department at Marist College Eastwood is committed to developing each student’s potential as an effective communicator. The new English syllabus, for which our junior programs are now being written, 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.
* There is also a special needs stream which incorporates students with particular learning difficulties who need extra time, attention and possibly one on one withdrawal. ESL (English as a Second Language) students whose skills are undeveloped would also form part of this group until they are achieving more confidently in communication skills.
Senior English in both the Preliminary and HSC years offers the full range of courses. The more demanding Advanced and Extension One courses are attracting students in increasing numbers. There are two to three classes of Standard English, and ESL is offered to students who qualify when the numbers enrolled justify it.
A One Unit course is offered in Year 11 to help students develop their skills to better cope with the standard course of Fundamentals of English.
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 in place since 2001, and Stages 4 and 5 in the process of implementation has certainly strengthened the position of English in the pursuit of literacy and therefore is a central role at Marist College Eastwood.