English at Somerville House focusses on the study of both literary and non-literary texts; developing our girls as independent, innovative and creative thinkers who appreciate the aesthetic use of language, analyse perspectives and evidence, and challenge ideas through the analysis and creation of varied texts

English (Years 7 to 12)

Year 7 
Year 7 English focusses on the pleasure of reading, as well as the power of language to inform, to persuade and to represent different perspectives. Students engage with a variety of texts designed to extend their ability to read independently and critically. These include media and digital texts, early adolescent novels, short stories, non-fiction, poetry and drama. Among the literary genres studied are historical fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy. Year 7 English also allows students to create their own imaginative, informative and persuasive texts in responding creatively and analytically to the ideas and concepts we explore. Such ideas and themes include interpersonal relationships, ethical dilemmas, and our connection with urban and natural environments. Students learn how texts can shape our identities, our values and our understanding of the world in which we live.

Year 8
In Year 8 English, students engage with literary and non-literary texts, which are designed to challenge, inspire, persuade and inform. We explore the importance of literature in shaping our identities, expanding our perspectives and sharpening our appreciation of the way language works to communicate meaning. As well as reading, viewing and creating texts, students will have the opportunity to experiment with, and transform, texts in ways which challenge stereotypes and conventions. Genres studied include historical fiction, dystopian narratives, film adaptations of 'classic' tales, and poetry. Students learn to analyse, interpret, evaluate and respond imaginatively to more complex texts in such forms as an analytical essay, persuasive speech, reflective role-play and multimedia presentation.  

Year 9
Year 9 English builds on students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, viewing, reading, writing and speaking. Students engage with a range of texts which challenge and extend their appreciation of the way language operates within a context and for a purpose, to influence an audience. Our particular focus is Australian texts, including film, poetry and fiction. Students learn to analyse and evaluate the ways images, vocabulary and other language features communicate meaning by inspiring, informing and persuading us. Innovative and experimental responses to texts are encouraged, including the use of digital technologies to position audiences. Year 9 English is also intended to strengthen students’ independent and higher order thinking, as well as their ability to respond critically and thoughtfully to texts, in preparation for English in the Senior School.

Year 10
The content of the Year 10 English course addresses the three strands of the Australian Curriculum for English: Language; Literature; and Literacy. In Year 10 English, students encounter a wide range of text types, including informative, persuasive and imaginative texts, drawn from the following categories:

  • Literary texts, both classic and contemporary (including Australian and world literature), in which the primary purpose is aesthetic
  • Non-Literary texts (for example: biographies, social commentaries, feature articles, historical accounts) 
  • Visual and media texts (for example: photo essays, advertisements, films, documentaries)
  • Multimodal and digital texts (for example: websites, digital stories)

Year 10 English forms an important link between Middle Years and Senior English, preparing students for the intellectual demands, the more challenging texts and the complex assessment requirements of Year 11 and 12 English and Literature.

Years 11 and 12
The QCE General Subject English offers 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. In a world of rapid cultural, social, economic and technological change, complex demands are placed on citizens to be literate within a variety of modes and mediums. Students are offered opportunities to develop this capacity by drawing on a repertoire of resources to interpret and create texts for personal, cultural, social and aesthetic purposes. They learn how language varies according to context, purpose and audience, content, modes and mediums, and how to use it appropriately and effectively for a variety of purposes. Students have opportunities to engage with diverse texts to help them develop a sense of themselves, their world and their place in it.

The subject English focuses on the study of both literary texts and non-literary texts, developing students as independent, innovative and creative learners and thinkers who appreciate the aesthetic use of language, analyse perspectives and evidence, and challenge ideas and interpretations through the analysis and creation of varied texts.

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 for the purposes of responding to and creating literary texts and non-literary texts
  • skills to make choices about generic structures, language, textual features and technologies for participating actively in literary analysis and the creation of texts in a range of modes, mediums and forms, for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • enjoyment and appreciation of literary and non-literary texts, the aesthetic use of language, and style
  • creative thinking and imagination, by exploring how literary and non-literary texts shape perceptions of the world and enable us to enter the worlds of others
  • critical exploration of ways in which literary and non-literary 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 literary and non-literary texts from diverse cultures and periods, including Australian texts by Aboriginal writers and/or Torres Strait Islander writers.

Course structure:

Unit 1: Perspectives and Texts
Unit 2: Texts and Culture
Unit 3: Textual Connections

Unit 4: Close Study of Literary Texts

Subject matter, learning experiences and assessment increase in complexity from Units 1 and 2 to Units 3 and 4 as students develop greater independence as learners.

Units 1 and 2 provide foundational learning, which allows students to experience all syllabus objectives and begin engaging with the course subject matter. Units 3 and 4 consolidate student learning. Only the results from Units 3 and 4 will contribute to ATAR calculations.

Literature (Years 11 and 12)

The QCE General Subject Literature is offered in Years 11 and 12. Literature focuses on the study of literary texts, developing students as independent, innovative and creative learners and thinkers who appreciate the aesthetic use of language, analyse perspectives and evidence, and challenge ideas and interpretations through the analysis and creation of varied literary texts.

Students engage with language and texts through a range of teaching and learning experiences to foster the skills to communicate effectively. They make choices about generic structures, language, textual features and technologies to participate actively in the dialogue and detail of literary analysis and the creation of imaginative and analytical texts in a range of modes, mediums and forms.

Students explore how literary texts shape perceptions of the world and enable us to enter the worlds of others. They explore ways in which literary texts may reflect or challenge social and cultural ways of thinking and influence audiences.

Students may apply to study both English and Literature, or one of the two courses, in order to meet the mandatory studies requirement.

Course structure:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Literary Studies
  • Unit 2: Intertextuality
  • Unit 3: Literature and Identity
  • Unit 4: Independent Explorations

Subject matter, learning experiences and assessment increase in complexity from Units 1 and 2 to Units 3 and 4 as students develop greater independence as learners.

Units 1 and 2 provide foundational learning, which allows students to experience all syllabus objectives and begin engaging with the course subject matter. Units 3 and 4 consolidate student learning. Only the results from Units 3 and 4 will contribute to ATAR calculations.