The following are guides to the English courses offered at Berwick College.

Year 7: Orientation English


The Year 7 English program aims to reinforce and develop the skills begun in primary school using scaffolding and extending students to become competent in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students are assessed on the main strands of English – creating and presenting, reading and responding and using language to persuade.

Students begin the course with the Making the change unit, which is designed to orientate students in their transition from primary to secondary school, giving them the opportunity to communicate and present their hopes and aspirations through a series of personalised tasks. Students then move on to a unit on creative writing and reading and responding to a variety of text. Year 7 students also focus on developing their ability to apply persuasive language and produce strong arguments on issues of interest.

Year 7 Semester 2 English


In Semester 2, students are exposed to a variety of stimuli and material including film study and novels in order to revisit the main strands of English (creating and presenting, reading and responding and using language to persuade). Students refine their knowledge, understanding and application of the mechanics of the English language, and develop their ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas more fluently and successfully.

Year 8 Semester 1 English


The Year 8 English program aims to consolidate and expand students’ knowledge, understanding and application of English skills.

Students are provided with tasks that develop their ability to make increasingly critical responses to more challenging themes and issues. For example, they use the set text to discuss themes and build their understanding of complex characters.

Students develop their use of formal language, particularly focusing on the conventions of persuasive writing and learning how to apply techniques that support them to communicate increasingly challenging ideas expressively and in detail.

Year 8 Semester 2 English


In Semester 2, students have a variety of opportunities to expand their critical responses within the three strands of English (creating and presenting, reading and responding, using language to persuade), in addition to improving the accuracy and readability of their writing as they refine their planning, drafting, editing and proof reading skills.

Year 9: English (mainstream)


These units are compulsory for all year 9 students. This unit deals with the further development of students’ written and spoken language skills and in Semester 2, an increased emphasis on issues that affect students and their world. It covers:

• Reading and responding

• Creating and presenting

• Response to issues

• Oral communication

In Year 9, students build on their core English skills to prepare for their studies in senior school. The focus is on accurate writing structure, clear presentation skills and an ability to understand and discuss.

Year 10 English – Semester 1 ‘Issues & Argument’ (mainstream) and Semester 2 English

EN621 / EN622

This unit deals with the development of logical and coherent argument:

  • Reading and responding
  • Response to issues
  • Creating and presenting
  • Oral communication

Issues and Literature


This course is for selected students who will stay together for the year and will complete a more challenging curriculum. The criteria for selection include the global grade in Year 9 English, teacher recommendation and test results. Areas covered will be:

  • Reading and responding (including Shakespeare)
  • Response to issues
  • Creating and presenting
  • Oral communication

YEAR 11 and 12 ENGLISH

Unit 1:

This unit encourages the reading of a range of texts with comprehension, analysis, enjoyment and discrimination. Additionally students are expected to develop enhanced competence in writing for distinct purposes and audiences. Students will also develop the use of oral language in different contexts and situations. To satisfactorily complete this unit, all aspects of the three set outcomes must be achieved. These are derived from the three areas of study:

Unit 2:

This unit presumes that the unit 1 outcomes have been met as it further develops the three areas of study. The type of texts studied is wider including media texts, and the forms of response are more diverse. Students are encouraged to experiment with an array of written forms with diverse purposes and audiences. In oral communication students will be encouraged to interact positively, critically and confidently with a range of audiences. As in Unit 1 students must meet all outcomes associated with the three areas of study, in order to satisfactorily complete the unit.

Unit 3 and Unit 4:

In these units students will respond to four set literary texts, as drawn from the official annual VCAA list, as well as current Australian media texts. Enhancement of writing skills will also be developed in order to respond to texts within the chosen context. In Unit Three only, there is also emphasis on the development of effective oral language skills, so that students are able to interact positively, critically and confidently with audiences in both formal and informal settings.

In Unit Four emphasis will be placed on preparation for the final examination.


LI011 – Unit 1 and unit 2

In these units students examine the ideas and views of life which are presented in the literature studied and relate what they read to their own lives and society. Students develop an understanding of and critical response to contemporary literature. Students’ activities may include a reading journal, class discussions, oral and or written reviews, debating, drama performances and a collection of written responses of various kinds. Students will also undertake comparative studies between texts and films.

LI033Unit 3 and unit 4

In unit 3 students will analyse a range of literary texts to develop skills in reading closely and critically, and discussing and debating various ways of interpreting and evaluating texts. Students are required to write an analysis of a review, analyse and interpret in an essay the views and values of a text, discuss in a written response the performance, or adaptation for performance, of a text. Unit 4 involves students analysing a range of literary texts, developing skills in reading closely and critically, and discussing and debating various ways of interpreting and evaluating texts. Students are required to write a creative response to a text and a commentary on that response, write an analysis of a text justifying an interpretation based on selected extracts. The end of year external examination is set by VCAA. Students will write on two different kinds of text.