NSW Syllabus Connection

The ubiquitous, recursive and cumulative nature of English poses particular difficulties in programming its teaching over the formative primary school years 1-6.

The Australian Curriculum recommends the exploration of a variety of texts and a program which is integrated across its interrelated Strands of Literature, Language and Literacy to develop knowledge, understandings and skills.

The NSW Syllabus also identifies the study of a range of texts as the platform on which to develop knowledge, understandings and skills: specifying student outcomes in communication, language use, ways of thinking, self-expression and reflecting on learning.

WhatWhen English programs provide sequenced explorations of texts which address AC Content Descriptions in integrated units across the Strands. These programs equip teachers with frameworks they can individualise by including both their own interpretations and emphases of the AC Content Descriptions and Elaborations and their own resources.

In its hover references WhatWhen has included immediately under the Australian Curriculum Content Description and its Elaborations, the NSW Syllabus Outcome which specifically refers to that AC Content Description within its description.

NSW teachers can individualise WhatWhen program units guided by both the AC references and the NSW Outcome. Specific emphases or extended understandings within the NSW Syllabus Outcome can be cross-checked and added or teachers may find they are in fact already being addressed within the program due to the interrelationships across the Strands.

WhatWhen has identified the following AC Content Descriptions as not being specifically referenced within the NSW Syllabus Outcome descriptions:

Year 4   ACELY 1688 Use interaction skills such as acknowledging another’s point of view and linking students’ response to the topic, using familiar and new vocabulary and a range of vocal effects such as tone, pace, pitch and volume to speak clearly and coherently;

Year 5  ACELA 1508 Understand how noun groups/phrases and adjective groups/phrases can be expanded in a variety of ways to provide a fuller description of the person, place, thing or idea;

Year 6  ACELT 1800 Experiment with text structures and language features and their effects in creating literary texts, for example, using imagery, sentence variation, metaphor and word choice.

On the other hand, NSW Syllabus Outcomes:

EN1-12D: A student identifies and discusses aspects of their own and others’ learning;

 EN3-9E: A student recognises, reflects on and assesses their strengths as a learner;

 do not specifically refer to AC Content Descriptions.

Examination of these discrepancies may find that only minor “tweaking” may be required for individual programs to address requirements. This is also a reminder that the nature of English means that definitions of specific emphases may not be exclusive and in fact are often interdependent.

NSW Syllabus Outcomes have also been added to WhatWhen Requirement Registers to allow NSW teachers to monitor individual programs and show that their programs meet requirements.