NOTICE: Term 4 Return to School Roadmap: All students back on October 25 (Week 4). See more in Learning Resources.


English is a compulsory subject for every student from Year 7 to Year 12 in NSW. It aims to equip students with the relevant skills needed to be literate and informed citizens by providing them skills in all modes of communication.

At Kariong Mountains High School the English faculty offers an innovative English program designed to both equip students with a love of literature and prepare them for the ever changing language demands of the 21st century. All our programs are tailored with individual learning needs in mind, providing scope for teachers to support all students pending of their specific learning needs. KMHS is proud to be a leader in implementing the new NSW Syllabus and Australian Curriculum into our programs.

Years 7 and 8: Exploring Language

The early years of high school are critically important for teenagers, particularly in the key areas of literacy and numeracy. It is in these years where important key skills learnt in primary school are consolidated and developed, giving students the opportunity to deal with more complex ideas and text types.

At Kariong Mountains High School Years 7 and 8 (known as Stage 4) students undertake English programs designed to engage their interest in all text types, from classic novels to multi-media information. There is a focus on ensuring students understand key concepts in English and how to develop sustained responses through writing, drawing and speaking. Students requiring extension or in selective classes are introduced early to more sophisticated, sustained writing styles such as essay writing and creative writing. We ensure that our text choice is current, relevant and engaging for students and ICT is core to the learning environment.

In addition to normal English classes, year 7 and 8 students have one lesson of drama a fortnight, where they develop skills in performing and speaking confidently, as well as having a lot of fun with their class mates.

Years 9 and 10: Exploring Literature

Our Stage 5 (Years 9 -10) programs build upon the key skills students developed in the junior years of high school. Students are introduced to more increasingly challenging texts and given opportunity to develop the capacity to write in an increasingly wider range of styles and formats.

Our Years 9 and 10 programs focus on key themes that reflect the developing interests and social needs of young adults. This includes exploring the role English has in the workplace, in relationships and the wider world. Our programs are also tailored to steadily prepare Stage 5 students for the skills they will need to be highly successful senior students, particularly by providing them ongoing, supported practice in writing and reading skills required for success at the ROSA and HSC levels.

Senior High School

English is currently the only compulsory subject for students studying for their Higher School Certificate. The English faculty at Kariong Mountains High School are proud to be able to present the whole range of English programs available for students at this level.

Typically, students will take one of the three core English programs:

  • English Advanced – is for students who are highly capable in English and/or have a keen interest for the subject. Students undertake a range of modules designed to explore the role of literature and language in various manners, including study of Shakespeare. English Advanced is a 2 unit ATAR course.
  • English Standard – is the most popular English course and reflects the academic rigour required to attain an Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking. It shares some common material with English Advanced, with differing modules focusing on the place of language in society more so than literature.
  • English Studies – is a new ‘draft syllabus’ course offered by the Board of Studies for students not wishing to pursue a university education directly out of high school. It is a flexible course designed to provide students key language skills required for a range of social and workplace situations. Students can only undertake English Studies after consultation with the Head of English at the end of Year 10.


Additional Programs

In addition to the most common English course, KMHS also offers the following English programs in Years 11 and 12:

Extension English

Students can opt to do an additional 1 unit (Extension 1) of English in Year 11 and up to two units (Extension 1 and/or Extension 2) of English in Year 12.

Extension English challenges highly capable English students to engage with critical study of literature. Extension 2 offers students the opportunity to engage in an extended major writing project. All students interested in undertaking Extension English need to have an interview with the Head of English in Year 10 before being able to enrol in these courses.

Fundamentals of English

Fundamentals of English is an additional one unit of English that can be provided to students of English Standard, who may be struggling with the key skills required to be successful in the course.

The Fundamentals of English course is a flexible unit focusing entirely on skills mirrored in the core English programs. Again, entry into the Fundamentals of English course is dependent on meeting with the Head of English faculty and based on student need.

English as a Second Language

Kariong Mountains High School has the full capability of supporting students for whom English is a second language at high school.

English Life Skills

Life Skills if offered to students with specific needs who wish to attain a senior high school accreditation. Entry into this course is through strict requirements.

Personalised Learning and Portfolio Marking

The KMHS English Faculty strongly believe that all students have the ability to learn, and all students learn differently. We pride ourselves on offering programs that provide a great deal of flexibility for students with varying learning needs and interests, including the ability for students to have some choice in what and how they learning.

At KMHS, you will find all English teachers using the same programs, but no one teacher will deliver the same way – work programs and styles are adjusted by our highly experienced staff to meet the demands of the class they teach.

To support teachers in making informed decisions about how to support students we employ a program of portfolio marking. For each unit of work completed in English, students complete at least one responding and composing task that is collected by the teacher for evidence. This evidence is not only for marking purposes, but is used to track the development of students from Year 7 all the way through to Year 10.

Portfolio work is carefully monitored by English teaching teams and learning support staff to ensure that relevant learning accommodations are made throughout a student’s time at KMHS.