The New English Syllabus and HSC 2018/19

Students who are currently in Year 11 will be the first to go through the new English Syllabus and to sit for the new HSC examination in 2019. At Exceed, we have created a course called ‘Step into Year 11!’ for students currently in Years 10 and 11. This course has been specifically designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve success as they undertake the new English Syllabus and work towards their HSC.


So, what’s new in this ‘new’ 2018/19 English Syllabus?

NESA has mandated a number of changes to the teaching and learning of English for Years 11 and 12. These include:

  • Students must read widely in order to engage with unseen texts which will be part of the HSC Paper 1 Examination. Therefore, the more widely they read, the better equipped they will be to discuss stylistic techniques, context and themes.

  • Students will need to develop critical, analytical and creative writing skills which will be equally weighted.

  • HSC Exam questions will be much more varied and explicit so that students will need to think on their feet rather than rely on ‘prepared’ responses which do not answer the question asked.

  • Students will be required to respond in a variety of different texts types – they can no longer rely on essay writing as the only means of responding.

  • Students are required to show a personal engagement with the texts studied and the question asked.

  • Further to their analytical and creative responses, students will now also be asked to write a reflection statement in which they outline and explain the stylistic and language choices they have made in crafting a response and in which they evaluate the process of learning, writing and consolidation.


These new initiatives have been praised and welcomed by teachers because they empower each student to showcase their own learning, reading and understanding in English in both creative and critical thinking. NESA hopes that this will eradicate what has been a growing trend among students, to rely on rote learned responses which DO NOT address the examination question.