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Year 11 English Advanced Modules EXPLAINED

When it comes to the syllabus, it’s helpful to know thy enemy. While it may look like a bunch of teacher-speak (and indeed some of it is), there are valuable sentences which reveal precisely what teachers want from your essay and are essential for understanding the differences between each HSC English module.

Much of the Year 11 syllabus focuses on the big jump to Senior English and rewiring the way students write essays and creative pieces, don’t be afraid to throw away old habits and writing techniques. Year 11 is practice for the big stage, and you’ll be all the more prepared if you know your syllabus terms from back to front.

Year 11 Common Module – Reading to Write

The Common Module is the section ALL students must complete. The key word for Reading to Write is Transition to Senior English. Teachers want to develop your ability to respond to texts through “thoughtful writing and judicious reflection”, that is, by using complex concepts and themes.

The Year 11 Common Module has a broad scope and is completed at the beginning of the year. It’s a training space for students to learn how to express “their own distinctive voice” and “examine how purpose, audience and context shape meaning,” For the Common Module, focus on meaning, themes and how you like to write. Term 1 is the time to explore, experiment, and adjust to senior English.

Module A: Narratives that Shape our World

The critical word of Module A is “storytelling”. Module A is creative, and teachers expect you to look at a broad range of “modes, media and forms” to discover the powerful role of narratives. Whether writing a story or essay, answer these

questions throughout to hit those Band 5 and 6 marks.

What are the features of stories from the past?

How does new media, like video, shape storytelling?

How do communities represent themselves through storytelling?

Why are stories so powerful?

Module A asks students “express personal and public worlds in creative ways”, so don’t be afraid to experiment, rewrite and think outside of the Year 7 to 10 creative toolbox.

Module B: Critical Study of Literature

Module B: Critical Study of Literature is completed once in Year 11 and once in Year 12. By getting familiar with the syllabus terms now, you’ll be ready for the more complex version of Module B. The key phrase of Module B is textual integrity. Integrity is defined as “the state of being whole or undivided” . When you see the word integrity throughout the course, think consistent. The texts you explore will be consistent in language, tone, historical context, and genre.

In Module B, you should build your argument for the integrity of a text “on evidence drawn from your research and reading”, such as historical references and academic research. The key idea for Module B is that consistency comes from history, and the historical focus on Module B will only be more apparent in the Year 12 syllabus.

We hope that this plain-English introduction to the syllabus helps you understand the objective of each essay. However, the syllabus cannot be tackled in a single blog post. We recommend a personalised tutor to help improve your understanding of the document. If you’re interested, call Atomic Plus Tuition at 0401 455 665 or email us at

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