Newsletter December 2016

Looking forward to 2017

The ETA is in furious preparation for the new Stage 6 syllabus due for release very shortly. A staged program for professional development with an emphasis on the changes to Year 11 has already been timetabled for terms 2 and 3.  We are also ready to map the textual concepts to Stage 6 as soon as the document is released and a schedule for the development of resources has been organised.

Before moving to the senior curriculum, the first part of the year will reinforce the work done for 7-10 in the past few years by focusing on programming and developing units at our A Year in Concepts event (17th February) at  Sydney University Women's College.  This part of our project of realising expectations will be supported by a webinar series that looks at all the English Textual Concepts in depth.
We will also be looking at language and literacy in writing for NAPLAN (Sydney and Newcastle), cross curriculum writing standards and a reprise of our popular Grammar in Context webinars. 

Details and registrations for all these events and our HSC student days are found here.

Outstanding Professional Service

This year's awards for Outstanding Professional Service were earned by Amy Cotton, member of the ETA Executive, Viviana Mattiello, Joint Manager Communications and Vanessa Refalo, Assistant Manager PD. Congratulations to all three. Their contributions to the English teaching profession are greatly appreciated. Presentations were made at a special awards night by Tom Alegounarias, President of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards.

New Release

Creative Horizons: Crafting Creative Writers
Mel Dixon

This publication from the English Teachers Association NSW is the first book in a series of three on creative writing. The elements of stories are explained, making students aware of the relationships between responding and composing. Each chapter is supported by activities, and worksheets that can be used in the classroom. Links to ACARA learning areas, English Textual Concepts, sample programs and lists of useful websites complete this welcome addition to your classrooms.

Purchase by fax or post

Teacher Opinion Survey

The aim of this survey is to gather the concerns of practising teachers to inform policy and action on teacher support and professional development. The survey has been designed to record your opinions on a wide range of topics identified by teacher focus groups run earlier this year.
The survey is conducted by Hinds Research in association with:

 The Professional Teachers Council (NSW)
 Peter Underwood Centre (University of Tasmania)

The survey will only take 15 - 20 minutes to complete and closes on Monday 12th December.
The Research committee wishes to thank you for your interest and participation.
Dr Joan-Mary Hinds and David Browne on behalf of the PTCNSW Research Committee.
Survey link:
Password:- teacher (all lower case).

Research on Assessment Practices

The creation and marking of assessment tasks is important for accurate measurement of student growth and attainment of learning outcomes. However, the introduction of standards-referencing in NSW in 2001 has resulted in reported inconsistency in the development of assessment tasks.
In this research, we would like to collect information on English teachers’ perceptions and assessment practices. English teachers who have taught one or more HSC English courses at some stage of their career are invited to take part in this survey.
Your responses to this survey are strictly anonymous and confidential, and your name will not be connected to your responses.

If you are interested in taking part in this survey, please click on the URL below
Survey Link:

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Olivia Radford at or 0428 200 799.





Conference 2016:
Unpathed waters, undreamed shores


Members registering for the conference,

concentrating on new ideas,

 getting small group attention

and taking a well-earned break.

Calling teachers from NSW.  It’s not too late to put in a proposal to present at the National Conference in Hobart, Tasmania next year.  You could have a short paper to present, or a workshop idea.  Perhaps you would like to deliver an 8 minute ‘Cutting Edge’ Talk.  For more information, please see the submission guidelines and complete the online form:

As a result of the ETA developed WestWords project, Writing Place, Currency Press has printed the script of the rock opera Kenny's Coming Home by Ned Manning.  This text is now available to schools who wish to pick up on the work done in Writing Place and teach the full play.

SBS Learn has partnered with Reconciliation Australia to create First Contact learning resources including short clips from the series and teacher’s notes. Further SBS resources are here including and interactive on The Boat.