Newsletter - September 2016

Annual conference

Get ready for our annual conference which this year celebrates teaching Shakespeare as part of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of this death in 1616.  To unpathed waters, undreamed shores, looks at ways we are taking students into new areas of thought and activity and begins to consider opportunities for new ways of teaching offered by the new syllabus. Registrations will be available next week.

ETA Response to the Draft Stage 6 syllabus

The ETA response to the Draft Stage 6 Syllabus is based on the responses by members to our survey. The survey questions reflected some of those in the Board's survey. They also addressed the changes in the theoretical underpinnings of the nature of English identified by ETA groups through a close analysis of the current and the proposed documents.

HSC 2017 Student Day Program

We are getting very close to welcoming our new HSC cohort for 2017. Here are some dates to save for next term and next year.

Friday 28th October: Discovering Discovery- An Introduction to the Area of Study, Discovery at Wesley, Sydney CBD.

Monday 7th November Repeat event of Discovering Discovery

Friday 11th November: Introduction to Extension 2 at Footbridge Theatre, Sydney University

Friday 24th February: Paper 1 Discovery texts and concepts. Sydney University

March: Extension 2 : working on Major Works and the reflection Statement

May: Extension 1: All Electives

June: Modules Paper 2: 43 sessions on a wide selection of texts

ETA Events

  • Friday 18th and Saturday 19th - Teachers
    Annual Conference. To unpathed waters, undreamed shores. UNSW. Program coming soon.

Complimentary author visits

The ASA runs a literacy program, Reading Australia BookPros, in which professional authors visit schools to conduct writing workshops. Benefits to students include:

  • Enthusiasm for writing, inspired by a published author 
  • Development of thinking, literacy and writing skills
  • Access to expertise in all aspects of the writing process, including planning, structuring, pace, creating real characters, engaging your reader, using language appropriate for audience and purpose, and editing

In addition to the workshop, authors will introduce teachers to new, free, online resources: Reading Australia. Learn how these quality and insightful resources can support your teaching of Australian texts in the classroom.

The usual cost for an author visit is $750 plus GST for a whole day, $450 plus GST for one-half day or $300 plus GST per session. If an author works with 150 students over the course of a day, this cost is as little as $5 per student.

Special Offer: With the generous support of Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, the ASA is pleased to offer a complimentary* author visit to the first 20 schools** to book through the ASA’s Reading Australia BookPros program.

Workshops are available for all primary and secondary age groups. Act quickly to take advantage of this special offer! For further information, and to book an author to visit your school, please go to the ASA website.

This program is generously supported by Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

 For remote schools, we may need to request a contribution to the author’s travel/accommodation expenses. You will have the opportunity to either approve such costs prior to the finalisation of your booking, or forfeit the booking.

** The ASA will offer 4 free school visits in NSW. At the ASA’s discretion, if the free visits are not exhausted after a reasonable period of time, they will be allocated to schools, regardless of location, on a first-in, first-served basis. 

Extension 2 Major Work Event

Success with the Extension 2 Major Work with Felicity Castagna
This one-day course will focus on:
  • What makes an original and distinctive creative work
  • Researching for creative writing
  • Applying critical theory to a creative work
  • Play and experimentation
Two dates and locations
Sunday 30 October, 10am-4pm at the NSW Writers’ Centre
Sunday 6 November, 10am-4pm, at Casula Powerhouse
$55 per student*
*The course at Casula is available for a subsidised price to students from eligible Western Sydney schools.

Extension 2 Major Work: The Reflection Statement with Felicity Castagna
Students will learn what the Board of Studies is looking for in a reflection statement, including the statement’s mandatory fundamentals, how to discuss creative writing practice and how to show theory and research informing the work.

Sunday 4 June 2017, 10am-1pm at the NSW Writers’ Centre, $30 per student

Felicity Castagna is a Prime Minister’s Literature Award (YA) winner, an experienced Extension 1 and 2 teacher and an HSC marker for the Board of Studies.

For all sessions limited places are available for accompanying teachers at no cost.
For more information, visit


If you haven't already, check out the new ETA/WestWords free resource on writing about place, containing texts from Western Sydney writers and concept-based activities developed by ETA.

Congratulations to Narcisa Nozica, the 2016 winner of the Premier's ETA English Scholarship. Narcisa's project will investigate the potential of spoken word poetry to develop literacy, engagement and artistic craft in students' writing.

Cast from the Storm is a new film is based on the stories told through Treehouse Theatre, formed to help young refugee and asylum seeker students in Sydney's South and West recover from trauma by telling their stories in a theatrical setting. You can watch the trailer here.  

You may well have seen John Green's Youtube literature analysis clips. Here is is a new one called 'How and why we read" that your students might enjoy and is a great discussion starter on one's own processes of responding.

David Crystal reveals in this podcast that our punctuation has a history, and that the need for a standard system of punctuation has a lot to do with the invention of printing.

Some useful pointers about screenwriting, using Gillian Flynn's screenplay as a case study.

An interesting slide show, taken from the resource Research Writing Rewired: Lessons that ground students' digital learning by Dawn Reed and Troy Hicks.