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As all students study English from Years 7 to 10 and the study of an English subject is a requirement for all students at VCE level, it seems like a timely opportunity to provide an update of some changes to VCE English commencing in 2023.

Next year students studying Year 11 English will encounter a new VCE English Study Design. There has been a renewed focus on the craft of writing in the study design as well as encouraging the development of personal responses to reading and the development of inferential reading skills. Recent studies have found that there has been a decline in the standard of student writing over the last few years. This is not unique to Australian schools and there are a wide range of perspectives as to the reason

The new VCE English Study Design has an increased emphasis on writing mechanics and processes through the exploration of mentor texts. This will encourage students to develop both creative and critical thinking skills as students are also required to reflect on the writing process that they have gone through in a reflection. It is hoped that there is even greater respect given to student voice and agency as they make selections that are personally significant to them. There will still be multiple opportunities for students to analyse texts, to explore current issues in the media and respond to them, to enhance their oral presentation skills in a range of ways and to work collaboratively with students and teachers. It is hoped that these changes will equip students with a wide range of skills that will be beneficial well beyond school.

In English, the skills students acquire are cumulative so in order to prepare students for the senior years in English, some of these changes will be reflected in English classrooms at other year levels over the next few years.

Anne Morrison
English Learning Leader