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James Ruse Agricultural High School

James Ruse Agricultural High School

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Telephone02 9871-7126


English study is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.

In English, students learn about the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written and visual texts through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected. Complexity increases as students progress through their schooling.

Developing proficiency in English enables students to take their place as confident communicators; critical and imaginative thinkers; lifelong learners; and informed, active participants in Australian society. Their understanding of English through knowledge and skills acquisition is essential to their intellectual, social and emotional development.

The study of English should develop a love of literature and learning and be challenging and enjoyable. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become active, independent and lifelong learners, to work with each other and to reflect on their learning.

In Year 11 and 12, the study of English is mandatory. Courses offered include:

  • English Advanced
  • English Extension 1
  • English Extension 2

The English faculty is a dynamic and dedicated team who delivers curricular which is challenging, varied and suited to the needs of the highly talented students at James Ruse. The faculty is comprised of a successful combination of teaching staff, all of whom bring to the classroom many years of experience as well as an enthusiasm for new and innovative methods of delivery. In Stages 4 and 5 our teaching programs reflect the latest Gifted and Talented approaches to teaching English, including challenging content and strategies which differentiate the core English curriculum. In addition, the English faculty offers enrichment classes and tutorial support for selected students from Year 7 to Year 12.

Our classrooms, along with our students, were further enriched with the recent addition of more multi-media equipment and the refurbishment of the Drama room is well under way. We have been constantly reviewing our junior programs in English and Drama, working with the school's own Head Teacher Gifted and Talented and Dr Jill Foster from the University of Sydney. Differentiation of the curriculum to suit our gifted students is now more evident in our units of work than ever before, making our English classes even more challenging.

In the senior school, Extension English courses prove to be popular with most Year 11 students choosing to study Preliminary Extension English and many adding Extension 2 English to their study regime in Year 12.

Students from Years 7 to 11 sit for the NSW ICAS English Competitions and consistently achieve results far above the state averages with a number each year being awarded medals for attaining a perfect score.  Ruse students are also encouraged to enter the many and varied competitions offered and/or coordinated by English teachers. These include the James Ruse Writing, Dorothea Mackellar Poetry, Amnesty International essay, Sydney Morning Herald Young Writers competitions to name but a few.

Great success is also regularly achieved by our public speakers who participate in a range of competitions conducted by the DET, Rotary Clubs, Baulkham Hills Shire Council and many other organisations. Students from all year groups clamour to enter these and are offered training and support from teachers within the English faculty.

James Ruse also has a fine debating tradition with teams from all grades entered in a number of competitions, training days and gala days. Great success and experience is gained by all selected in these teams who are given expert training by teachers and outside mentors and tutors. Debating is also a component of junior English programs with vigorous rivalry evident within class and year groups.