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Course Description

This course will equip teachers to prepare their students for Section I of the HSC Paper 1 examination and help teachers to become better markers.

Deconstruction of Past HSC and the NESA sample questions and criteria will help to show the relationship between the syllabus and the skills needed to approach this aspect of the course.

As well as looking at how to write effective practice questions, you will learn how to create and apply the marking criteria accurately. Sample questions and responses will help you get first-hand experience in marking.

You will also learn how to apply this knowledge in the classroom to improve your students' responses and exam technique.


This course is aimed at HSC teachers of English Advanced, Standard and English Studies as well as those who are eager to engage with the requirements of the English Common Module – Texts and Human Experiences - and develop their marking skills.

Teaching Standards

2.1.2 Proficient Level - Know the content and how to teach it - Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area: Apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities.

2.3.2 Proficient Level - Know the content and how to teach it - Curriculum, assessment and reporting: Design and implement learning and teaching programs using knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

 3.3.2 Proficient Level - Plan for and implement Effective Teaching and Learning - Use teaching strategies: Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking.

 3.4.2 Proficient Level - Plan for and implement Effective Teaching and Learning - Select and use resources: Select and/or create and use a range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning,.

5.1.2 Proficient Level - Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning - Assess student learning: Develop, select and use informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies to assess student learning.

5.2.2 Proficient Level - Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning - Provide feedback to students on their learning: Provide timely, effective and appropriate feedback to students about their achievement relative to their learning goals.

 5.3.2 Proficient Level - Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning - Make consistent and comparable judgements: Understand and participate in assessment moderation activities to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

6.2.2 Proficient Level - Engage in Professional Learning - Engage in professional learning and improve practice: Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities.

6.4.2 Proficient Level - Engage in Professional Learning - Apply professional learning and improve student learning: Undertake professional learning programs designed to address identified student learning needs

$  329 + GST - Individual Enrolment
$1250 + GST - Team Enrolment

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Course curriculum

  • 1

    Module 1 - Introduction

    • Welcome to the Course

  • 2

    Module 2 - HSC Outcomes and Requirements

    • Aims and Objectives

    • Foundations of HSC English course

    • Addressing Outcomes from 2010 Syllabus (superseded)

    • English Studies (optional exam)

    • English Standard

    • English Advanced

    • NESA Sample Paper for English Studies, Standard and Advanced

    • New HSC Exam 2019 English Studies Sample Questions

    • English Studies - Outcomes for Sample Questions

    • Task - English Studies Reflection

    • HSC English Standard Sample Questions

    • English Standard - Outcomes for Sample Questions

    • Task - English Standard Reflection

    • HSC English Advanced Sample Questions

    • English Advanced - Outcomes for Sample Questions

    • Task - English Advanced Reflection

  • 3

    Module 3 - Understanding Texts and Human Experiences through the Rubric

    • Aims and Objectives

    • Unpacking the Common Module Rubric

    • Resource 1 - Common Module Rubric

    • Understanding the Format for Section 1 Questions

    • Past HSC and Sample Questions

    • Past HSC Questions and Mark Values

    • Resource 2 - Past HSC Section 1 Questions

    • NESA Sample Questions and Mark Values

    • Resource 3 - NESA Sample Questions and Mark Values

    • Activity - Developing Question-Writing Skills

    • Sample Questions for 'The Arrival' excerpt

    • Activity - Refining Question-Writing Skills

    • Sample Questions for '1984' and 'Beach Burial'

    • Activity: Targeted Bands and Performance Band

    • Resource 4 - English Advanced Performance Band Descriptions (NSW Education Standards)

    • Task: Question-Writing Reflection

  • 4

    Module 4 - Locating Suitable Texts

    • Aims and Objectives

    • Suitable Texts

    • English Stage 6: Prescriptions: Modules, Electives and Texts HSC 2019-2023

    • Text Types

    • Writing Effective Marking Criteria

    • Quality of the Response

    • Writing Criteria Process

    • Applying Marking Criteria

    • Task: Marking Criteria Reflection

  • 5

    Module 5 - Marking Process

    • Aims and Objectives

    • Determine your Marking Standards Criteria

    • Differentiating Responses

    • Marks for Sample Answers

    • Activity - 'The Rainbow' by D H Lawrence

    • Marks for Sample Answers

    • Resource 5 - Sample HSC Paper 1

    • Resource 6 - Sample HSC Paper 1 Stimulus Book

    • Resource 7 - Sample Paper 1 Section 1 Marking Guidelines

    • Task: Marking Process Reflection

  • 6

    Module 6 - Develop Classroom Teaching Strategies

    • Aims and Objectives

    • Classroom Teaching Strategies

    • Resource 8 - Sample Format

    • Teaching good Annotation and Reading Skills

    • Resource 9 - LPSTARC Analysis Sheet

    • Quality versus Quantity

    • Phrases for Better Responses

    • Resource 10 - Verbs for Literary Analysis

    • Provide Exemplars for Students

    • Resource 11 - Sample Response on 'The Arrival'

    • Resource 12 Sample Annotated Response on 'The Arrival'

    • Task: Teaching Strategies Reflection

  • 7

    Course Feedback

    • Course Feedback

Do you teach in NSW? If so, this is relevant to you:

This course may contribute towards Elective PD hours. Visit for more details.



Tim Murray

Tim Murray

I have been teaching in Government and Non-Government schools since 2003 and have a particular interest in developing approaches to teaching and learning that enhance students' skills in analysing and responding to various texts. I also aim to equip teachers to mark student work and provide meaningful feedback via practical and strategic learning activities and resources.

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