Update: Since writing these original posts VCAA have released even more advice about assessment. I’m adding my recent posts on comparative judgement and how to assess the VCE Crafting and Creating Texts outcomes below. I’ve also added the ‘Teachers as Writers’ series of posts because the new Crafting and Creating Texts units are going to need us all to get more comfortable with writing in front of the class.
Many schools across Victoria have already started planning for the roll out of Units 1 and 2 in 2023. Over the past few weeks I’ve made a series of posts highlighting the changes in every part of the new Study Design for Units 1 and 2, in both English and EAL.
I’m excited about the new SD. There are more opportunities for students to make connections with their own lives, and the new Crafting Texts area of study offers a chance to experiment with writing as a process, not just a product.
ICYMI, here are the previous posts:
- The New VCE Study Design: Unit 1 and 2 Overview
- VCE English 2023: The Personal Response (Unit 1 AoS1)
- VCE English 2023: Crafting Texts (Unit 1 AoS2)
- VCE English 2023: Mentor Texts and Ideas (Unit 1 AoS2)
- VCE English and EAL 2023: Exploring Argument (Unit 2 AoS2)
- VCE English as an Additional Language (EAL) 2023
Updates: here are the recent posts relating to assessing Crafting and Creating texts, the Personal Response, and 7-10 English:
- Using Comparative Judgement to Assess Writing
- VCE English and EAL: Assessing the new Crafting and Creating Texts outcomes
- Choosing Mentor Texts
- Planning for Reading and Exploring Texts: The Personal Response
- Aligning 7-10 with the new VCE SD
I’ve also been running sessions with faculty leaders and schools on planning for the new Study Design, including exploring ways of building towards the new areas of study in Years 9 and 10.
Along the way I’ve come across a few of the same questions, so here are the most common:
- Q: For Crafting Texts, how many texts should we use? A: This will vary depending on your cohort and the idea you select as your framework. There is some excellent advice on the VCAA ‘planning’ page which has replaced the Advice for Teachers document on how to select mentor texts. I’d suggest a range of short texts, with perhaps half a dozen studied in detail in class and options for students to add their own ideas.
- Q: Is the ‘idea’ in Crafting Texts important? A: The ‘idea’ (or the Framework in Unit 3) has raised a few questions, most notably due to its apparent similarity with the old ‘Context’ area of study. The idea in Crafting and Creating texts serves as an anchor point to give the students in the class (and the teacher) a frame of reference when selecting texts. The mentor texts themselves are to be used as examples of style and technique, not for discussing how the author has approached the idea per se.
- Q: How do I select an idea for Year 11? A: The best advice here is to discuss with your students and negotiate an idea they will be passionate about. The VCAA has recommended a few ideas such as Food, Conflict, and Futures for Year 11. I’m currently putting together a free PDF with annotated texts on ‘Futures’ which will go out during the break. You cannot use the Y12 Frameworks in year 11.
Teachers as Writers
Last term I wrote a three part series of posts reflecting on the importance of teachers as writers.
In part one I talked about writing for an audience – whether that’s students, teachers, or the general public.
Part two focused on the various kinds of writing teachers might engage in, from classroom modelling through to academic journals and book publishing.
Finally, in part three I looked at what it takes to feel comfortable calling yourself an author, and outlined a process for getting published.
With the new VCE Study Design we’re all (teachers and students) going to have to get more comfortable with writing in front of others. I’m excited about the opportunities the new SD brings for valuing the process of writing, not just the product.
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