At St Bede’s College, the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are the cornerstone of learning for our students and we strive to engender engagement and passion for ideas. We seek to encourage students to connect their learning in English to other subjects and to the world beyond the classroom.

We aim to equip our students with the skills of articulate speech and writing, of persuasion, of analysis and critical thinking, to help them become highly literate and productive members of society and fulfil their individual potential. Our approach supports the diverse learning styles of all students and we strive for equitable learning opportunities across all English classes. This is the mission of the English Learning Domain at St Bede’s College.

English is a compulsory part of the curriculum at St Bede’s College from Years 7 to 10. During VCE Years, all students must complete an “English Area” subject and this subject must be included in the calculation of the student’s Year 12 ATAR score. These subjects are English, Literature or English Language. Consequently, the development of our students’ skills in the area of literacy is a matter of critical importance. The program is sequential through the years and, from Years 7 to 10, focusses on a range of skills including:

  • Reading for pleasure
  • Reading critically and for purpose
  • Writing for a range of purposes and audiences, analytically, creatively and comparatively
  • Public Speaking and Debating

VCE Studies in English

We offer the following VCE English choices:


This is mainstream English, which will be taken by most students at Years 11 and 12. Students study a range of texts, which they respond to creatively, analytically and comparatively. Students also study how media texts persuade and they deliver an oral presentation on a current issue.

English Language

English Language is an exploration of the technical aspects of language, such as its acquisition, its development, parts of speech and writing, and most importantly, how languages can link to identity and context. This subject requires thoughtful, close analysis and the learning of many new concepts and rules. Students must be competent in English and have excellent study habits in order to succeed in this subject.


Literature focuses on the study of texts, on how we make meaning from texts and how writers use language to convey meaning. Students study a range of text types, including poetry, plays, novels, short stories and film texts. They respond creatively, analytically – with a particular focus on close passage analysis – and comparatively. There is also a focus on literary theory. Students who are skilled writers, deep thinkers and passionate readers would find Literature enriching.

In Association with English

We understand that learning does not simply occur in isolation, but in association with others. Therefore, students have the opportunity to participate in a range of English-related learning opportunities to extend their learning and build on their strengths.

Public Speaking

Formal Oral Presentations at each year level are assessed in the English classroom. These also lead to year level competitions. A representative from each English class speaks to the whole level cohort, where they deliver a formal speech and give an impromptu performance. The two best speakers from each year level then go on to contest the Br Quentin O’Halloran Public Speaking Competition. In addition, enthusiastic students are given the opportunity to participate in VCAA’s Plain English Speaking Awards and in many other public speaking competitions held externally.


St Bede’s College has an excellent performance reputation in Debating, and is a regular in Debating Association of Victoria Competition and in the ACC Debating Competition. Students who become involved develop valuable strengths in their confidence, logical thinking, listening and critical analysis.

Writing Competitions

Students will be encouraged to take part in a number of writing competitions across the years, which extends their skills in writing short stories and essays.

Resource Centre’s Reading Program (Readers Are Dynamic)

Each English class from Years 7 to 9 have one scheduled lesson in the library. The aim of this arrangement is to continue to allow students regular exposure to a range of literature genres and to engender an active love of reading.

Support for Students in English

Students in need of special assistance are provided with a range of support options in our Learning Enhancement Centre – The Beacon who work in association with students and their teachers to modify tasks and work closely to support and guide students within the classroom setting and in the Beacon Centre itself.