English Study Design


Project Team

1999 Project Team Report

The English Study Design in Detail

 A Guide to Planning and Assessment

Cedric Hall: Report on the 1998 year 12 trial

 Terry Locke: "Assessment Standards: What's in a Name?"

 The 1999 Reference Test Trial

 Achievement 2001: Update and Forum

Contact Us


A Guide to Planning and Assessment


 From Sixth-Form Certificate to
the English Study Design

 Year 12 CATs: Sample
Assessment Events

 Generic Marking Guides

 From Marking Guide to Rubric




The purpose of this guide is to assist English departments and teachers of Year 12 English classes to adapt their programmes to fit in with the structure of the English Study Design as developed by the Waikato University-sponsored project team during the second half of 1997. The Study Design will be referred to in this guide as ESD.

As a reader of this guide, you are likely to be a teacher whose English department has participated in the 1998 trial of the English Study Design at Year 12 or is considering joining the project in 1999 or at some later stage. As a project team, we are immensely gratified by your preparedness to be involved in the project either as a participant or as a critical observer and to contribute to the current debate on the future shape of national qualifications in the senior secondary school, not just for English, but for other curriculum areas as well.

From the outset, it needs to be emphasised that the English Study Design is a draft and "...will be subject to modification in the light of the experience of teachers and students in English classrooms where it is used." (ESD 2) The developers recognise the justifiable pride and ownership that exists when an English Department has created a Sixth-Form Certificate English course that has "just about got it right." As experienced English teachers ourselves, we have attempted in the English Study Design to develop a structure which accommodates best current practice.

At the same time, we have recognised that for a nationwide system of assessment and certification to be credible, there needs to be a degree of consistency between schools with respect to their common assessment tasks. We believe that the English Study Design provides for this consistency while allowing English departments and teachers to develop programmes commensurate with their own enthusiasms and their needs of their students.

It should also be emphasised that the English Study Design has aimed at maximising curriculum coverage while minimising the number of assessment tasks for the purpose of nationwide accountability. We believe that English teachers want to preserve programmes that emphasise teaching and learning and which are not "assessment-driven". The English Study Design has been constructed on the premise that minimising summative assessment will free up more time for student learning and that this approach is especially important for the packed and content-rich subject English has become.

It is our hope that this guide will answer most of your questions with respect to planning and assessment. However, we know that there will be questions that we have not anticipated. With that acknowledgement, we are confident that your experience as a participating teacher will provide invaluable information for the on-going process of revision and rewriting.

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