A process for programming a unit of learning: English K–10


Rationale / context

Presenter notes (.pdf 879kB)

Welcome to A process for programming a unit of learning: English K–10. This course will help you use conceptual programming to design a unit of learning. This approach develops students’ deep understanding of the substantive concepts, skills and ideas contained in the Board of Studies NSW English K–10 Syllabus.

Work your way across the tab headings above to complete the course. It is advisable to complete all activities before attempting the course deliverable.

Female teacher and student looking at a book together

Deliverable icon

The course deliverable, which can be found in the Building your unit tab, is an English unit of learning overview using the Board of Studies NSW Program Builder and the Course reflection (.pdf 104kB).

This course assumes that you:

This course will inform the scope and sequence for teaching and assessing English syllabus outcomes which you developed in Programming for quality teaching and assessing.

At the completion of this course, you will have:

  • identified the substantive concepts in the English K–10 Syllabus

  • applied an understanding of the relationship between English outcomes, content and text requirements to plan for intellectual quality

  • developed effective strategies to assess student achievement and promote student learning.

This course provides an opportunity to plan and program a quality unit of learning based upon the substantial concepts in English K–10.

It is preferable to collaborate with a small team of colleagues when engaging with this course. A more experienced teacher or supervisor may lead a group of teachers through this course as a presenter. Presenter notes (.pdf 879kB) are available to assist.

If the opportunity for collaboration is not available, teachers may complete the course individually then confer with a supervisor to have their course completion verified on My PL@Edu.

Summary of course requirements


Indicative time


Activities / deliverables


10 mins

Contains rationale / context, prerequisites, objectives, course overview, before you begin section.

General principles

20 mins

Orientation to the course:

  • Revisit general principles of curriculum planning and programming.

  • Identify where a unit of learning fits within school planning and programming processes.

Learning design process

140 mins

Consider the notion of substantive concepts and how to identify them in the English K–10 Syllabus by focussing on the questions:

  • What do I want the students to learn?

  • Why does the learning matter?

  • What do I want the students to do or produce?

  • How well do I expect them to do it?

  • Activity 1: Linking outcomes and content through concepts

  • Activity 2: How well does the concept draw the content together?

  • Activity 3: Assessment

Building your unit of learning

120 mins

Modelled design and development of a unit of learning – complete a unit of learning overview using the Board of Studies NSW Program Builder.

Wrap up

10 mins

Complete the deliverable for accreditation purposes.

  • Unit of learning overview

  • Course reflection statement

  • Course completion checklist and course evaluations

  • Create a new folder for any documents associated with this course in a place convenient to you.

  • Be aware of the prerequisites outlined above.

  • This course has been developed to cater to diverse needs of teachers. Readings are recommended to develop knowledge and understandings of planning and programming for quality teaching.

  • Individual activities are included as interactive PDF files in each section of this course. However, you may wish to download either the Activity journal interactive PDF (.pdf 444kB) or the Activity journal Microsoft Word (.docx 421kB) version which contain all the activities.

  • Don’t forget to back up regularly!

Throughout the course you will find the following icons:

Reading icon

Read a document / reference

internet link icon

Internet link / download

collaborate icon

Collaborate / discuss

video icon

Watch a video

activity icon


deliverable icon

A deliverable

This DEC course (code 151ELP004) is registered professional development under the terms of the NSW Institute of Teachers Continuing Professional Development policy.

For teachers accredited at Professional Competence, completion of this course or program will contribute 5 hours towards Institute Registered professional development.

The following table details how the course A process for programming a unit of learning: English K–10 addresses the Professional Teaching Standards.

Professional Teaching Standards addressed in this course.

Standard addressed by course

Description of course content and how it addresses the Element and/or Standard

2.2.2 Organise content into coherent, well sequenced learning and teaching programs

Course participants:

  • engage in the NSW syllabus to design a sequence of teaching and learning activities with a focus on working with English concepts

3.2.2 Plan and implement well-structured learning and teaching programs or lesson sequences that engage students and promote learning

Course participants:

  • apply knowledge gained about the NSW syllabus and engage in course content to develop a unit of learning based on English concepts

  • use features of the Quality Teaching Framework and the teaching and learning cycle to guide the development of a unit of learning

6.2.2 Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice, targeted to professional needs and school and /or system priorities.

Course participants:

  • demonstrate engagement in the standard by active participation in the course activities and completing the course deliverables

  • through discussion, activities and reflection consider how programming can best meet students learning needs.

The Department of Education and Communities is a NSW Institute of Teachers endorsed provider of professional development for the maintenance of accreditation at Proficient Teacher/Professional Competence.

Scope of endorsement:

  • All Standards of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the level of Proficient Teacher.

  • All Elements of the NSW Professional Teaching Standards.

In order for new scheme teachers accredited at Professional Competence to have these hours added to their ‘professional learning log’ at the NSW Institute of Teachers, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Before commencing the course, advise your supervisor of your intention to do so and discuss the course requirements.
    Your supervisor/course deliverer will need to:

  2. Enrol in the scheduled event in My PL@Edu using your DEC portal username and password. For more details see Participants: Searching for and enrolling in professional learning events via My PL@Edu (.pdf 1.12MB).

    Your supervisor/course deliverer will need to confirm your enrolment on the event’s Enrolment tab on My PL@Edu.

  3. Complete all course activities and deliverable/s as described on the Course overview section (above).

  4. Provide the completed deliverable/s to your supervisor for approval.

  5. Complete the online evaluation on My PL@Edu.

  6. Have a follow up discussion with your supervisor when you have completed the course and deliverable/s.
    Your supervisor/course deliverer will verify that you have met all requirements for the course and will ensure completion is recorded on the event’s Participation tab on My PL@Edu.

  7. Allow at least 10 working days for your details to be passed on to the NSW Institute of Teachers.

  8. Within three months of completing the course, login to your account on the NSWIT website to complete the online evaluation so that the participation hours are recorded.

Activity booklet thumbnail

Activity journal

The Activity journal, which contains all the activities, is available in an interactive PDF or Microsoft Word format.

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Course completion checklist

The Course completion checklist (.pdf 187kB) is also available from the Wrap up tab and within the Activity journal. It will help ensure all course activities are completed and requires supervisors to check and sign off on work completed in order to gain accreditation in the course.

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Presenter notes

The Presenter notes (.pdf 879kB) document contains advice about how to manage the delivery of this course, including a detailed description of what each tab is about, delivery strategies and advice for completing the activities.

This information is also available at the bottom of each page in the course.