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HSC Extension English and History

Last Thursday, our HSC Extension History and English students presented their Major Works at the Independent Theatre to Dr Scott, staff, their peers and their families.

Head of English, Mr Paul McGoldrick gave the following speech by way of introduction.

“The Irish poet Seamus Heaney spoke about learning as a journey and learning as a construction…a process. These thematic threads underline the point that learning offers creative or critical visions in which composition and learning are inextricably linked and vitally transcend the School. As Heaney put it in his lecture, “the walls of the world expand as reader and writer, teacher and learner go beyond our normal cognitive bounds and sense a new element where we are liberated, more alive to ourselves, more drawn out…more educated”.

This statement resonates deeply with the HSC English Extension 2 course.


English Extension 2 requires students to work independently to plan and complete a Major Work in the form of an extended composition. It is a fantastic opportunity within the curriculum as it allows students to select a conceptual area of personal interest from their specialised study of English and develop their work in this area to a level of distinction in a medium of their own choosing.

Students compose the Major Work as an extension of the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in the English (Advanced) and (Extension 1) courses.

The Major Work is quite simply substantial and challenging, but therein lies its appeal and its capacity to develop a student ready to take on the demands of the challenges beyond Wenona.

Students undertake ongoing, systematic and rigorous investigation into their chosen area. This investigation process is documented in a journal that demonstrates the processes of inquiry, interpretation, analysis and reflection on the knowledge and understanding gained.

Our aim is for students to develop as creative, resilient, articulate and well-educated young women, filled with a sense of curiosity, determination, humour and a capacity and confidence to undertake challenging, independent work.
We aim for our students to develop integrity, grace under pressure and a sense of purpose, and a strong proactive and positive voice in response to the texts ideas and concepts they encounter.

The Year 12 students have certainly fulfilled these aspirations. On behalf of the English Department and the whole school community, I would like to publicly acknowledge we are proud of them and congratulate them on their outstanding achievements.”


Head of History, Mrs Linda Kovacs, was equally impressed with the hard work and dedication of all the students who’d worked hard to produce HSC Extension History Major Works. She quoted American poet, novelist and literary critic, Robert Penn Warren: “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.”

She congratulated all the Year 12 History Extension students of 2019, saying, “All the girls produced excellent extended essays on a range of topics, spanning both Modern and Ancient times, demonstrating their ability to think critically, conduct higher research and write in an academic style.”

Thank you to both the English and History Departments for all their hard work in supporting the students. We wish them all the best of luck for their upcoming HSC examinations.