WestWords has joined with the English Teachers’ Association NSW to create a resource for teaching in years 7-10 English classes. With a focus on Textual Concepts in the curriculum this resource uses Western Sydney as a case study for the investigation into complexity and breadth into the key concept of Place.

The resource is free and contains both student activities and teachers’ notes.


The resource also aims to promote the work of writers from Western Sydney by providing a representative sample to teachers in NSW and beyond for use in the English classroom. The resource may also complement and support school visits undertaken by writers of Western Sydney.

If you would like to organise a visit by a Western Sydney writer to your school please contact WestWords:  admin@westwords.com.au or phone 8821 9178.

What it is:
The core of the resource are extracts from twelve texts suitable for years 7-10 which have been chosen on the basis of their

  • relevance to Western Sydney
  • literary[1] value
  • pedagogical value.

The texts are The Incredible Here and Now – Felicity Castagna, The Sky So Heavy – Claire Zorn, The Tribe – Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Great Western Highway – Anthony Macris, Five Bells – Gail Jones, Thai-riffic – Oliver Phommavanh, If They Can Pronounce Shakespeare – Yasmin Lewis, Chinese Straight – Maxine Beneba Clarke, Kenny’s Coming Home – Ned Manning [2]We Drove to Auburn – Fiona Wright, Urban Sprawl – Lachlan Brown and an advertisement featuring Deng Thiak Adut for Western Sydney University.

Supporting the teaching of English through these texts there are activities for students and related teacher professional development.

The activities for students:

  • are designed to address the outcomes of the NSW English Syllabus incorporating the Australian Curriculum
  • support the teaching of its key concepts and
  • involve writing activities in various forms and for different media.

The teacher professional development includes:

  • an explanation of the concept and why it is important
  • how the text exemplifies the concept,
  • other texts that may be used in conjunction with that text and that concept, and
  • the purpose of the student activities and how they scaffold the learning.

[1] Literature in the English curriculum includes written texts, spoken texts, visual, film and digital texts.

Additional resources: Kenny’s Coming Home
Additional resources related to the performance of Ned Manning and Shane McNamara’s Kenny’s Coming Home, including a full audio recording of the performance done for ABC Radio’s Soundstage program, costume designs, media and reviews related to the original performance of the rock musical at The Q Theatre, Penrith can be found here.