Curriculum Matters

The 2017 year has got off to a very busy start with new changes being implemented in a number of areas.  The NSW Board of Studies has gone through a name change, it will now be called the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The National Curriculum continues to be rolled out across the middle school with National Curriculum Geography courses being implemented in Year 7 and Year 9 this year. Changes are being made in the area of assessment by NESA that will necessitate some changes in reporting.

A few parents have enquired recently regarding the class selection process and how streaming is arranged in the College. In determining classes, in Year 7 through 10, these classes are determined using available contemporary data. We use ability data and where appropriate performance data from Academic Assessment Services. Other data sources accessed include NAPLAN results in literacy and numeracy, Progressive Achievement Testing (PAT) which tests both ability and comprehension performance. Finally, we use school achievement data in relevant subjects. This data is collated and used to determine homeroom and Scientia classes. Specific subject results such as Science, English and Mathematics have more of an influence in Year’s 9 and 10 and are used to determine classes in those subjects.

The streaming model currently in place for 2017 is set out below.

Year 7 has mixed ability homerooms with one homeroom established as a Scientia literacy class. There is no streaming in any subjects other than this. The girls go to all classes except those listed below in those groupings. Technology Mandatory classes are also mixed ability and different to the students homeroom class. Visual Art and Music also share these class groupings. This is simply done to mix the cohort of students, allowing the students to get to know more girls.

Year 8 has mixed ability homerooms with one homeroom established as a Scientia literacy class. Girls are streamed in Mathematics on results achieved throughout Year 7 from the previous year. Girls are not streamed in any other courses and will go to classes in homeroom groups except for Technology Mandatory, LOTE, Visual Art and Music.  In Year 8 we have also created one Scientia Technology Mandatory class to cater for those students who show themselves to be gifted in a more creative way.

Year 9 has mixed ability homerooms with the exception of two homerooms operating as Scientia literacy classes, this will operate only in 2017. Girls will complete Religion, PDHPE, History and Geography subjects in these mixed ability homerooms, hence the class nomenclature is irrelevant as to whether a student is in class 3, 4 5 or 6. Students are streamed in English, Mathematics and partly streamed in Science. Elective Subjects are chosen by students and are not streamed.

Year 10 is exactly the same as Year 9 with one exception and that is that there is only one Scientia literacy class operating as one homeroom. Also in 2017 in English in Year 9 and Year 10, the top two classes are graded directly on results in English. Classes 3 and 4 are equivalent on results so neither should be seen as a stronger ability grouping than the other.

Year 11 and 12 are based on student choice and girls are separated on the basis of the level of the  subject they have chosen. For example this would mean that girls in English (Advanced) are in different classes to those girls who have chosen English (Standard).

For Year 10 students and parents this will be a very important year as they move over to a new senior assessment policy and they choose subjects to undertake in 2018 and 2019 in the middle of the year, in preparation for a 2019 HSC. I therefore invite all Year 10 students and their parents to the Assessment Information Evening on Monday 20 February commencing at 6.30pm in Yallunga Hall. Any new students who have joined Year 11  this year should also attend this information session.

 

 

Gregg Conroy

Leader of Learning