Diversity of Choice
St John’s College provides a curriculum which is designed to meet the academic, physical, social and spiritual needs of all students. Our Religious Education, Retreats/Outdoor Education Camps, combined with the offering of a comprehensive range of subjects, provide students with the diversity of choice and the generation of skills appropriate to the demands of contemporary society.
Programs for the Individual
The curriculum at St John’s focuses on the needs of the individual student. In our classes we encourage teachers to provide a full range of enrichment activities, specialised attention and personalised interaction with students.
Academic excellence is encouraged and a range of gifted and talented programs are offered across all curriculum areas. The G & T Coordinator works closely with the Leaders of Learning and teachers who identify students who may benefit from individualised extension opportunities in the classroom.
Our Eagle Centre caters for the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills and support of students for a range of reasons. Homework activities reinforce classroom learning.
Flexible elective choices allow specialisation and alternative curriculum pathways in Years 11 and 12, including the option to enrol in TAFE courses and students may also enrol in Vocational Education Training courses being offered by the College.
In order to achieve our Curriculum aims, the College provides well equipped classrooms as well as specialist facilities in a number of areas.
- A College Chapel which seats the College community and a smaller Religious Education Centre for class liturgies and prayer.
- A Performing Arts Centre comprising of a Theatrette, Dance Studio and teaching facilities.
- Expansive audio and visual capacity in all KLA areas.
- A Furniture Making Workshop allowing students to qualify for an Australian Quality Training Framework (AQF) Certificate II in Furniture Making.
- A Design & Technology Centre including Metal, Timber, Graphics and Electronic facilities as well as a fully equipped Agricultural Centre and Food Technology/Textiles Department.
- A Trade Training Centre providing a Commercial Kitchen allowing the College to offer Hospitality courses with TAFE accreditation and to expand Vocational Education and Training (VET) subjects.
- A Special Education Centre (Eagle Centre) which provides assistance in Literacy, Numeracy and gifted and talented programs.
- A Library and Research Centre.
- A Learning and Study Centre for Senior Students.
- A Visual Arts Centre including Graphics, Ceramics, Photographic Studio and Digital Imaging equipment.
- A Music Centre equipped with practice and tutorial rooms, a Recording Studio and digital music technology.
- For outdoor education and sports related activities, students have access to a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, extensive playing fields and a multi-purpose sports and recreation centre.
- The 1:1 roll-out of student laptops with a wireless network and onsite technical support.
Courses of Study
The curriculum aims to provide challenges and opportunities for all students whilst satisfying the NSW Board of Studies requirements, within the framework of the developing Australian Curriculum. A compulsory core of studies in Religious Education is taught from Year 7 to Year 12. The curriculum is organised along lines as required by NSW Board of Studies and all students experience a wide variety of courses in their early years at the College. Later they elect to take courses that are appropriate to their needs, interests and/or career aspirations. The curriculum comprises two types of courses, those that are compulsory and those that are elective. The way in which these are organised throughout the College is summarised below.
Years 7 and 8
All students experience a common curriculum. Some of these courses are short introductions of one term only. Not all of these courses are offered in both years. Most time is allocated to the English, Mathematics and Science courses.
- Catholic Studies
- Visual Arts
- Languages – Italian
- Design And Technology and associated modules in Metal, Wood, Agriculture, Food, Computing Studies & Textiles
Years 9 and 10
Students entering Years 9 and 10 study the core subjects listed below, supplemented by a choice of two electives. A subject selection process is conducted at the beginning of Term 3. The College publishes a separate guidance booklet for the benefit of parents and students and holds a Subject Selection Evening where staff, students and parents are invited to come together to discuss the options available. Whilst a large number of courses are offered, the availability of a particular course is determined by the number of students who choose that course of study.
- Catholic Studies
Elective Courses (For 2015 students chose courses from the following offerings)
- Agriculture Technology
- Food Technology
- Information Software Technology
- Photographic & Digital Media
- Physical Activity & Sports Studies
- Industrial Technology - Metal Products
- Industrial Technology - Timber Products
- Textiles Technology
- Visual Arts
- Visual Design
Life Skills Courses
Some students, for a variety of reasons, may wish to choose a Life Skills Course. This course can be provided in both compulsory and elective subjects in Years 7 to 10. All KLA Stage 4 and 5 syllabuses now contain Life Skills Course outcomes.
Years 11 and 12
In preparation for students entering Years 11 and 12 the College holds a Subject Selection Evening at the end of Term 2. A Subject Selection booklet detailing the range of subjects being offered for the Higher School Certificate is made available for every student. Students participate in an interview process at the end of Year 10 where each student is interviewed by either the Vocational Pathways Organiser, Leader of Curriculum, Year Coordinator or a senior member of staff. Students complete a minimum of 12 units in the Preliminary Course and 10 units for the HSC from the Board courses. Courses run according to student demand. Some courses may be taken at different levels. Provision is made for students to study TAFE delivered VET Courses at local TAFE colleges. In addition, we have teachers trained to supply Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses on site. Students may also participate in the Online Delivery Courses made available through the Catholic Schools Office or study TAFE options, School-Based Traineeships and School-Based Apprenticeships. Distance Education Courses are also offered to develop languages or provide for individual patterns of study.
- Studies of Religion - 1 or 2 Units
- Religion - Catholic Studies (Year 12 only)
- English – Standard or Advanced
- English Studies
Board Developed Courses
- Ancient History
- Business Studies
- Community & Family Studies
- Design & Technology
- Earth & Environmental Science
- English Studies (Preliminary & HSC)
- English Extension I (Preliminary)
- English Extension I (HSC)
- English Extension II (HSC)
- Food Technology
- Industrial Technology - Timber and Furniture Technologies
- Information Processes & Technology
- Italian Beginners
- Italian Continuers
- Legal Studies
- Mathematics General 2
- Mathematics Extension I (Preliminary & HSC)
- Mathematics Extension II (HSC)
- Modern History
- History Extension (HSC)
- Music I
- Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
- Senior Science
- Society and Culture
- Software Design and Development
- Textiles and Design
- Visual Arts
Board Content Endorsed Course
- Exploring Early Childhood
- Mathematics General I
- Photography, Video & Digital Imaging
- Sport, Lifestyle & Recreation
- Visual Design
- Work Studies
TAFE Delivered Vocational Education and Training Courses
Board Developed Courses e.g.
- Aged Care
- Animal Care
- Children’s Services
- Multi Media
- Automotive Mechanical
- Beauty Therapy
As well as all TAFE courses offered at local TAFE campuses.
Vocation Education & Training Frameworks - Board Developed Courses
- Business Services
- Primary Industries
- Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)
- Furniture Making
- Metals and Engineering
Online Delivery Board Developed Courses – Flexible Delivery - Diocese of Lismore
- Ancient History
- Engineering Studies
- Japanese Beginners
- Software Design & Development
Life Skills Courses Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) include:
- Work and Community
- Technology and Applied Studies (TAS)
- Creative Arts – Dance, Drama, Visual Arts & Music
- Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PD/H/PE)
- Citizenship and Society
School Based Traineeships
School based Traineeships are also offered for students in areas of identified interest.
Curriculum and Learning Support
The College provides a wide variety of learning support services for students and teachers through the Eagle Centre, a multi-purpose student facility catering for literacy and numeracy support, learning difficulties, special education needs and indigenous students.
The Eagle Centre is a vibrant and welcoming area where all students can explore their potential. Eagle Centre staff work closely with teachers and assistants throughout the College providing quality support to all students with additional needs. The Centre staff includes the Additional Needs Coordinator, an Additional Needs Teacher, Teaching Assistants and the Indigenous Education Worker.
The Gifted and Talented Coordinator works closely with all Leaders of Learning and teachers, who identify students who may benefit from individualised extension opportunities in the classroom. These students also have the opportunity to participate in Gifted and Talented Camps, Tournament of Minds, Maths Olympics, Chess Competitions, Debating and Public Speaking.
The Literacy and Numeracy Coordinator works closely with classroom teachers to identify all students’ literacy and numeracy needs. The Coordinator assists in the development of appropriate teaching and learning strategies to support and extend students.