The Senior School at Penrith Anglican College provides a program which prepares students to go into the world with confidence and experience, preparing them to live with purpose and ready to build a bright future.
Through the breadth of curriculum options, a diverse range of co-curricular opportunities, including sport and creative and performing arts, together with our experienced and nurturing staff, students in the Senior School are encouraged to pursue and achieve personal excellence through Christ.
Explore the varied options available in the Senior School, including the option to undertake the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in Years 11 and 12, by attending a tour of the College.
Find out more information about the Senior School:
Years 7 to 10
To support students as they transition from Junior School, Penrith Anglican College ensures that students are supported in a nurturing environment. Students start to make important decisions about their study plans and career during their first two years of school. Our Senior School follows the NSW Board of Studies Curricula.
Students in Years 7 and 8 study NESA mandatory subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, PD/Health/PE, Music, Design Technology and Visual Arts. One Year subjects include Geography in Year 7 and French and History in Year 8. Students in each year also study Divinity.
In Years 9 and 10 along with the mandatory subjects, students are offered elective choices for the first time. Electives include Commerce, Photography, Design and Technology, Elective History, Drama, Food Technology, French, Information Software and Technology, iSTEM, Music, Photographic and Digital Media, Physical Activity & Sports Studies, Textiles Technology and Visual Arts
There are four classes in each year and usual class sizes are as follows:
- Years 7 to 10 – 30 students
- Years 11 to 12 – 24 students
Practical classes may have reduced class sizes.
Each Senior School subject has an experienced Head of Department working with a dedicated team of staff. Learning Support staff, Gifted and Talented staff plus Chaplains also work in Senior School. Each student in the Senior School has a House Mentor teacher and ultimately a Head of House who provides support and takes general oversight of the students in that House.
We aim to prepare students to be active and socially responsible community members beyond their school years. For this reason, students are offered the opportunity to attend service trips. Language students are also given the opportunity to attend cultural exchange trips allowing them to fully immerse themselves in a different culture and learn to live in a community, whilst facing many challenges in terms of effective communication and cultural awareness.
Years 11 and 12
There is great emphasis placed on the final two years of schooling at Penrith Anglican College. The College encourages students to make wise choices regarding their study path. For this reason, students are offered the choice of either completing their Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma program (IB).
Students in Years 11 and 12 are also offered co-curricular opportunities to enhance their sporting, artistic, musical and community passions.
Higher School Certificate (HSC)
Penrith Anglican College allows students to choose from a broad range of subjects within the HSC course. Normally, six subjects are taken in the Preliminary Year (Year 11) and at least five for the HSC Year itself; extension subjects for particularly able students are offered in English, Mathematics, History and Music.
Students are encouraged to see their senior studies as requiring far greater breadth and depth than will have been required in earlier years and a much higher level of careful, analytical thinking is required. In several subjects, creative projects (Major Works) are a requirement and students are closely counselled on the demands of these projects and on the advisability of taking more than one such subject.
Although subjects in Years 11 and 12 may vary a little from year to year, the following is a typical year’s offering:
|English||Standard and Advanced, plus Extensions|
|Mathematics||General Mathematics, Mathematics, plus Extensions|
|Science||Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Physics|
|HSIE||Business Studies, Economics, Geography, Legal Studies, Society and Culture|
|Languages||French and Japanese – sometimes at both Beginners and Continuers levels|
|History||Ancient History, Modern History, Extension History; Studies of Religion|
|Technologies||Design and Technology, Engineering Studies, Textiles and Design, Food Technology, Software Design and Development, Information Processes and Technology|
|Creative Arts||Music 1 and 2; Drama; Visual Arts|
|Personal Development, Health and PE||PDHPE and Community and Family Studies|
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Penrith Anglican College offers the international Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programme in parallel with the HSC in Years 11 and 12. The Diploma programme is a rigorous programme of study that gives students a well-rounded education in a variety of subject areas while effectively preparing them for future study at university. The IB Diploma encourages students to become active, compassionate, lifelong learners with a global perspective, preparing them to find their place in the world and to live a life of purpose.
The Diploma programme requires students to complete six subjects from groups that cover English Literature, a foreign language, social science, physical science, Mathematics and the arts. Students also complete three compulsory components:
- Theory of Knowledge – This course investigates the nature of knowledge and encourages students to be aware of subjective biases and develops in them the ability to analyse ideas think deeply about the knowledge they are gaining in the programme.
- Extended Essay – Is the result of a significant process of personal research, involving students in the types of research and writing skills, which will be expected at university. The research topic is of their choosing.
- Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) – This component requires that students interact with a new experience in creative and performing arts, sport and community service. It encourages all students to use their energy and talents with a concern for the wider community.
The hard work and discipline required to complete the Diploma programme is greatly rewarded, with students not only achieving consistently excellent results, but finding that the Diploma programme has prepared them to think critically and deeply in all spheres of their life after school.
Penrith Anglican College developed the Tabitha Program to encourage the development of active, caring and skilled people who, as a way of life, think of and serve others.
The program is named after Tabitha in Acts 9 of the Bible, who was a disciple recorded as always ‘doing good and helping the poor.’ Tabitha clearly had a heart for service. The program is a two-year program for HSC students in Years 11 and 12.
In order to achieve the Tabitha Diploma, students need to complete:
- Two service electives
- One personal development elective
- One action elective, and
- Two free choice electives.
The electives are divided into three categories:
- Action: Physical activities
- Personal Development: Learning and gaining a skill
- Service: Serving others in the community
Students may also work towards a Tabitha Diploma with Honours by completing 20 hours of service in their own time. For example, participating in a service trip, coaching a sporting team or leading youth group.
Penrith Anglican College is not only focused on enabling our students to achieve personal excellence while at school, but also on equipping them to make wise choices concerning the options available to them in their future career. The College aims to enable students to demystify their future, establish goals and find their purpose.
Our College Careers Centre and resources enable our students to choose the path which will allow them to pursue their career goals.
There is a College Careers Centre in the F Block that provides students with current careers or course options that are available to them after school finishes. These opportunities could be at universities, colleges, TAFE and other institutions. Information is also available from various professional associations which enable them to get first-hand information from people working in their chosen profession.
Guest speakers are regularly invited to the College, encouraging students to learn about career opportunities and the best pathways for them. Students and parents are advised of open days and information evenings at colleges, universities, TAFE and other institutions.
Year 10 students engage in a Work Experience Program, which gives them real and relevant experience in a field of work that interests them.
Students are encouraged to schedule a time to meet with the College’s Careers Advisor to discuss careers they may be suited to and the appropriate subject and course choices at different stages in their education. The College’s Career Advisor can provide students with relevant links, and copies of material that will assist their decision making.
Parents are also welcome to contact the Careers Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the options available to their child.
At Penrith Anglican College we value educating our students in more than just an academic curriculum. Students can remain solely focused on their immediate surrounds without contemplating the world beyond their daily interactions or how they can impact their surrounds in a positive way. The College offers unique opportunities for students to be involved in small group travel that aims to help broaden their thinking, recognise the blessings they do have and how much they and others can benefit from employing a servant approach. There are three categories of trips that the College offers; Service trips, Impact trips and Cultural Trips.
Each year the College offers students the opportunity to serve on three different Service Trips:
- Year 10 students can apply to go on a ten-day trip to Cambodia, serving at the HOPE for Cambodian Children Centre
- Year 11 students can apply to go on a fifteen-day trip to Nepal, trekking through the mountains and then serving at a local school.
- Year 11 can apply to go on a seven-day trip to country NSW as part of the Dusty Boots team, practically helping out at a country town through Bush Church Aid.
On each of these trips, both nationally and internationally, students greatly benefit from learning about others and how best to encourage and help them in a way that is lasting and not tokenistic. Much preparation is done prior to each trip, and it is always encouraging to hear the reflections of students post trip as to what they learnt and how it changed them for the better.
Every second year the College allows students to apply to be part of a team that travels to Fiji. Whilst there the team visits and works with different schools and churches to share and encourage their faith with the Fijian people. Over the years that this trip has been operating, strong bonds have been built up as the Team becomes more aware of the needs of others and how they can best care for them. The Team goes with a mind to make a positive impact on the Fijian people, but the positive impact can also be seen by the students in all that they learn, see and do.
The College offers a range of cultural trips to various parts of the world, which are either on a regular or one-off basis. The College has a sister school relationship with Kumamoto Marist College in Kumamoto, Japan, and a group of students is taken to Japan every second year to experience the culture and develop language skills. The College also offers History trips to Europe to visit the locations significant to the history of WW1 and WW2. A cultural exchange trip also takes place to New Caledonia to give French language students the experience of living in a French speaking culture and using their language in an everyday context.
Service is important to the College and is not limited to particular trips. There are many opportunities for students to be able to give back to others through particular events (eg. Clean Up Australia Day, Red Shield Appeal) and ongoing programs (eg. Tabitha/CAS Program). The College recognises the benefits to students in being service orientated and we aim for our students to be at their best, so that they can give them best to serving others in God’s world.
The College endeavours to foster in all students an appreciation of the creative arts. Music and Visual Arts are taught to all students from Kindergarten to Year 8.
Penrith Anglican College has a dedicated Drama faculty and through Drama students can showcase their writing and performance skills along with attending a myriad of workshops, productions and performances throughout the year.
Students at Penrith Anglican College have a range of opportunities to participate in Drama from Years 7 to 12. There are a number of public performance opportunities provided through the study of Drama, including Drama Showcase Evenings and the annual Penrith Anglican College Shakespeare Festival.
Year 9 and 10 Elective Drama:
Elective Drama is available to students in Year 9 and 10 and involves a combination of theory and practical work. Students study the work of theatre practitioners, styles of theatre and develop their performance and production skills in a variety of different units of work. Student work is showcased on Drama Night and at various chapels and assemblies during the year.
Year 11 and 12 Preliminary and HSC Drama:
Preliminary and HSC Drama builds on the skills developed in junior years and provides an in-depth study of Australian Theatre and various theatre styles. The course involves a major individual project for which students choose either performance or an Element of Production, ranging from costume design to scriptwriting. Working with their peers, students develop an original piece of ensemble theatre, which is presented for marking. These student works are on display in Term 3 at the Year 12 Performance Night.
The College has both curricular and co-curricular music programs where students can realise their full potential. Opportunities exist for students to participate in PPP Workshops (Practice, Pizza, Performance) held each term, annual music camps, and international and national music tours.
Curricular Music Program:
The mandatory curricular music program is based on Board of Studies criteria and taught to all students from Kindergarten to Year 8 by specialist music teachers.
Elective music commences in Year 9 and carries through to Year 12, where both Music 1 and Music 2 HSC courses are conducted. Extension Music is offered to outstanding applicants.
Penrith Anglican College recognises that sport is important to students’ physical, social and emotional wellbeing. The College offers many opportunities for students to be involved in various sporting activities both for recreation and at representative levels including:
- Touch Football
- Rugby Union
Sport in the Senior School allows students to follow their passions outside of the classroom while also giving many students a regular period to engage in different types of sports they may not have tried previously. Some of these may include sailing, boxercise, aqua sports, futsal, and judo.
Students can participate in sports-specific training programs such as football, triathlon, or basketball among others. These programs allow students to achieve personal excellence in a specific sport and further develop and enhance their skills. Students then also have the opportunity to trial for College teams and represent the College at inter-school competitions and gala days.
Students’ sporting interests outside the College are also supported and encouraged. Many of our students for example, who have been involved in Diving or Cricket outside the College or are developing their skills as an umpire or referee, have had the opportunity to represent the College through higher-level pathways such as through the Association of Independent Co-Educational Schools (AICES) and Combined Independent Schools (CIS).
Sport in the Senior School aims for students to gain a life-long appreciation for physical activity and to model sportsmanlike behaviour on the field and into all aspects of life
At Penrith Anglican College, we are aiming to produce 21st Century Learners. Many of the jobs our students will take part in do not exist today. Instead of learning great slabs of information, we need to train our students how to access the plethora of information available in order for them to be lifelong learners with the 21st century skills of:
- Critical thinking
The 1:1 Learning Program enables students to collaborate using the Office 365 Suite, to communicate using a variety of media and to embark on projects that involve critical thinking and creativity. It allows teachers to tailor learning so that students can learn at their own pace and through our learning management system, Canvas, provide learning experiences that would not have been available previously. Students can obtain immediate, relevant feedback on their work and teachers can see exactly what the students are doing. It also allows students to go back over previously taught material at any time.
To learn more about the 1.1 Learning Program, please read our Frequently Asked Questions document.
The aim of the Gifted and Talented and Learning Support Programs is to help every child realise their potential as they work toward personal excellence.
Learning Support operates under an inclusive model where each student is supported in accessing the curriculum to the best of their ability.
Learning Support staff regularly liaise with classroom teachers and parents, so that each student is given the opportunity to achieve their best educational outcomes.
In Years 7 to 10, Learning Support Aides work across key learning areas to assist students with special needs or learning difficulties. To a limited extent, withdrawal programs are offered for students in need.
Students in Years 11 and 12 are offered assistance during their study periods on an individual or small group basis. Support is also provided during designated lunchtimes and after school. Disability Provisions are organised for exams for Years 7-12.
The Learning Support Co-ordinator works with teachers in programming, assessing, evaluating, creating resources and advising on appropriate classroom strategies for students with learning needs and maintaining open communication with parents.
Gifted and Talented
The College uses Gagné’s ‘Differentiated Model of Giftedness’ as the cornerstone for its Gifted and Talented Program. Students are identified as gifted through a range of methods including quantitative and qualitative assessment, classroom observation and parent insights.
Following on from the programs in Years 1 -6, ability grouping continues across a variety of key learning areas from Years 7 to 10. Our Gifted and Talented Co-ordinators work with classroom teachers to provide an inquiry based collaborative experience for the students within subject areas.
Students may also participate in the Maths Olympiad and competitions such as the da Vinci Decathlon and Gateway 8, as well as KLA or class based extension groups.