The Years 11 to 12 curriculum framework at the Australian International School is based on the premise that there are three components of any curriculum which are necessary to enable students to meet the demands of a modern and rapidly changing world. These three strands are:
- Discipline-Based Learning
- Physical, Personal and Social Learning
- Inter-Disciplinary Learning
Language, whether it be spoken or written, is the key to successful communication in the world today and students learn to create new worlds and explore old ones through the subjects of English and Literature. Within the English course students refine their skills as writers, speakers, listeners, thinkers, viewers and presenters. It is a strongly held belief that English should be enjoyable and enriching; life changing. Engaging in the English language is integral to developing critical thinking and a sense of self. Through the exploration of text, oral text, digital and multimedia texts, students develop critical thinking, autonomous learning and a sense of their own personal voice. Although time continues to unfold before us one sentiment can remain true.
Humanities encompasses the study of History and Geography, in which students learn to understand the world in which they live and their place in it. At year 11 and12, students may choose to continue and enhance their learning of Humanities world by studying History, Geography and Philosophy.
Mathematics is the study of the relationships between quantity, structures, space and properties. Students learn skills in problem solving, investigating and hypothesizing. Throughout Years 7 and 8, Mathematics and Science are linked, enabling students to transfer knowledge and skills from one area to another. In Years 9 and 10, mainstream and extension classes are offered to suit students’ needs and abilities.
Science covers biology, chemistry and physics. Studying Science develops our students’ investigative skills, it trains them in laboratory techniques and it teaches the tools of critical analysis and communication. These are the skills for lifelong learning. Today’s amazing discoveries in science and technology impact across our lives. A solid grasp of science is essential in equipping the decision makers of tomorrow.
We promote involvement in regular physical activity among the students and to develop the competencies and attitudes required to be an effective, life-long participant in a range of activities. Students have the opportunity to be involved in Physical Education and Sport in all years from Primary School to High School.
It is said that speaking a second language is ‘a gateway to international opportunities’. In our increasingly multi-lingual world, more people speak two languages than one, and contact with speakers of other languages is rapidly growing. Chinese (Mandarin) is offered to Primary and Secondary levels.
Language studies at our school are engaging and responsive to students’ abilities and needs, developing not only their language skills but their knowledge, understanding and the attributes necessary to be a ‘global citizen’. This allows students to participate successfully and engage in local, cross-cultural and global communities. Our language classes are alive with the buzz of interactive activities which engage learners in simulated yet authentic experiences with native speakers.
Visual Arts builds creative thinking, fosters innovation and technical skill and gives insight into history and culture. Our students need to be prepared to actively engage in this visual world. We prepare students for that world through its diverse and vibrant program. This happens from the Early Childhood Program through the Primary School, where the foundations are created for lifelong learning and skills in the Arts, and on to Junior High School where a variety of electives including Visual Communication and Design (Digital Art), Painting and Sculpture and Textiles are offered.
Arts education is important because even though your child may never become an artist or even work in the creative industries they will function in a world that requires an understanding of aesthetic principles, and an ability to problem solve and think creatively. At Senior High School students may choose from a range of electives including Photography, Fashion, Painting and Drawing, and Visual Communication and Design. These subjects give students an excellent framework and prepare them for Art and Visual Communication and Design at year 11 and year 12 level.
The Performing Arts – Dance, Drama, Media Studies and Music can be part of a student’s life from Early Childhood to Secondary School. The diversity of a Performing Arts classroom is a reflection of the arts themselves. From the innovation and creativity of drama and disciplined musical practice to the exhilarating feeling of satisfaction at the end of a performance, we aim to engage students on a passionate and creative journey.
Alongside the rich classroom program, the Performing Arts student can also connect with the breadth of Performing Arts experiences on many levels, for example, exploring technologies, performing in the theatre, costume design and creating live media events.
Within our classrooms, students undertake critical analysis and develop an appreciation of the arts as fundamental to the health of any society. The Arts are integral to re-defining our value systems and exploring our ever changing cultural boundaries. We value integrity and the process of creating within the Performing Arts. Our ability to ‘read’ the media and the joy of being swept away by music are key to a rich life. Our aim is to create opportunities in which students can believe in themselves as artists; to feel strong, independent and self-confident.
Information, Communication and Technology
With today’s rapid rate of technological innovation, our students use and learn with Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) throughout all areas of study from Years 7 to 12. In year 11 and year 12, students study how individuals, communities and organisations use ICT effectively. Students study web design, programming, collaborative project work, multimedia and processing data into information.
Stories from the extensive range of Outdoor Education trips highlight the wonderful store of experiences that our students share and which last a lifetime. The program provides an opportunity for students to acquire self-knowledge, an understanding of and sensitivity to the community, cultures and environment and to develop and exercise leadership.
The Library works to empower students to become independent discerning users of information and to develop a love of reading, learning and an appreciation of literature. Wide reading programs and information literacy are taught across the curriculum and provide the basis for these fundamental life skills. The Library is a vibrant learning environment where staff and students enjoy the discovery of information and the knowledge and pleasure of reading.
Learning Outside the Classroom
The Australian International School is committed to students having the opportunity to explore learning experiences outside the classroom. The Experience Program allows students to experience the real world through extensive work experience, community service and outdoor adventure activities.
The Program is given to the weeks set aside in the curriculum for Years 10 and 11 students to have and exposure to and participate in a large variety of local and national experiences. One of the many valuable aspects for participants in the Program is the building of a student profile which reflects the students’ practical involvement in the various components of the Program. These experiences are documented and evaluated and the information included in a personal Student Credential Portfolio which is presented to each Year 12 student when he/she leaves the School. The Experience Program fosters a never stop learning philosophy that allows a student to achieve beyond academic excellence.
Our support is tailored to the immediate decisions to be made. For example, Year 9 students need to make a career decision about Work Experience in Year 10. In Year 10, the decision is usually about making subject decisions which relate to a broad range of careers: usually ‘keeping doors open’. As Years 11 and 12 proceed, developmentally appropriate and specific decisions are the focus.