Evans River K-12 teacher Simon Hyder takes the new Year 11 students (from left) Lily Mercer, Wade Cerritelli, Krystle Manning, Clint Merton, Emily Koskela, Katryn Kelly and Lydia Collinson Donlon through the finer points of their structured English curriculum.
Evans River K-12 teacher Simon Hyder takes the new Year 11 students (from left) Lily Mercer, Wade Cerritelli, Krystle Manning, Clint Merton, Emily Koskela, Katryn Kelly and Lydia Collinson Donlon through the finer points of their structured English curriculum. Jay Cronan

Major rethink on HSC year

FOR 16-year-old Ainsley Hyder the pressure of HSC exams will be drastically reduced.

In fact, her stress will be halved because she will study only three subjects in Year 12.

The other three Year 12 subjects will be completed while she is still in Year 11.

It sounds confusing but Evans River K-12 is the first school in the Northern Rivers to undertake The College Program where Year 12 HSC subjects are spread across two years.

It is a major rethink of how students’ final years are managed.

Ainsley’s father, Simon Hyder, is the Year 11 and 12 English teacher at Evans River K-12.

“It is experimental,” he said of the new system, “but it enables us to offer a broad range of subjects.”

Ainsley was relaxed about the changes.

“I’m happy with the new system,” she said. “There are less subjects all at once, and more focus, and it helps me study.”

This is how the new system at Evans River will work for Ainsley:

Her next five weeks of school as a Year 10 student will see her preparing for next year.

In 2010, despite being in Year 11, she will study four HSC subjects.

Ainsley has selected advanced English, society and culture, extension English, and photography.

She chose four subjects instead of three, because she wanted to. She will study these HSC subjects through most of next year while she is in Year 11, and sit HSC exams at the end of the year.

In 2011 she continues her final three units for her HSC combined with the normal Year 11 curriculum.

This means Ainsley doesn’t have to choose all her HSC subjects at once, and by the time she chooses the final three she will be clearer about what she wants to study.

Her final year of school should see her focus on three subjects instead of six, with a lot less personal stress.

A similar ‘college’ system has been operating for two years at Queanbeyan High School. The system offers students more subject choice because Year 12 is run over two years.

“We are keen to offer the best solution for our kids,” Mr Hyder said. “This gives them a broader range and more scope of subjects too.”



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