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In Years 7 and 8, students study courses mandated by the NSW Education Standards Authority.
Students in Years 9 and 10 study a NSW Education Standards Authority program which includes:
The compulsory subjects:
And 3 electives chosen from:
In addition to the NESA subjects offered, Years 9 and 10 students are also offered the opportunity to study Cambridge Assessment International Education courses which are used to supplement learning.
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) elective courses include:
PLC Sydney offers the option of Cambridge International courses in Years 9 and 10 to supplement learning, in addition to the NSW Education Standards Authority courses. It also enables students to sit examinations in globally recognised courses.
Cambridge elective courses offered at PLC Sydney include:
Students start their Cambridge studies in Year 9, with exams for most courses taking place near the end of Year 10.
PLC Sydney also offers an additional course in Philosophy and Theology. The course is run in conjunction with Excelsia College Sydney and Regent College Canada. The course's main objective is to help our students 'make sense' of the world they live in.
In Years 11 and 12 students are prepared for the NSW Higher School Certificate. The HSC is the traditional pre-tertiary qualification for entry into university for students across Australia.
There is a broad range of courses are offered through the HSC with NESA requiring students to study a minimum of 12 units of Year 11 (Preliminary Year) and 10 units in Year 12 (HSC Year).
The English offered at PLC Sydney is either English Advanced, Standard or Extension courses. English as a Second Language is also available for students whose first language is not English.
Other courses available are:
NB By 2024, PLC Sydney will introduce Cambridge ‘AS’ level studies to students in Year 11 and 'A' level courses in 2025 (i.e. Year 12). These will be offered alongside the HSC.
We also run 3 one unit courses in Year 11 only. They are:
Year 11 students are also able to complete the Cambridge 'A' level General Studies examinations.
In Year 12 we also offer Extension subjects in:
Higher education is changing rapidly. The increased demand for higher education means that there is more competition than ever before on all sides of the school-university-student ledger. The potential pathways and career options available to students are very different to those of even ten years ago. However with more students comes more competition for the most attractive courses and universities.
The traditional method for entering an Australian University in NSW has been to achieve a HSC mark.
Until recently most Australian tertiary institutions used the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) as the means by which to select students into their courses. The ATAR is calculated based on students’ HSC results. However over the last few years, tertiary institutions are now choosing to look more broadly than just a ranking score when selecting students for places at their institutions.
Increasingly, Australian Universities are now moving towards a model, similar to systems that are operating overseas where tertiary institutions want more:
Macquarie University, for example, provided places for 85% of its students in 2017 outside of the direct ATAR-based system. They have early entry programs that rely on school based estimates of academic work, and a portfolio.
Programs such as CAP (Australian Catholic University’s Community Achiever Program) which recognises a student’s participation in her community and Macquarie University’s Leaders and Achievers Program which recognises a student’s leadership and co-curricular participation as well as Year 11 academic results, have provided reassurance and reduce pressure on students as they prepare for the HSC exams.
In 2020, 30% of PLC Sydney Year 12 students went into their HSC exams having already received offers into the university courses of their choice.
What is the PLC Sydney Portfolio?
The PLC Sydney Portfolio plays an important part in this new world order.
As you all know PLC Sydney provides a comprehensive education, catering for student’s individual strengths and interests. Students are encouraged to nurture and pursue their individual talents. We offer a rich academic program supported by a very strong cultural, sporting and co-curricular framework, having one of the most extensive ranges of co-curricular activities available with more than 50 co-curricular activities offered in Senior School.
Key elements of the portfolio include:
Marks from assessments • Marks for exams • External extension and enrichment reports • NAPLAN • Teacher comment • Box and whiskers • Median • A-E grade • Top twenty percent placings • Transferable skills • Learning Virtues • Graph of progress for each subject • Pastoral comments • Aptitudes • Attitudes
The PLC Sydney Portfolio is a way of recognising each student’s strengths and interests and supporting our student’s early entry into the tertiary institution and course of their choice.
PLC Sydney is renowned for its dedicated special education program that helps develop the academic, independent living and social skills of Year 7 to 12 girls with mild or moderate intellectual disabilities.