General Studies Curriculum

Teaching and learning is structured to meet the requirements of the New South Wales Board of Studies for the School Certificate and the Higher School Certificate. Studies for the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate form Stages 4, 5 and 6 of the continuum of study from K -12 ie. Stages 1-6. The College endeavours to provide as broad a range of subjects as possible to meet the needs and interests of the students.

Students wishing to pursue studies in subjects not offered directly by KTC may do so through the Distance Education system.

Sydney Distance Education High School: http://www.ssdec.nsw.edu.au (02) 9383 0200

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YEARS 7 - 10  

Years 7 and 8 form Stage 4 and Years 9 and 10 form Stage 5 of the continuum of curriculum. In Year 9 and 10 the students may choose to study the Stage 5 elective courses of Visual Arts, Design & Technology, Food Technology or Music.

in 2014, KTC like other schools in NSW is implementing new Curricula for students in Year 7 and Year 9 in line with the new NSW Curricula written to represent the new National Curriculum. Year 8 and Year 10 will begin new curricula in 2015.

All students study the following subjects.

(Extracts taken from the Board of Studies syllabus documents give a brief introduction to each of the subjects.)


English
Language shapes our understanding of ourselves and our world and is the primary means by which we relate to others. In Years 7 to 10, English is the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written and visual texts of varying complexity through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected.

Developing proficiency in English enables students to take their place as confident communicators, critical and imaginative thinkers, lifelong learners and active participants in society. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become active, independent learners, to work with each other and to reflect on their learning.

Students learn English through explicit teaching of language and through their immersion in a diverse range of purposeful and increasingly demanding language experiences.

Through responding to and composing texts, students learn about the power, value and art of the English language for communication, knowledge and pleasure. They engage with and explore texts that include the literature of past and contemporary societies. By composing and responding with imagination, feeling, logic and conviction, students develop understanding of themselves and of human experience and culture. They develop clear and precise skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing, viewing and representing as well as knowledge and understanding of language forms and features and structures of texts.

Mathematics
Mathematics is a reasoning and creative activity employing abstraction and generalisation to identify, describe and apply patterns and relationships. The symbolic nature of mathematics provides a powerful, precise and concise meaning of communication. Mathematics incorporates the processes of questioning, reflecting, reasoning and proof. It is a powerful tool for solving familiar and unfamiliar problems both within and beyond mathematics. As such, it is integral to scientific and technological advances in many fields of endeavour. In addition to its practical applications, the study of mathematics is a valuable pursuit in its own right, providing opportunities for originality, challenge and leisure.

The study of mathematics provides opportunities for students to learn to describe and apply patterns and relationships; reason, predict and solve problems; calculate accurately both mentally and in written form; estimate and measure and interpret and communicate information presented in numerical, geometrical, graphical, statistical and algebraic forms.

To participate fully in society students need to develop the capacity to critically evaluate ideas and arguments that involve mathematical concepts or that are presented in mathematical form.

Science
The study of science has led to an evolving body of knowledge organised as an interrelated set of models, theories, laws, systems, structures and interactions.Through the study of science, students investigate phenomena that occur over a range of scales, from the subatomic to the microscopic and macroscopic.The study of science provides opportunities for students to develop the skills of working scientifically by engaging them in thinking critically and creatively in problem-solving processes.

Students work individually and in teams in planning and conducting investigations. They are encouraged to critically analyse data and information, evaluate issues and problems, develop questions for inquiry and investigation and draw evidence-based conclusions.By engaging students in a range of learning experiences they are led to a more scientific understanding of their world and the way that scientists work.

History
History is a process of inquiry into questions of human affairs in their time and place. Through an investigation of history, students learn about the differences in human experience, allowing them to compare their lives with those of people of other times, places and circumstances and in turn to learn to know themselves.

History provides a frame of reference that students use to think critically and to develop informed opinions about contemporary national and international issues.

Stage 4 includes a study of colonisation and its impact on indigenous peoples in Australia and other parts of the world. This provides the context for study of Australian history in Stage 5, which focuses on major events and issues that have shaped the story of Australia throughout the twentieth century. This study of world and Australian history will provide a foundation for students to question and respond to issues affecting their worlds and to gain an understanding on concepts essential for informed citizenship.

Geography
Geography is a rich and complex discipline with two key dimensions: the spatial dimension, which focuses on where things are and why they are there and the ecological dimension, which considers how humans interact with environments. The study of geography enables students to make generalisations to explain patterns, evaluate consequences and solve problems associated with the human use of physical, social, cultural and built environments.
Hebrew
At Kesser Torah College all students study Hebrew from Year K to Year 10 and most will continue the study to the HSC. Students have the opportunity to study both Modern Hebrew and Classical Hebrew.

Modern Hebrew enables students to converse and understand the Hebrew language which is spoken today. It provides a basis for understanding the culture, literature and development of modern Israel. It is an important part of secondary education both for students’ cultural and cognitive development and for the vocational opportunities it offers.

Classical Hebrew assists students when studying Tanach and other Torah texts at a tertiary level.

Visual Arts
Visual Arts has a significant role within the curriculum through providing learning opportunities designed to encourage students to understand the visual arts, including the different kinds of creative works they and others make.

The subject of Visual Arts places great value on the development of students’ intellectual and practical autonomy, reflective action, critical judgment and understanding of art in artmaking and in critical and historical studies of art.

Visual Arts fosters interest and/or enjoyment in the making and studying of art. Visual Arts builds understanding of the role of art, in all forms of media, in contemporary and historical cultures and visual worlds. Visual Arts empowers students to engage in visual forms of communication. The subject of Visual Arts serves to facilitate an interpretation and organisation of such information.

Students complete the mandatory hours in Years 9 and 10. In the Girls’ High School students may choose to study the additional elective course in Visual Arts in Years 9/10.

Music
As an art form, music pervades society and occupies a significant place in the world cultures and in the oral and recorded history of all civilisations. The study of music combines the development of affective, cognitive and psychomotor domains in the act of making music.

Students will develop knowledge and skills in each of the individual areas of performing, composing and listening. The students complete the mandatory hours in Years 7 and 8.

Technology
The rapid rate of technological change in an increasingly knowledge-based society highlights the need for flexible technological capability, innovative thinking and effective communication skills.

Students identify needs that have personal relevance, apply design theory and use design processes that encourage flexibility, resourcefulness and imagination in the development, communication and production of quality solutions.

They will experience a core of design processes and technological experiences. Students complete the mandatory hours in Years 7 and 8.

Commerce
This subject involves the study of commercial relationships such as the production, distribution and exchange of goods and services to satisfy individual and community wants. The interactions of individuals, groups, organisations and governments within the commercial environment and how they meet the wants of Australian society are investigated.

A study of Commerce guides students towards an understanding of Australia’s changing commercial environment and enhance their personal competence to participate responsibly in that environment. In the Girls’ High School students have the opportunity to study Commerce in Years 9 and 10.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education PDHPE
PDHPE contributes significantly to the cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of students. It provides opportunities for students to learn about and practice ways of adopting and maintaining a healthy, productive and active life. It also involves students learning through movement experiences that are both challenging and enjoyable and improving their capacity to move with skill and confidence in a variety of contexts. This subject also promotes the value of physical activity in their lives.

At Kesser Torah College the Personal Development and Health outcomes are met through the Jewish Studies Dinim Curriculum. The Physical Education outcomes are met through a program of sport, games and PE classes.


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YEARS 11 - 12  

Students in Year 11 and Year 12 study subjects at the Stage 6 level leading up to completion of their Higher School Certificate (HSC) awarded by the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES). Students complete the State Examinations at the conclusion of their Year 12 studies and also can qualify for an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) for entry into Universities and Colleges after School. Subjects offered may vary from year depending on student ability and demand.

For further information on the Higher School Certificate visit http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au


English Subjects
All students must study either English (Standard), English (Advanced) or English as a Second Language for the HSC. Extension and support courses are also available.

English Standard is designed for students to increase their expertise in English in order to enhance their personal, social and vocational lives. The students learn to respond to and compose a wide variety of texts in a range of situations in order to be effective, creative and confident communicators.

English Advanced is designed for students to undertake the challenge of higher order thinking to enhance their personal, social and vocational lives. These students apply critical and creative skills in their composition of and response to texts in order to develop their academic achievement through understanding the nature and function of complex texts.

English as a Second Language (ESL) is designed for students from diverse non-English speaking backgrounds as designated by the course entry requirements. The students engage in a variety of language learning experiences to develop and consolidate their use, understanding and appreciation of English, so as to enhance their personal, social and vocational lives.

English Extension 1 (3U) is designed for students undertaking English Advanced who choose to study at a more intensive level in diverse but specific areas. They enjoy engaging with complex levels of conceptualisation and seek the opportunity to work in increasingly independent ways.

English Extension 2 (4U) In the HSC English Extension Course 2 students develop a sustained composition and document and reflect on this process through the completion of a Major Work. This entails students working independently to plan and complete a Major Work in the form of an extended composition. It allows students to select an area of personal interest from their specialised study of English and develop their work in this area to a level of distinction.

Mathematics Subjects
General Mathematics This course supports the other Stage 6 mathematics course in catering for the wide variation in mathematical competence at the conclusion of Year 10 and provides opportunities for continuing mathematical growth.

The purpose of General Mathematics is to provide an appropriate mathematical background for students who wish to enter occupations which require the use of basic mathematical and statistical techniques. The direction taken by the course in focusing on mathematical skills and techniques that have direct application to everyday activity, contrasts with the more abstract approach taken by the other Stage 6 mathematics course.

The course provides a strong foundation for vocational pathways, either in the workforce or in further vocational training studies and for university course in the areas of business, the humanities, nursing and paramedical sciences.

Mathematics 2 Unit has content and depth that is intended for students who have completed the School Certificate mathematics course and demonstrated general competence in all skills included in that course. The 2 Unit course is intended to give these students understanding of and competence in some further aspects of mathematics which are applicable to the real world. The course has general educational merit and is also useful for concurrent studies in science and commerce.

Mathematics Extension 1 (3U) includes the whole of the 2 Unit course and its depth of treatment is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of the skills included in the School Certificate mathematics course and who are interested in the study of further skills and ideas in mathematics. It is a recommended minimum basis for further studies in mathematics as a major discipline at a tertiary level and for the study of mathematics in support of the physical and engineering sciences.

Mathematics Extension 2 (4U) offers a suitable preparation for study of the subject at tertiary level, as well as a deeper and more extensive treatment of certain topics than is offered in other Mathematics courses. This syllabus is designed for students with a special interest in mathematics who have shown that they possess special aptitude for the subject. It represents a distinctly high level in school mathematics involving the development of considerable manipulative skill and a high degree of understanding of the fundamental ideas of algebra and calculus.

Science Subjects
Biology provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of the concepts explaining the functioning, origins and evolution of living things. Biology explores the levels of organisation of life, from the molecular level through cellular to higher levels of organisational structure and function, which exhibit evolution as a common source of unity and diversity. It includes developing an understanding of the interactions within and between organisms and between organisms and their environment.

Chemistry provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of matter and its interactions. It focuses on investigating the physical and chemical properties of substances, chemical reactions and processes and the interaction of energy and matter and attempts to explain and predict events at the atomic and molecular level.The study of chemistry recognises that a study of the nature of materials includes natural and made substances, their structures, changes and environmental importance.

Physics provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of energy, matter and their interrelationships. It focuses on investigating natural phenomena and then applying patterns, models (including mathematical ones), principles, theories and laws to explain the physical behaviour of the universe. It uses an understanding of simple systems (single particles and pairs of particles) to make predictions about a range of objects from sub-atomic particles to the entire universe and aims to reveal the simplicity underlying complexity.

HSIE Subjects
Modern History has a distinctive role in the school curriculum as it challenges students to consider the great social, technological, economic, political and moral transformations from the late eighteenth century to the present. It requires students to analyse the causes, progress and effects of these transformations and finally to make judgments about them. Modern History is especially relevant to the lives of students as the events and issues that form its content are in many cases still current.

History Extension The purpose of HSC History Extension is to enable students to build on the outcomes of the Stage 6 Ancient History and Modern History courses in relation to historiography and historical enquiry and communication. The course further develops students understanding of how historians work.

The course is aimed at using specific historical investigations to reflect on the nature of history and how and why approaches and interpretations change over time. Students review the kinds of history that have been written and the context in which history is constructed over time in order to reflect on some of the problems associated with the writing of history.Students have the opportunity to build on the skills of historical enquiry and to apply them by designing and conducting their own historical investigation.

Ancient History focuses on familiarising students in greater depth with key aspects of the ancient world, namely of the Near East, Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. The Ancient period covers from the beginning of writing as a form of recording events to the fall of the Roman Empire in 476CE. Students are guided in more advanced and analytical skills in analysis of both written and archaeological sources. Many of the events, personalities and themes of the ancient period still have significant impact on the way our world has developed into the modern era and thus has continuing relevance to the lives of students.

Business Studies is distinctive in that it encompasses the theoretical and practical aspects of business and management in contexts which students will encounter in life. Conceptually, it offers focus areas and perspectives ranging from the planning of a small business to the broader roles of management, finance, employment relations, marketing and the impact of the global business environment.

Legal Studies is designed to foster intellectual, social and moral development by empowering students to think critically on the role of law and legal institutions in society. This is achieved through a review of selected legal rules, institutions and processes at the domestic and international level, a demystification of terminology and a focus on change, effectiveness, dispute resolution and justice.

Hebrew Subjects
Modern Hebrew is an approved Board of Studies course on par with other modern languages. At Kesser Torah it is offered as an elective in Years 11 & 12 depending on enrolment and timetable restraints. It is available to those students who have enjoyed their Modern Hebrew language studies during the previous years and/or who have achieved some proficiency in the subject.

The course is designed to enable students to communicate in Hebrew using their skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The studies are focused on the following three themes; the individual, the Hebrew speaking community and the changing world. These are broad topics which give the teacher a wide scope and make it possible to cater for the interests of the student while at the same time developing their communication skills. A wide range of grammatical functions as outlined in the syllabus is an essential part of the course. Written and oral examinations provide feedback to both students and parents throughout the course. Those students who wish to further their tertiary studies in Israel will greatly benefit from these studies.

Classical Hebrew is a Board of Studies subject taught in Years 11 and 12 as an elective open to students who have achieved at least some proficiency in understanding the Hebrew texts of Tanach and Torah Shel ba’al Peh. It is ideal for those students who enjoy Jewish studies and also those who wish to further their studies at a tertiary level in a seminary/Yeshiva either in Australia or overseas.

In the preliminary course in Year 11, selected chapters from Nevi’im Rishonim and Mishnah Brachos are studied as well as an essential basic course of Hebrew Grammar. In addition to studying these texts for their religious and historical value, the linguistic analysis of the text is emphasised.

In Year 12, the texts studied are selected from Devarim, Shmuel II and Megillas Rus together with commentary from the Living Torah series and Mishnah Megillah together with the Kehati commentary. In addition an Extension Course is offered which covers four chapters from Nevi’im Acharonim (Micah) and a Perek of Gemara (from Arvei Pesachim). Non-prescribed texts from Tehillim are part of the final examination. In both courses the knowledge of Hebrew Grammar is extended.

Classical Hebrew Extension aims to build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in the continuers course in Classical Hebrew. Whereas the study of Classical Hebrew at Continuers level develops a variety of skills and enhances the understanding of culture and language, the Extension course provides the opportunity for a wider exploration of Classical Hebrew literature, with a greater emphasis on the analysis and appreciation of Classical Hebrew text.

Visual Art
Visual Arts Stage 6 is offered as a course for students with a wide range of needs, abilities and interests. The course caters for the full range of students through learning opportunities based on a flexible content structure consisting of practice (artmaking, art criticism and art history), the conceptual framework (artist, artwork, world, audience) and the frames (subjective, cultural, structural and post-modern). These aspects of content can be engaged more broadly and deeply as students develop increasing autonomy in their practical and theoretical understanding, knowledge and skills.

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