About our High School
Subject Choices and Curriculum
Our School follows the Syllabus documents as set out by the NSW Education Standards Authority. Year 9 to Year 12 students have mandatory and elective subjects. Places in specific courses are dependent upon demand, government policy changes and the viability of each course.
Each year our students are given a Subject Assessment Guide that is an overview of expectations with assessments and their approximate due dates.
Some of the features of our High School classes are:
- Fully-equipped Science Labs catering for senior courses such as Physics, Chemistry and Engineering Studies
- A dynamic range of English texts including classic literature, modern favourites, films, multimedia texts and podcasts
- Multimedia facilities including free use of iMacs, Macbooks, Adobe Creative Suite, and professional grade video cameras, DSLR cameras, GoPros, podcasting microphones and recording desk
- Design and Technology facility with a full range of woodworking equipment, welding, automotive, 3D printer and construction materials
- Drama resources including a puppetry stage, Commedia dell’arte masks, costume room, and access to professional lighting and sound design equipment
- A Music room with a recording desk and instruments such as acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, drum kits, and ukuleles
- Our compulsory Language course in Year 7 is AUSLAN, allowing students to learn a practical skill and immerse themselves in another culture and way of communicating
Homework and Assessments
Homework is left to the discretion of the teacher, with an understanding that there should be an awareness of not allowing homework to adversely affect the parent/child relationship. Each subject teacher will give homework assessments as applicable and necessary. As much as possible no more than a maximum of three assessable items a week are assigned to Years 7 to 10 and two for Years 11 and 12.
Our annual PCS Expo is held in Week 7, Term 1. The Expo is a wonderful opportunity for prospective parents and students to come and have a look at our school in action. The night features interactive displays and stalls for each key learning area, run by the students themselves! There is no better way to find out what our school is like than to come along and talk to the students and see the calibre of work they are capable of.
Our Year 11 and 12 students complete their HSC by undertaking Compressed Curriculum. This means that Year 11 and 12 students are combined into classes and complete the entirety of the Year 11 and Year 12 component of three HSC courses per year. Students complete half their HSC when they are in Year 11 and finish the second half in Year 12.
This structure allows for a wider range of subjects, a more productive learning environment, friendly competition between Year 11 and Year 12, and less stress for students.
There are a large number of Vocational Education courses available for students to complete from Year 9-12 through TAFE. These courses generally qualify for HSC credit plus accreditation in the field being studied. Courses studied by PCS students include Animal Studies, Early Childhood, Automotive, Business Services, IT Networking, and Fashion Design. TVET courses do incur additional fees.
School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) become available in the Parkes and Forbes community at various times. These programs allow students to complete paid work one day per week while studying for a TAFE qualification which also contributes credit to the HSC. Organisations such as Parkes and Forbes Shire Councils, the RMS, and Northparkes Mines advertise SBATs when they are available.
Early Entry to University
PCS has a very successful program for gaining early entry into university. Each university is part of an early entry program, and our staff work closely with every student who wishes to go to university to develop their applications.
As a small school, our students have many opportunities to get involved in all aspects of school life – something that really helps with university applications. As such, we have maintained a 100% record of gaining early entry to university for all students who have applied since we started offering the HSC in 2015.
A Practical Approach
Our High School students are encouraged to take a practical approach to learning at all times. We like our students to explore different ways of thinking and encourage problem solving and creativity. Many subjects involve major projects that are presented in public forums such as the Science Fair, or Technology Expo.
By placing our subjects within the “real world” we are preparing our students for life after school, and ensuring they are ready to meet the challenges they will face.
When High School students reach Year 10, they select one of the staff members to act as their mentor through the senior years. Mentors are able to chat to the students about organising themselves to study, help them approach assessments and exams in a positive way, and guide them into their future endeavours.
There has and needs to be an on-going spiritual development of our students and staff. Staff commence each morning with devotions, where each staff member take a turn in sharing something that they feel God has put on their heart to share and to encourage each other, devotions end in prayer ready for the school day.
It is our aim that all of our students receive individual care and attention in Christian love, which allows them to grow in Christian maturity. Staff are also required to be part of a church and to be actively involved in their church. Each day the class teacher or roll call teacher have devotions with their students.
School Captaincy is offered to all Year 12 students. Students who hold to the values of the school are able to nominate to be elected as a School Captain. Nominations are submitted to the Principal for review and a discussion is held with the nominees and Principal. An assembly is held for the nominees to address the school for selection, and then the entire student body and staff vote. Our captains are not set by gender; the two students with the highest number of votes become School Captains, with the next two highest being Vice-Captains.
Our School Captains lead many of our school assemblies or assist in their running, and represent the school in the community such as at Anzac Day commemorations.
Students from Year 7-12 can also nominate for the Student Representative Council (SRC). The SRC is responsible for organising and running events in order to raise money for the school and provides a link between the students and staff.
Students in Year 7-9 cannot serve on the SRC for two consecutive years.
Number of SRC members in each year group:
- Year 7 – 2
- Year 8 – 2
- Year 9 – 2
- Year 10 – 2
- Year 11 – 2
- Year 12 – captains and vice-captains
Each House in the High School also has two House Captains. These positions can be filled from any student from Year 10-12 and can be students who have already been elected as school captains or on the SRC.