The transition from primary to high school is a smooth one for Korowal students. If they have been students in our primary school, they will already have friendships with older students. They will already know many of the high school teachers. Students often begin at Korowal in Year 7 after attending other primary schools and they also settle easily due to the small scale of our school and our dedicated mentoring programme.
High school students do not become lost in the crowd because we have approximately 130 students from Years 7–12. Teachers know each student’s potential and needs, support their academic and social development, and challenge and support them where appropriate.
Students feel part of a community in which their individuality is respected. A school community that is small enough for teachers to encourage and understand every student is the most conducive environment for study, for academic success and for personal and social development.
However, high school is not just a continuation from primary school. Students enjoy the changes and challenges provided by specialist teachers, elective subjects and new friends. Our student numbers are small enough for students to feel that they matter as individuals and are known and understood by their peers, but large enough to provide a rich variety of social interaction and co-curricular activities.
The essential components of our high school are similar to those in our primary school:
strong relationships between teachers, parents/guardians and students
inspired, committed teachers
small class sizes
a stimulating curriculum
an emphasis on quality in all work
We aim to give our students the time and care necessary to develop themselves and their abilities so that they are prepared for an exciting and complex world. By emphasising the social relationships at the core of education, Korowal aims to bring these different needs together, giving students a confident sense of themselves and strengthening their ability to work with and learn from others.
Korowal follows the 7–12 syllabuses developed by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The curriculum includes the Key Learning Areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and its Environment, Languages, Technologies, Creative and Performing Arts, and Personal Development, Health, and Physical Education. Whilst delivering the mandatory requirements of the NESA curriculum, teaching and learning programs at Korowal are designed to be sensitive to the needs of individual children and enhance their cognitive ability, critical thinking, and creativity within an interdisciplinary perspective. Differentiation of the curriculum to meet the individual needs of all students is a distinct feature of learning at Korowal.
We encourage students to take pride in their work and in the sense of personal achievement that arises from it. To this end, we ensure that the school provides quality materials for all academic and creative work and play. Our contextualised curriculum maximises students’ intrinsic interest in learning and supports them to develop personal educational goals.
Stages of Learning
The NSW Secondary Curriculum is organised in three stages of learning:
Stage 4 – Year 7 & 8
Stage 5 – Year 9 & 10
Stage 6 – Year 11 & 12
Stage 4 – Year 7 & 8
In Year 7 & 8, students study the mandatory subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, PDHPE and Technology. They also have the opportunity to study including Drama, Visual Arts, Music, Japanese, and Technology.
Stage 5 – Year 9 & 10
In Year 9 & 10, many of the classes are integrated. English and Elective classes (Drama, Art, Music, Commerce, Languages (Japanese) and Multimedia (ITM), consist of students from across the Stage. Students are welcome to express aspirations to undertake advanced or intermediate English. Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, and PDHPE consist of separate Year 9 & 10 classes.
One afternoon each week is devoted to co-curricular activities. These can vary from semester and include such activities as:
- STEM, design, 3D printing, and robotics
- sustainability and bush regeneration
- tournament games
- knitting and crocheting
- and more.
Students can select a new co-curricular each semester allowing opportunities to make new social connections, learn new skills, and develop their interests and passions.
Outdoor and Physical Education
Our Outdoor Education Program takes students through a graded range of survival and wilderness experiences from Year 7–10. These experiences provide for personal challenges, group bonding and environmental awareness. Students also take part in regular PE classes during which we aim to expose them to a wide range of physical activities, from soccer, yoga, cross-fit, swimming and lifesaving, rock climbing, dragon boat racing and bushwalking.
Each high school stage (Years 7-10 & Years 11-12) has a dedicated school leader who works closely with the Year Mentor to support students academically, socially and emotionally. Stage Advisors also work with our Wellbeing and Inclusive Education teams to ensure that students are seen and supported. It is our commitment that no student "falls through the cracks" and that we have multiple adults to whom students can turn for support and advice.
Each high school class has a class teacher who meets with them for Morning Meeting and will typically teach them one or two subjects. These teachers generally stay with the same class from Year 7 to 10, providing trust and continuity. This is complemented by the input from several other specialist teachers and our Wellbeing and Inclusive Education teams.
The quality of relationships with the class teacher and within the class makes Morning Meeting the ideal forum for implementing the personal development program. Korowal’s program addresses the expansion of the students’ horizons from the secure family environment to their place in the world at large.
In Year 7 the focus is on the individual and clearly relates to the issues children have as they establish themselves in the new context of high school. Friendships, personal health, goal setting and organisation are some of the themes in Year 7.
In Year 8 the focus extends to the class group with an emphasis on co-operation, leadership, conflict resolution and group projects.
Year 9 students are asked to consider themselves as responsible members of the school community and become involved in the organisation of fundraising, sporting, or cultural events.
In Year 10, the wider community is included with work experience, community service and wider moral issues. In addition, we run special age-appropriate workshops in areas such as alcohol, drugs, relationships and sexuality.
The challenges offered by our Outdoor Education Program reflect those identified in the PD course. Year coordinators accompany the class on the annual Outdoor Ed camp which always provides many opportunities for personal development.