HSC Pathways program

"Pathways" is our Higher School Certificate program. It provides a sustainable alternative to the typical HSC program, in which all subjects are examined together in one high-stress period at the end of year 12.

Pathways is a compressed model in which year 11 and 12 students study together, and each subject is taught intensively for one year, with students sitting exams at the end of each year.  This pattern of study and assessment is similar to that used at universities.

Each year's course begins at the start of term 4, thus allowing a full year before the examinations in October.

It is also possible to study part time over longer that two years, and to enrol in single subjects.

The academic and social environment at Korowal is conducive to supportive, serious study in a senior college atmosphere. Each student has a mentor relationship with one staff member. Our teachers are inspiring, experienced, and committed to maximising the potential of every HSC student. Student-teacher relationships are mature and mutually respectful.

Our HSC outcomes are excellent. Korowal is consistently ranked highly in league tables. However, these rankings are a very limited measure of success. We are far more proud of students’ achievements in establishing and surpassing their own goals. Our primary aim is for students to complete their schooling with a positive, resilient, creative, compassionate approach to life and learning.

For a snapshot of the post-school careers of our ex-students, go to Community - Alumni - Alumni News.

The Pathways program: details and subjects

“Pathways” is the name given to our Higher School Certificate program.

H.S.C. subjects are usually taught over two years, involving 120 hours of instruction in each of two years. At Korowal, however, we teach an H.S.C. course compressed into a single year. This means that students experience 240 hours of instruction in a subject in a single year. For a full time student, half of the H.S.C. subjects are studied in year 11, and exams in those subjects are undertaken at the end of year 11. The other half is studied in Year 12. It is also possible to study part time over a longer period.

The advantages of the Pathways approach are that:

  • The H.S.C. is completed in two manageable sections, avoiding the stress of sitting for all exams at the end of year 12.
  • Assessment is more continuous, as it is for university students.
  • Serious H.S.C. study commences at the start of year 11.
  • The approach is in keeping with Korowal's curriculum principles throughout the school, which focus on intensive study.
  • In a small school, it allows us to offer an increased range of subjects.
  • It allows for part time study. It is possible to study a single subject.

Subjects offered at Korowal for the H.S.C. are:

  • Mathematics: General, 2 unit, and Extension 1
  • English: standard, ESL, Advanced, and Extensions 1 and 2
  • Society and culture
  • Studies of religion
  • Visual arts
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Drama
  • History: 2 unit and Extension 1
  • Ancient History/Modern History
  • Information processes and technology

Also available to students are Distance Education Courses, eg. Legal studies, and Open High School Courses, e.g. Japanese, French, Spanish, as well as VET courses at TAFE.

Senior students at Korowal have unlimited access to the Library and Learning Resources Centre and have their own study space. Korowal students refer to teachers by their first names, and do not wear uniform. In all of these ways, Korowal provides an environment which is appropriate for senior study.

Each Pathways student has a mentor relationship with one particular member of staff, who oversees and helps with their H.S.C. study, as well as their social development.

HSC science class
HSC students
Cabaret 2009
Senior art student

Click images to enlarge