Overview

Our proven approach to academic success features:

  • small average class sizes (eg our current class sizes average 15.5 students in Year 11 and 12.5 students in Year 12)

  • a stable, highly motivated team of enthusiastic, professional teachers

  • a huge range of subject choices, including 34 different Year 12 subjects and a number through external study, thus allowing students to capitalise on their individual strengths, maximising their results and strengthening their confidence and self-esteem

  • a purpose-built Year 12 Centre guided by our specialist Head of Senior Students

  • excellent facilities, including well designed, purpose-built classrooms

  • a strong culture of respecting and celebrating achievement in its many forms (“It’s cool to achieve”)

  • a balanced approach to life in Year 12 (i.e. we actively encourage students to balance their Year 12 studies with complementary cocurricular activities)

  • a commitment to flexibility in our timetabling to cater to our senior students’ preferred programs (no matter how individual)

  • a continued focus on holistic (‘whole person’) development throughout each student’s senior schooling, to nurture positive self-esteem, confidence, leadership skills, integrity, character and resilience.

Academic Program

The Westminster Senior School curriculum helps students to develop a diversity of skills and attributes that they will require to become independent learners. By establishing partnerships between the School, students and parents and by focusing on academic and personal competencies, we hope to assist our students to take their place in a contemporary society.

Our curriculum incorporates a comprehensive range of subjects and counselling services designed to help students identify and successfully pursue their career goals. It is continually monitored and refined to allow for new initiatives and to realise the strengths and reflect the passions of our teaching staff. In Year 8 we aim to allow students to experience as many learning areas as possible. As they progress they are able to explore different pathways and gradually specialise in the subjects of their choice. The Year 12 curriculum is essentially a combination of elective choices.

In Years 8 and 9 the curriculum is largely based on the learning areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Studies of Society and the Environment (Geography and History), Languages other than English (Japanese, Chinese and German), Health and Physical Education, Religious and Values Education, and Information Technology. Students also experience exposure to the Visual and Performing Arts, Food and Hospitality, and Design and Technology Studies. In Year 10 the core curriculum is narrowed and gives way to greater elective choice. This provides students with a foundation of experience, knowledge, understanding and skills, enabling them to make informed choices of courses for Years 11 and 12.

A comprehensive careers program is available to help students pursue their future career. Offered to those in Years 10, 11 and 12, it features guest speakers, films, visits to workplaces, mock job interviews and work experience.

For Years 11 and 12, the curriculum offers a broad range of Stage 1 and 2 courses working towards the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).

Evidence of the high academic standard of the Westminster Senior School program can be seen in the significant number of Year 12 students excelling in their results each year.

Curriculum in Years 8 to 10

Subjects in Years 8 to 10 help develop fundamental skills that students need to understand to successfully interact with the world around them. Mathematics classes are taught in groups of students of similar ability while the other core subjects are taught in form groups of mixed ability. In Years 8 and 9, provision is made through our Student Resource and Extension Centre (STRETCH) to support students who require additional help in English and Mathematics or in the management of their work. In Years 9 and 10 there are alternative Mathematics streams (Applied Mathematics). The elective subjects currently offered in Years 9 and 10 are Japanese, German, Chinese, Music, Drama, Dance, Home Economics, Information Technology, Technology Studies, Art, Design and Agricultural Studies. As from 2012, Maths, English, Science, and History will follow the requirements of the Australian Curriculum. Other subjects will follow as the Australian Government phases them in.

Curriculum in Year 11

At Year 11, as part of the SACE requirements, the only compulsory subjects for all students are Australian Studies, English, Mathematics, and Religious and Values Education. Students also are involved in an extensive course of Career Education and Work Experience. All other subjects are taken on an elective basis. Students can choose from a wide range of options, which best suit their interests and possible career paths.

Curriculum in Year 12

The School believes that a student with appropriate results who wishes to attempt Year 12 should be permitted to do so. Careful counselling will be given to all students in making their subject choices for both Year 11 and Year 12 to ensure that the courses chosen best suit the needs and abilities of the students. There are no compulsory courses in Year 12 other than Careers and Religious and Values Education. Students are assessed according to the criteria developed in conjunction with the Board of the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).