Students are encouraged to write and respond in a variety of critical and creative ways, and to develop an understanding of how different textual forms shape readers and responders. Whether it is engaging with the works of Shakespeare or watching a news bulletin, students are encouraged to question how they are being positioned and to understand how texts are constructed.
The information revolution has also forced twenty-first century tech-savvy students to become more discerning in their viewing, reading and listening. The ability to engage with the world critically and make responsible judgements and choices in the face of the abundance of visual, written and multi-modal is critical to their futures as citizens.
Students have an opportunity to participate in a range of mathematical competitions and there are the prospects of extension and acceleration for our talented mathematicians. In the senior years we offer all levels of Mathematics including Extension 1 and Extension 2 Mathematics.
Successful Mathematics graduates have gone onto courses such as Finance, Engineering and Computer Science.
The College offers the New Australian Science Curriculum from K-10, and the subjects of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Senior Science are offered at Higher School Certificate level.
The Science department is underpinned by the values of curiosity, collaboration and academic rigour. It helps students to develop a deep appreciation of the role of Science in society and its role in technology. Whether it is looking through a microscope in a biological inquiry, mixing chemicals, or calculating velocity, the department seeks to instil a love of scientific inquiry in its students.
Students of Science have an opportunity to participate in a variety of excursions to collect data and observe the natural world, and to compete in various Science competitions.
The ability to appreciate how the past has shaped the present, and how contemporary events, forces and ideas impact on decisions at a local, national and global level assists students to develop their citizenship skills. Whether it is in the fields of business or law, understanding changes in the physical world, or trying to make sense of the recent past and political developments, it is important that students have a strong academic background in these areas to effectively influence the conversations that impact on their society.
With a focus on deep learning of key concepts that can be applied to case studies and real world problems, Cedars offer a range of HSIE subjects including:
- Business Studies
- Legal Studies
The exploration of a range of Australian health issues that impact on young people include making positive choices around sexual health, drug use, physical activity and mental health. PDHPE encourages young people to adopt lifestyle behaviours based on their knowledge and understanding of the importance of nutrition, life long physical activity and building and maintaining supportive relationships.
The subject helps students build confidence in their physical skills so that they can perform a range of exercises and movements of increasing complexity. The PDHPE department encourages teamwork, sportsmanship and champions healthy relationships.
Whether it is researching the media representation of sportswomen in Australia, producing resources to encourage education around positive mental health behaviours, or training for a sporting team, PDHPE is vital in the promotion of positive lifestyles.
The study of Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) helps students grow in confidence as they explore their social worlds and personal values through music, visual art and drama. The CAPA department is equipped with a dedicated Performance Space.
Music students learn a variety of skills for solo or ensemble work and are provided with many opportunities to perform at school functions and performance evenings. With a focus on musical theory and performance, the program runs from the early years in Junior School right through to Higher School Certificate level. In addition to curriculum based activities, there is a thriving peripatetic program.
The Drama course helps students to develop a range of skills in both performance and production including set design, lighting, sound and stage management, while Visual Arts students work with a variety of materials in a range of genres including drawing, painting and sculpture.
CAPA students develop a range of critical thinking and communication skills, as well as the practical aesthetic skills required to express ideas and emotions through the performing arts medium.
Some examples include:
- Kindergarten and Year 1 students commence with the early stages of computer coding.
- Year 2 to 6 students have been busy and engaged learning programming and creating games using an online platform called Tynker.
- Year 7 to 10 have embarked on a program that has become known as iAcademy. This program has ranged from assessing different types of energy, coding using Python language, delving into the world of virtual reality, engaging with entrepreneurial understandings, and creating projects based on topics that interest each student. In Year 10 students have written blogs and books, built websites and apps through to building prototypes to solve particular problems.
iAcademy is a program which enables students to develop their passions, research issues and develop solutions to address them in positive and entrepreneurial ways. One of the initiatives that is distinctive in the iAcademy program at Cedars is our Careers component which is built into our Year 9 and 10 program. Careers Advisor, Mr Andrew Gear does an amazing job giving advice to students through the program as they discover their passions, pointing them in the right direction for future study and career opportunities.
A recent publication from the Association of Independent Schools NSW stated that when considering the current and future workforce, young Australians will need to be equipped with skills, mind-sets and capabilities to respond and adapt to shifting occupational landscapes, and be able to work across several industries. They will need to be life long learners who are curious, adaptable, autonomous, driven, self-disciplined, confident and have competency across these skill sets:
- Foundational Skills: Literacy, language and numeracy.
- Technical Skills: Skills related to particular disciplines such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and humanities.
- Enterprise Skills: Creativity, problem solving abilities, critical thinking, digital literacy, financial literacy, project management, the ability to work in a team, communication and global citizenship.
- Career Management Skills: It is predicted that young people will need to work up to 17 jobs across 5 industries to adequately support themselves. A linear career trajectory will not be the norm.
The government and industry are urging schools in this area, communicating that the skills listed above are important for our students to develop in order to become successful citizens in their futures beyond school.
The iAcademy Program is not only designed to address these skill areas but to do so in an authentic way that connects the learner to the ever-changing world around them.
It is important that schools take on this advice and work towards training their students to be able to adapt to change, develop new skills quickly and easily and be able to collaborate as part of a team to develop solutions to problems.
This is one of the aims of iAcademy and what we at Cedars are developing in our students. These are not easy skills to learn or teach but the projects the students are pursuing will provide them with the opportunities to develop these needed skill sets.
With a wide range of subjects including Timber, Textiles, Design and Technology, Media and Food Technology, TAS encourages students to develop the practical skills needed to meet various needs in the private and public spheres. Whether it is learning how to safely use a band saw, developing a recipe, or designing a video game, students are exposed to a variety of real world problems for which they are encouraged to provide a solution.
TAS students learn a variety of flexible, creative and collaborative thinking skills as students work with a range of materials and ingredients to produce goods and services that also make them ready for the workforce. TAS classes provide a great opportunity for students to develop new skills in a safe environment.
The College has a thriving Japanese language unit that provides students with the opportunity to learn about another language and its culture. Students begin their study of Japanese in Middle School and can elect to continue their study of language into their senior years up to Higher School Certificate level.
As one of Australia’s most significant trading partners in the region, it is important that students are given the opportunity to engage with an Asian language and culture. The College runs a bi-annual trip to Japan and and our sister school Yokohama Seifu High School visits the College every other year for English immersion. Cedars’ students and their families are invited to host visiting students and enjoy learning about the culture and language first hand through their daily interactions.