Harrisdale Senior High School’s academic programs deliver a strong core instructional program designed to help all students enjoy academic success. Students are also provided expanded learning opportunities designed to enrich and extend their learning.
Our academic curriculum is rigorous and relevant. At Harrisdale Senior High School, we want every student to enjoy academic success. On entry to high school, students are taught essential academic behaviours such as organisational, time management, homework and study skills. We place a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy as pre-requisite skills to academic success. The use of explicit, direct instruction is a key strategy used by our teachers across the curriculum.
Equally, our curriculum emphasises creativity, problem solving and citizenship, and provides opportunities for enrichment and extension across all learning areas.
All schools in Western Australia deliver the Western Australian Curriculum, which is consistent with and contextualised from, the Australian Curriculum.
The Australian Curriculum sets the expectations for what all young Australians should be taught, regardless of where they live in Australia or their background. It has been developed from a commitment by all Australian governments to the goals of the Melbourne Declaration. These goals are that Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence; and that all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.
- develop their capacity to learn and play an active role in their own learning
- have the essential skills in literacy and numeracy, and are creative and productive users of technology, especially ICT, as a foundation for success in all learning areas
- are able to think deeply and logically, and obtain and evaluate evidence in a disciplined way as the result of studying fundamental disciplines
- are creative, innovative and resourceful, and are able to solve problems in ways that draw upon a range of learning areas and disciplines
- are able to plan activities independently, collaborate, work in teams and communicate ideas
- are able to make sense of their world and think about how things have become the way they are
- are on a pathway towards continued success in further education, training or employment, and acquire the skills to make informed learning and employment decisions throughout their lives
- are motivated to reach their full potential.
Confident and creative individuals:
- have a sense of self-worth, self-awareness and personal identity that enables them to manage their emotional, mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing
- have a sense of optimism about their lives and the future–are enterprising, show initiative and use their creative abilities
- develop personal values and attributes such as honesty, resilience, empathy and respect for others
- have the knowledge, skills, understandings and values to establish and maintain healthy, satisfying lives
- have the confidence and capability to pursue university or post-secondary vocational qualifications leading to rewarding and productive employment
- relate well to others and form and maintain healthy relationships
- are well prepared for their potential life roles as family, community and workforce members
- embrace opportunities, make rational and informed decisions about their own lives and accept responsibility for their own actions.
Active and informed citizens:
- act with moral and ethical integrity
- appreciate Australia’s social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and have an understanding of Australia’s system of government, history and culture
- understand and acknowledge the value of Indigenous cultures, and possess the knowledge, skills and understandings to contribute to, and benefit from, reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
- are committed to national values of democracy, equity and justice, and participate in Australia’s civic life
- are able to relate to and communicate across cultures, especially the cultures and countries of Asia
- work for the common good, in particular sustaining and improving natural and social environments
- are responsible global and local citizens.
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, December 2008, pp. 8–9.
Curriculum and program development recognises that each student is developing and achieving in different ways, at different stages and at different rates.
Years 7 and 8 (Early Adolescence)
In Years 7 and 8 at Harrisdale Senior High School, all students study a broad curriculum to enable their individual abilities, interests and talents to emerge and develop. In Years 9 and 10, they will specialize increasingly, selecting pathways with a greater emphasis on the arts and technology, or engineering and technology.
The following information about the Western Australian Curriculum in Years 7 and 8 is taken from the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority webpage:
In early adolescence, students often align strongly with their peer groups and may begin to question established conventions, practices and values. Their interests extend well beyond their own communities and they begin to develop concerns about wider issues. Students’ interest in the natural, social, cultural and technological world is often related to the impact on them personally and can help them in their current and future lives. They also begin to develop an interest in particular fields of knowledge or endeavour for the personal satisfaction these fields provide.
Students’ growing independence and peer-group orientation should be built upon by providing opportunities for them to participate in important forms of decision making within the classroom and school and to work with others. Through such experiences students assume increased responsibilities, develop decision-making skills, explore values and further refine their social and collaborative work skills.
Students continue their exploration of the physical, social and technological world and gain familiarity and confidence with the methods, conceptual frameworks and languages of particular disciplines. Their induction to specific areas of learning builds on their earlier work in investigating patterns, processes and phenomena, and exploring forms of representation and technology. They understand that particular ways of working and thinking have developed over time for particular reasons but may still be subject to debate, revision and change.
Learning and teaching programs should assist students to develop a broader and more comprehensive understanding of the contexts of their lives and the world in which they live. They should, for example, lead to an increased understanding of the complexity of the natural environment, society and technology; an awareness of the potential and problems of increased knowledge and technology; and an understanding of the relationship between knowledge, technology and values. They should encourage an open and questioning view of them with students exploring other ways of thinking and world views and seeing themselves as active participants in their own continuing development and that of their society and the world.
There is increasing emphasis in Years 9-10 on creating opportunities for students to choose learning pathways that build individual needs and interest in secondary schooling.