Curriculum

Teaching & Learning at Prince Alfred College

Overview

Students at Prince Alfred College study the Australian Curriculum in Years 7-10. The Australian Curriculum is designed to provide a broad education in a range of learning areas, whilst allowing students to specialise in particular aspects of these subjects as their studies progress. The Australian Curriculum outlines the basic framework of academic studies in the College, which is supplemented by a range of additional offerings intended to increase the depth, rigour and richness of academic pursuits for each student.

The College expects students to strive for mastery in each of their subjects; students should seek to become the best scientists, mathematicians, artists and so on, that they can be. Learning is judged according to students’ ability to demonstrate that they are able to understand and apply the substance of a course in an independent and rigorous manner.

Classes in Mathematics, English and Languages are set according to students’ ability and past achievement in the subject; these class sets are reviewed regularly to ensure optimal placement of students. Additional academic extension opportunities are provided to students who wish to broaden their exposure to particular subjects. These opportunities may be informal and classroom-based, or comprise participation in the Student Colloquium and Forum.

Learning Areas

All students undertake studies in all of the following areas from Years 7-9:

Science English
Mathematics Humanities
Technologies Arts
Health & Physical Education Languages

Students in Years 7-9 are required to choose one language to study (French, Italian or Chinese), and two Arts subjects from a choice of Music, Art and Drama.

What do students study?

The content for each learning area is determined by the Australian Curriculum content descriptors, and achievement for the subject is based on the achievement standards specified for each learning area. At Princes this does not necessarily define the limits of content covered in a subject; students may be introduced to additional material, learning experiences and extension activities according to the nature of the subject and the aspirations and capabilities of each student. Students will be expected to develop a strong ‘content repertoire’ for each subject, allowing them to demonstrate subject expertise and the capacity to apply their learning in a range of forms.

How is students’ learning assessed?

Assessment of students’ learning is based on the achievement standards for each subject. Assessment occurs formally twice per year, at the conclusion of Term 2 and 4, and provides an indication of each student’s performance on an A-E scale. This performance is determined through two assessment forms:

          • Standardised examination
          • Termly assessment

The balance of examination and termly assessment is equal (50/50), with some subjects offering an ‘exam’ alternative to reflect the assessment structure in that subject in Years 11-12; as such non-examined (folio-based) subjects in Years 11-12 will see similar forms of assessment in Years 7-10.

Homework

In the Middle School students will be set regular homework, with an appropriate level of challenge and a clear benefit to learning. Students may expect homework to be set for each subject over the course of a week. Frequency and length of set homework will vary between subjects, but it is expected that an appropriate balance will be struck between the type of tasks set – written and learning homework, routine exercises and creative assignments, as well as the total amount of time that students are expected to spend on homework each day.