Involvement, empowerment, discovery and independence are key themes in a Cornish College secondary education.

The first three years of secondary school are an exciting time of discovery and exploration, in which our students build on the experiences and learning of their primary years. Students like to be challenged by their learning environment and are inspired by the world in which they live.

We have worked consistently at Cornish College to meet these challenges and develop approaches that are attuned to the characteristics and needs of young adolescents. We adopt the following strategies:

  • Student involvement in classroom decision-making about curriculum including the ways learning is organised, monitored and assessed
  • Learning that connects with and is relevant to students’ personal and social concerns and their out-of-school experience and culture
  • Active learning experiences
  • Engagement in complex, higher-order and critical thinking to develop deep rather than surface learning, and cooperative as well as independent learning

Year 7

In Year 7, all students are engaged in a common core curriculum that provides a strong foundation for future studies, hence it can be known as the foundation sequence. Discipline-based learning is still at the heart of our inquiries; all students have classes in English, Humanities, Mathematics and Science and the integration of these disciplines means that teachers work with students to make connections in their learning. Inquiry learning allows students to apply their knowledge and skills in many ways, thus helping them learn in a meaningful context.

Additionally, all Year 7 students also participate in Physical Education, Personal Sustainability, Religious Education, Music, Drama, Materials Technology and Food Technology and Visual Arts. In a global age, we encourage all students to develop skills in foreign languages. Year 7 students study French or Japanese.

Year 7 students celebrate their first year of inquiry learning at secondary school with an exhibition involving several disciplines.

Years 8 and 9

In Years 8 and 9, the program is made up of three main sections: Core Studies, Super Studies and a specially-designed enrichment program. All three sections of the program are intertwined, with each section providing the students with the opportunity to draw links and further develop the themes and concepts investigated.

Students study English, Humanities, Mathematics, Science, Language, Global Sustainability, and Personal Sustainability/Health, Sport and Physical Education. They also continue their study of Languages with a class in either French or Japanese.

Complementing the core units is the introduction of the Super Studies program, which gives students further access to additional electives.

The Super Studies program is a diverse range of elective offerings in which we meet our vision to provide entrepreneurial education for a sustainable future. These electives are drawn from the disciplines of Design Technology, Economics, Enterprise, Environmental Studies, Food Technology, Information and Communications Technology, Performing Arts (Dance, Drama and Music), STEM, Sustainable Land Management, and Visual Arts. Over the space of two years, students have the opportunity to complete sixteen, term-long units of Super Studies.

Each elective is timetabled for a half-day (morning and afternoon) one day per week. These extended sessions provide time for students to plan and develop authentic and rich projects without interruption. The Super Studies program provides foundation skills and understanding for subsequent studies at senior years, as well as promoting engagement and developing individual talents.

Year 8 students celebrate their inquiry with the ‘Night of Decades’, an exhibition involving all disciplines.

The globally-focused enrichment program Make a Difference Experience comprising a cultural immersion trip to South East Asia, is the culmination of Year 9. This journey invites our students to authentically explore our guiding principles that ‘a meaningful cultural exchange is reciprocal and involves both learning from others and sharing what you have to offer from others,’ and that ‘a sustainable world depends on knowledgeable, active citizens making a difference’.

Find out more about our Years 7, 8 and 9 curriculum.