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Curriculum

All programs at Cornish College reflect the education insights gained from the Victorian Curriculum, the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Reggio Emilia.

The outcomes generated through the Years 7, 8 and 9 programs reflect the value of students performing at personal best levels in a flexible, well-managed classroom environment. 

Year 7

Through Year 7, students explore a central idea under the umbrella of The Big Question (TBQ): ‘What is our truth?’. The central idea explored through Year 7 is: ‘Examining evidence and uncovering truth is an important strategy for managing change and challenge in our lives’.

This central idea and its associated concepts of change and perspective help students to make meaningful links between learning disciplines. Students consider the various ways that ‘truth’ can be considered from the different perspectives of English, Science, Mathematics, History and Geography. Opportunities are created for focussed inquiries into a range of interests, issues and problems such as:

  • Truth and evidence from a personal perspective.
  • Growing as an adolescent.
  • Seeing myself – personal portraits.
  • Writing and reading autobiographies and biographies (whose truth?).
  • Patterns in spatial mathematics – tessellations and geometry.
  • Patterns in number – equations.
  • Statistical evidence.
  • Evidence in science – designing good experiments; fair testing.
  • Understanding our wetlands – collecting the evidence; finding the truth.
  • Is there a single truth in science?
  • LOTE perspectives of ‘self’ through stories, language and culture.
  • Using primary and secondary sources in history.
  • Indigenous history – What is the truth?
  • Indigenous perspectives in art.
  • Truth and evidence in our local history – looking at Melbourne.
  • Truth and evidence of past civilisations.
  • Wide reading – What are the perspectives of different characters?
  • What is the truth and evidence presented by the writer?
  • Perspective drawing.
  • Approaches and perspectives of different artists.

Year 8

In Year 8, students explore a central idea under the umbrella of: ‘What Lifetime? What Learning?’ (2WL)

The central ideas for Year 8 are:

  • Constructed and natural environments change over time.
  • People and their relationships are constantly changing.
  • Knowing about and understanding the past can help us understand the present and make informed choices for the future.
  • No change happens in isolation. One change leads to another.

Through these central ideas and the concepts of change and contribution, Year 8s explore a range of interests and issues including:

  • Art through history.
  • Major events in the 20th Century.
  • Famous people of the 20th Century.
  • Change points in history.
  • Evolution.
  • Developed and developing countries.
  • History of diseases and immunisation.
  • Big Bang and the development of timelines.
  • Great discoveries in physics – machines and motion.
  • Chemistry of historical processes such as ore refining, plastics, paper.
  • Purifying water through history – distillation to desalination.
  • Music through history.
  • Creative images of the 20th Century.
  • Creative responses to civilisations and cultures.
  • Changes in language and culture through a LOTE perspective.
  • Using number to represent large and small values – scientific notation and index laws.
  • Mathematics as a language of change, data, graphs, equations and ratios.
  • Icons of change – building clocks and windmills.
  • Bread making – an ancient technology incorporated through Home Economics
  • Summative task – Night of Decades presentation. Year 8 students consider particular decades of significant change through a lens of sustainability, culminating in a Night of Decades celebration.

Year 9

Year 9 is seen as a two-year sequence with Year 10. The curriculum is inquiry and concept driven where students are encouraged to make connections across all disciplines in a holistic approach. It is through guided inquiry, questioning current practices, considering perspectives and exploring the meaning of world citizenship, with its rights and responsibilities, that we can make a difference in Year 9.

Under the umbrella of our guiding principle; that ‘a sustainable world depends on knowledgeable, active citizens making a difference’, each discipline develops central ideas guided by this principle.

The use of the eight concepts of Form, Function, Causation, Connection, Change, Perspective, Reflection and Responsibility allows for understandings to be transferred across disciplines, promotes evaluation and consideration of perspectives and ideas and also promotes understandings through higher order thinking. In Year 9 we focus on the concepts of connection and responsibility.

To be successful in the 21st century students will need to have the skills to think sustainably. Sustainability incorporates the dimensions of natural sustainability, personal sustainability, socio-cultural sustainability and urban sustainability, as modelled in our rings of sustainability. Thinking is more than just an ability and so we develop sustainable thinking dispositions in our students which include the skills to structure a solution, an inclination to act and an alertness to many possibilities in order to be able to make a difference.

The Year 9 Make a Difference Experience is the culmination of Year 9 learning involving a 10 day trip to Thailand where our students authentically explore our guiding principle that ‘a sustainable world depends on knowledgeable, active citizens making a difference’ – they will make a real difference to the lives of others as well as their own lives.

Assessment procedures

The approach to assessment underpinning the mutli-disciplinary program is based on the following principles:

  • The fundamental purpose of assessment is to improve student learning.
  • Students need to be involved in the design of the assessment. There should be considerable scope for negotiation.
  • Assessment should focus on the development of the individual learning rather than comparisons between learners.
  • Assessment strategies should cater for a range of learning styles within a class and should not be limited to written tasks.
  • Students should be active participants in the assessment process and be conscious of their strengths and the areas in which they need to improve.
  • Assessment should inform subsequent program planning at both an individual and a whole class level.

Real assessment is the most valuable form, e.g. Year 7 Exhibition, Year 8 NOD and the Year 9 MADE presentation affords the opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning to the wider community.

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