Students at IFS are grouped into stages of learning, combining classes typically over a two-year period. We are fully accredited by the NSW Board of Studies adhering to their mandatory curriculum requirements for stages 2 – 6.
Key Learning Areas for each Stage
Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4)
Stage 2 is a composite year 3/4 learning environment. Learning focuses on strengthening key skills in literacy and numeracy, supported through an integrated approach combining English, Mathematics, Science, HSIE, Music, Art, Drama and PDHPE. Students learn by experiencing and applying newly acquired skills, using technology where appropriate. Students are introduced to elements of PBL within a flexible and open learning space.
Stage 3 (Years 5 and 6)
Stage 3 is a composite year 5/6 learning environment. Students are encouraged to engage in a more independent educational environment that includes self-direction, accountability and responsibility. This is supported through an integrated approach combining English, Mathematics, Science, HSIE, Music, Art, Drama and PDHPE. Students continue to learn through experiencing and applying newly acquired skills, including problem solving and working collaboratively, where appropriate, using technology to support their learning. They continue to experience PBL within a flexible and open learning space.
Stage 4 (Years 7 and 8)
Students in Stage 4 begin their high school journey, leading to the award of the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) and the Higher School Certificate. The focus is continuing to develop strong foundations in literacy and numeracy through an integrated approach combining English, Mathematics, Science, HSIE, Music, Art, Technology, Mandarin and PDHPE. Students learn to negotiate one-on-one learning, working at their own pace and embracing a technology-enhanced learning environment. Initiative and creativity is supported and students continue to develop communication skills, accountability and productivity associated with working within a collaborative environment.
Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10)
Students continue to move through the 7-10 NSW Board of Studies curriculum, strengthening key skills through the integrated approach incorporating English, Science, Mathematics, History, Geography and PDHPE. Skills in PBL are extended to include ‘service based learning’ projects. In Stage 5, there is an emphasis on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, innovation, problem solving, accountability and responsibility. Students build life skills featuring a consciousness of multiple world views, global perspective and recognition of human choice. Students begin to experience elements of ‘problem based learning’ as well as the ‘flipped classroom’, which offers more opportunity to apply learned skills at higher order thinking levels.
Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12)
In 2016, years 11 and 12 will be delivered via the vertical/compressed model. In the traditional model, students’ HSC study requirements are completed over a two-year period whereas in the vertical model, both the preliminary and HSC components of some or all Stage 6 courses (including the HSC examination) are completed in one calendar year rather than two.
The benefit of the vertical model is that students complete three subjects per year instead of six, therefore sitting three HSC exams per year. This allows students to really engage in their work becoming immersed in the content. Many schools are now adopting this model as a more effective way to complete the HSC.
Our senior program will run over two years. In Senior Year One, IFS will offer English, Biology and PDHPE and in Senior Year Two, IFS will offer Mathematics, Chemistry and Business Studies. These subjects will allow students to gain an ATAR, apply for scholarships in the USA and possibly complete Certificate II in two vocational subjects.
The preliminary course will be delivered through a combination of problem based learning and a flipped classroom. The delivery of the HSC course will be tailored to students’ strengths and needs.