Year 12

HSC Studies FAQs


The HSC year is the culmination of High School. In many ways it is unique. It spans across two calendar years to ensure that there are four full terms of teaching before the Higher School Certificate exams.

Term 4 of the Year 11 year is when the HSC course begins:

• There are increased academic demands, particularly for students who are working towards an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) to enter in specific University courses.
• There are many leadership opportunities including School Leaders, House Leaders, Sports Leaders, Tutor Group Representatives and Student Representative Council Representatives.

Term 1 of the next year is about working towards half-yearly assessments:

• This is an important term to make good headway on major projects for Art, Society and Culture, English Extension 2, Design and Technology, Music, Industrial Timber, Drama etc.
• St Paul’s offers its senior students a Year 12 Retreat off site, which allows students some time out from their academic study to consider their own lives, choices, goals and plans. The Retreat is an important part of our school community’s spirituality focus. A culmination of this Retreat is students writing a letter to themselves reflecting on their lives and their hopes. The school saves these letters and posts them to the students just before the HSC Trial Exam.
• Study evenings are held once a week.
• An information evening for parents is held on the demands of the HSC and how the ATAR is calculated.

Term 2 is about working toward the Trial HSC Examination:

• Year 12 Half Yearly Reports are presented and parents are invited to meet with their child’s teachers.
• A full Higher School Certificate Trial is held at the end of Term 2, allowing the students to experience and practice their skills.
• Year meetings are held every fortnight so that relevant and accurate information can be disseminated to students in a timely manner in regards to NESA expectations and pastoral needs.
• Study evenings are increased to two nights a week.

Term 3 brings finishing of major works and course content and lots of revision:

• The first six weeks are measured by due dates of major works.
• The final two weeks of term involve the marking of performances.
• The final week of term is about farewells, goodbyes, raising money for charity.
• The final Thursday of Term 3 is the Year 12 Awards, Farewell Assembly and student clapout. This is where the whole school community recognises the efforts of the senior year, congratulates them on their achievements and wishes them all the best for their future journey.
• This is a reflective term since students realise that they are no longer protected by the routines and safety of school, something they have been doing every day for thirteen years; and are excited about a future outside of school and new beginnings.

Term 4 is all about the HSC Exams and the Farewell:

• After five weeks of external Higher School Certificate exams, there are sighs of relief all around when they are completed.
• One of the biggest celebrations for the year is the Year 12 Graduation Ball - a formal dinner and dance with students, families and staff. All students receive a portfolio and special awards are presented. It is a perfect way to farewell our students and to acknowledge all the work, time and effort that parents and teachers have invested in fine young people.
• On the morning of ATAR results, students are invited back to school to attend a barbeque to acknowledge any special results and overall effort by all. This is the final chance for students to get together and congratulate each other on their hard work and results.

Mr Samuel Heagney
Leader of Wellbeing and Engagement