Our Curriculum

Comprehensive Curriculum

Norwood International High School is proud to offer one of the most comprehensive choices of curriculum of any school in South Australia. Students in Years 7 to 10 study the International Baccalaureate: Middle Years Program with the subject content informed by the Australian Curriculum. In Years 11 & 12 students study the South Australian Certificate of Education and have access to over 125 Stage 1 and Stage 2 subjects. Year 11 & 12 students can also apply to undertake the International Baccalaureate: Diploma Program.

The 2024 Norwood International High School Curriculum Guide is now LIVE! You can access our improved digital guide by clicking on the button below.

IB: Middle Years Programme

The IB: Middle Years Program (IBMYP) aims to develop active learners and internationally minded young people who can empathise with others and pursue lives of purpose and meaning. The programme empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. The result is young people who are creative, critical and reflective thinkers.

South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)

The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) is the local senior secondary qualification designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge and capabilities to thrive as an engaged global citizen. Students are awarded the SACE if they successfully complete a two-stage course of study that meet the flexible requirements.

The SACE is a two-stage program offering a range of subjects. As students study the SACE, they will gain valuable literacy and numeracy skills in each of the disciplines offered, be challenged to think critically and creatively, problem solve, develop entrepreneurial skills and build upon their intercultural and ethical understanding.

Most students study Stage 1 in Year 11 and Stage 2 in Year 12, and can support their SACE completion by earning credits for individual and/or community activities e.g. the Duke of Edinburgh, or through recognition of vocational education and training (VET) courses.

Students will need to complete 200 credits of study to complete the SACE. Each subject is worth either 10 or 20 credits, depending on the length of the subject. Typically, subjects are awarded 10 credits for one semester and 20 credits for a full year.

Some of the 200 credits required to complete the SACE are awarded through the successful study (C grade or higher at Stage 1 and C- or higher at Stage 2) of the compulsory requirements. They are:

  • Stage 1 Personal Learning Plan (10 credits)
  • Numeracy requirement – a mathematics subject in Stage 1 or Stage 2 (10 credits)
  • Literacy requirement – an English subject in Stage 1 or Stage 2 (20 credits)
  • Stage 2 Research Project (10 credits)

These compulsory requirements make up 50 credits of the 200 needed to complete the SACE. As part of the remaining 150 credits, a minimum of 60 credits must be awarded at a Stage 2 level.

How does this work at Norwood International High School?

Typically, students complete their SACE according to the following pattern:

  • Year 10 – 10 credits from Personal Learning Plan – More details can be found at the PLP Digital Hub.
  • Year 11 – 100 credits from the study of 5 subjects per semester.
  • Year 12 – 90 credits from the study of 4 subjects and Research Project. More information about the research project for families can be found by clicking here.

What is an ATAR?

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a rank given to secondary school students ranging from 0 to 99.95.

It is a numerical ranking (not a score) that shows how a student performed in their studies compared to other students completing an Australian Year 12 program.

Entry into courses at tertiary institutions can be quite competitive, which is cause for a fair and transparent process and tool for ranking applicants. As such, the ATAR is used to compare the results of students nationally for tertiary institutions to determine who will be offered entry into their courses.

In South Australia, the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) calculates the ATAR. Click Here to find out more information about how the ATAR is calculated.

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IB: Diploma Programme

The Diploma Programme (DP) is a rigorous pre-university course of study designed for students in the 16 to 19 age range. It is a broad-based two-year course that aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring, but also caring and compassionate. There is a strong emphasis on encouraging students to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness, and the attitudes necessary for them to respect and evaluate a range of points of view.

The course is presented as six academic areas enclosing a central core. Students study two modern languages (or a modern language and a classical language), a humanities or social science subject, an experimental science, mathematics and one of the creative arts. Instead of an arts subject, students can choose two subjects from another area. It is this comprehensive range of subjects that makes the Diploma Programme a demanding course of study designed to prepare students effectively for university entrance. In each of the academic areas students have flexibility in making their choices, which means they can choose subjects that particularly interest them and that they may wish to study further at university.

Normally, three subjects (and not more than four) are taken at higher level (HL), and the others are taken at standard level (SL). The IB recommends 240 teaching hours for HL subjects and 150 hours for SL. Subjects at HL are studied in greater depth and breadth than at SL. In addition, three core elements—the extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, activity, service—are compulsory and central to the philosophy of the programme.

Through the DP, schools are able to develop students who:

  • have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • study at least two languages
  • excel in traditional academic subjects
  • explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.

Applications are now open to join Norwood International High School in 2023/24 undertaking our IB: Diploma Programme.
Simply complete the application form and a member of our school will be in contact to discuss next steps.

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Vocational Education Training (VET)

What is VET?

VET stands for Vocational Education and Training. VET is nationally recognised industry training within the Australian Qualifications Framework. VET enables students to acquire skills, knowledge and training for work through a nationally recognised industry-developed training package or accredited course. VET is assessed and certified by Registered Training Organisations (RTO).

Undertaking VET may benefit students’ exploration of a variety of career pathways. It is not just reserved for a pathway within the trades, such as plumbing, hairdressing, or construction. Students can complete VET qualifications in a diverse range of industries.

VET courses run either during school or after school. Some courses also require the completion of Structured Work Placement.

Why study VET in SACE?

VET can be an excellent option for many students. It usually includes practical, hands-on learning, and can lead to further training pathways and employment opportunities in many industry areas. Undertaking VET as part of the SACE gives students a head start on a qualification, apprenticeship or traineeship. It is a great way to fast-track progress towards a rewarding career, while also developing independence, time-management and other employability skills and capabilities.

Students undertaking VET courses can:

  • Personalise their learning pathways.
  • Develop industry specific skills, often including on-the-job structured workplace learning.
  • Get a head start on a career and be more ‘apprenticeship ready’.
  • Work to attain a nationally accredited certificate against the Australian Qualification Training Framework.
  • Achieve their SACE through diverse learning experiences.
  • Use their VET to contribute to an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) or TAFE SA entry, in the case of full completion of most Certificate III and higher-level courses.

What VET courses are available?

Norwood International High School is committed to supporting interested students to identify an appropriate VET pathway suited to their strengths and interests.​

Students can be supported to apply for VET courses that are included in a Flexible Industry Pathway, are listed as Stackable VET or within a school-based contract of training. The school works with a list of preferred providers who will help students make a successful and meaningful post-school transition to further study, training or employment.

You can find a list of courses on offer here. Please be aware that the list of courses is regularly changing and is periodically updated.

For more information or to apply, please contact dl.0787.vet@schools.sa.edu.au.

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Step into a world where your unique talents are nurtured and celebrated – join Norwood International High School and embark on a journey to personal excellence and global citizenship.