Warwick Norman K-5

Warwick Norman K-5

Dean of Teaching and Learning - Junior School

Primary Years Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme is a curriculum framework designed for students aged 3 to 12.

It prepares boys for the intellectual challenges of further education and their future careers, focusing on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.

The PYP is underpinned by six transdisciplinary themes around which learning is planned.

These are:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organise ourselves
  • Sharing the planet

These themes are selected for their relevance to the real world. They are described as transdisciplinary because they aim ‘to convey learning that has relevance across the subject areas and more importantly, learning that transcends the confines of the subject areas to connect to what is real in the world’ (IBO, 2010, p. 1).


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How does the PYP teach the Australian Curriculum?

The PYP ‘provides schools with a curriculum framework of essential elements — the knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action that young students need to equip them for successful lives’ (IBO, 2017). It provides a framework, which ensures our teaching is collaborative, transdisciplinary, inclusive and inquiry-based.


The knowledge component of this framework is taken from the Western Australian curriculum, which includes the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) for our kindergarten students. It sets out the mandated curriculum, guiding principles for teaching, learning and assessment and support for teachers in their assessment and reporting of student achievement (SCSA).

What is the Exhibition?

In the final year of the PYP the boys participate in a culminating project, the PYP exhibition. This requires that each student demonstrate engagement with the five essential elements of the programme— knowledge, skills, concepts, attitudes and action. It is both a transdisciplinary inquiry conducted in the spirit of personal and shared responsibility, as well as a summative assessment activity that is a celebration and rite of passage, symbolic and actual, from the PYP into the middle years of schooling. As a culminating experience it is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP.

How does technology support learning in the PYP?

As students engage with ICT across and between the transdisciplinary themes and subject areas, they come to a deeper understanding of its relevance and applicability to their everyday lives. Appropriate attitudes and behaviours concerning the use of ICT are also important. The focus of ICT is not only on the use of technology for its own sake, but to enhance learning throughout the transdisciplinary programme of inquiry, across the subject areas, the IB learner profile, and the essential elements of the PYP.

ICT in a PYP school should be about more than using hardware and software. Its purpose should be to develop a combination of transferrable skills and understanding so that students can actively participate in a digitally connected world. Schools should be aware that many students are confident users and explorers of ICT. Teachers should find out what students already know and can do, so that they can teach appropriate knowledge and skills and develop students’ understanding. This will enable the students to be discerning producers and consumers of content and tools. Therefore, ICT should support specific learning opportunities such as:

  • Investigating and carrying out a purposeful inquiry
  • Creating and innovating
  • Communicating and exchanging information with varied audiences using a range of media and formats
  • Collaborating by actively participating in creating and sharing knowledge
  • Organising and understanding that ICT systems can be used in various ways
  • Becoming responsible digital citizens who make informed and ethical choices, while acting with integrity and honesty.

How are the Approaches to Learning taught in the PYP?

Both the traditional subject areas and the transdisciplinary themes provide focuses for students’ inquiry. These inquiries allow students to acquire and apply a set of skills known as the Approaches to Learning (ATL). These include Social Skills, Communication Skills, Thinking Skills, Research Skills, and Self-management Skills. These skills are relevant to all learning, formal and informal, that goes on in the school, and in events experienced beyond its boundaries.

In order to ensure these skills are targeting the needs of students across the year levels from Kindergarten to Year 5, we have mapped the ATL skills to specific outcome indicators found in the Western Australian curriculum. Staff can access these outcomes, see their elaborations and work samples in order to ensure they can accurately report, assess and provide feedback to students about their progress and what they need to focus on in order to improve.

The ATL skills can be taught explicitly as skills for learning, be used as effective self-assessment tools and as learning intentions and/or success criteria for larger units of work. The teacher decides which method suits a particular learning experience and all examples are linked back to the inquiry cycle in order to ensure the learners see the connection between the ATL skills and the units of inquiry.

How can I support my son in the PYP?

As a parent of a PYP learner:

  • Have an understanding of the purpose and requirements of the PYP
  • Support and encourage your son throughout the process of inquiry
  • Be informed by reading newsletters, attending meetings, checking school websites, talking with students
  • Help him to access resources— including people, places, media and information
  • Act as a mentor as required or appropriate during the PYP exhibition
  • Seek opportunities to reflect with your son and provide feedback on his learning process, particularly in relation to his reading skills
  • Look at what your son is learning, how he is demonstrating that learning, and whether he can make connections between that learning, life at home and life in the wider world.

What does Inquiry-based Learning mean?

Inquiry, as the leading pedagogical approach of the PYP, is recognised as allowing students to be actively involved in their own learning and to take responsibility for that learning. Inquiry allows each student’s understanding of the world to develop in a manner and at a rate that is unique to that learner.

Inquiry, interpreted in the broadest sense, is the process initiated by the student or the teacher that moves the student from his or her current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding. Inquiry takes place at the knowing/not knowing intersection (Wells Lindfors 1999) and can take many forms, including:

  • Exploring, wondering and questioning
  • Experimenting and playing with possibilities
  • Making connections between previous learning and current learning
  • Making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens
  • Collecting data and reporting findings
  • Clarifying existing ideas and reappraising perceptions of events
  • Deepening understanding through the application of a concept
  • Making and testing theories
  • Researching and seeking information
  • Taking and defending a position
  • Solving problems in a variety of ways.

What is the background to the PYP?

The PYP curriculum model is dependent on a commitment to a particular belief about how children learn, encapsulated most clearly in the constructivist approach. It is acknowledged that learners have beliefs about how the world works based on their experiences and prior learning. Those beliefs, models or constructs are revisited and revised in the light of new experiences and further learning. As we strive to make meaning of our lives and the world around us we travel continually on the cyclic path of constructing, testing, and confirming or revising our personal models of how the world works.
“Generally speaking, constructivists, including Vygotsky, Piaget, and Dewey define learning as the creation of meaning that occurs when an individual links new knowledge with … existing knowledge” (Williams and Woods 1997: 29). Consequently, when planning to teach it is important to ascertain students’ prior knowledge, and provide experiences through the curriculum and the environment that give them opportunities to:

  • Test and revise their models
  • Make connections between their previous and current perceptions
  • Construct their own meaning

What are the key concepts?

The PYP provides a framework for the curriculum, which includes eight key concepts that are transdisciplinary in nature and help to increase coherence across the curriculum. The concepts provide a structure for the exploration of significant and authentic content, and help to inspire the teacher- and/or student-constructed inquiries that lie at the heart of the PYP curriculum.

The key concepts are:

Form: What is it like?

Function: How does it work?

Causation: Why is it like it is?

Change: How is it changing?

Connection: How is it connected to other things?

Perspective: What are the points of view?

Responsibility: What is our responsibility?

Reflection: How do we know?

What are the transdisciplinary themes?

The programme defines transdisciplinary themes that identify areas of shared human experience and have meaning for individuals from different cultures and ethnicities. These themes are part of the common ground that unifies the learning in all IB World Schools offering the PYP. They provide the opportunity to incorporate both local and global issues in the knowledge component of the PYP written curriculum— what we want students to know about. There are six transdisciplinary themes:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organise ourselves
  • Sharing the planet

Through acknowledging and struggling to meet the diverse needs of the student—physical, social, intellectual, aesthetic, cultural—PYP schools ensure that the learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant.

How will my son be assessed?

The prime objective of assessment in the PYP is to provide feedback on the learning process.

Teachers need to select assessment strategies and design assessment instruments to reflect clearly the particular learning outcomes on which they intend to report. They need to employ a range of strategies for assessing student work that take into account the diverse, complicated and sophisticated ways that individual students use to understand their experiences. Additionally, the PYP stresses the importance of both student and teacher self-assessment and reflection.

The assessment strategies and instruments—rubrics, anecdotal records, checklists, anchor papers, continuums, port-folios of work—proposed by the PYP are designed to accommodate a variety of intelligences (Gardner 1993) and ways of knowing (Bruner 1986). Where possible, they should provide effective means of recording students’ responses and performances in real-life situations that have genuine problems to solve. These authentic assessment strategies may be used in conjunction with other forms of assessment, such as standardised tests, in order to assess both student performance and the efficacy of the programme.

How can I find out more about the PYP programme?

For further information, please visit the IBO website: http://www.ibo.org/programmes/primary-years-programme/

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.

Students who complete the MYP are well-prepared to undertake the IB Diploma Programme (DP) or the WACE programmes at Scotch College.

The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.

The MYP requires at least 50 hours of teaching time for each subject group, in each year of the programme.


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How does the Middle Years Programme (MYP) teach the Australian Curriculum?

The MYP is fully aligned with National and State Curricula and is officially recognised by both the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA).

Recognition from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority:
‘The International Baccalaureate PYP and MYP curriculum frameworks document the organisation of knowledge and skills in a conceptual framework. The Recognition Committee acknowledges the difference between this approach and that taken for the Australian Curriculum and considers that these IB frameworks allow students to achieve comparable learning outcomes in English, Mathematics, Science and History by the end of Year 10, given the assumption that school programming and delivery of the PYP and MYP will address the Australian Curriculum content.’

How does technology support learning in the MYP?

Technology in the Middle School is used to enhance and differentiate teaching and learning.  Learning in a 1:1 environment encourages student-centred learning and presents many new opportunities to our students.  Through the daily use of technology, and with our teachers’ guidance, your son will develop and improve his digital literacy, research skills, and critical thinking skills.

What is inquiry based learning?

The MYP features student-centred inquiry.  Engaging questions are posed and our boys are motivated to find answers to their own questions.  Stimulating our students’ curiosity leads to learning that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. The boys are at the centre of their own learning and their understanding of the world develops in a manner and at a rate that is unique to them.

How are the Approaches to Learning skills taught in the Middle School?

The Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills are a set of essential and transferrable skills that support our boys’ success throughout school and into the future. The five categories of ATL skills are: Communication, Social, Self-management, Research and Thinking Skills. In the MYP, teachers select ATL skills that will support success in a unit of learning, and those skills are explicitly taught in the classroom.

How can I support my son in the MYP?

Allow him to develop independence in his learning, both at school and at home. Support him as he develops skills such as time management, attentive listening, being organised, setting goals, researching, reflecting, remembering, and learning from mistakes. Encourage him to be curious about the world around him.

Parent Connect allows you to stay up to date with your son’s current units of work, upcoming assessments, assessment criteria, and homework tasks.

What languages does Scotch College offer in the MYP?

French and Indonesian are offered in this programme.

Why is learning a second language compulsory in the MYP?

The ability to communicate in more than one language is essential to the concept of an international education that promotes intercultural understanding and is central to the IB’s mission. The study of additional languages in the MYP provides students with the opportunity to develop insights into the features, processes and craft of language and the concept of culture, and to realise that there are diverse ways of living, behaving and viewing the world.

Can my son be exempted from the MYP?

All 8 learning areas are considered mandatory in the MYP. Consideration may be given to individual students where a physical or learning disability might impact upon their emotional or physical well-being as well as their performance in a particular learning area. Such considerations are made on a case-by-case basis.

What is the Community Project?

The Community Project is the culminating experience of the Middle Years Programme at Scotch College.  It develops an attitude for life of putting others before yourself, and helps the boys develop the Approaches to Learning skills of organisation, collaboration and reflection.
For more information, view our Year 8 Community Project website at https://my.scotch.wa.edu.au/year8/communityproject

How will my son be assessed?

Your son will be assessed on a number of tasks conducted throughout the year. The schedule of assessment, along with his results and feedback for each summative assessment, are visible online via Seqta Engage.

Your son’s work is assessed on a level between 0 and 8 according to subject-specific criteria set by the International Baccalaureate. There are four criteria for each subject. His teacher will select the descriptor that best matches his work.

In each semester report, your son’s teacher will make a judgement about his current level for each criteria.  These levels are totalled and he will be awarded an overall subject grade between 1 and 7 according to the grade boundaries established by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. Your son’s results are fully explained in the information accompanying the semester reports.

How does the MYP prepare students for their Upper School pathways?

The MYP effectively prepares students in terms of content knowledge, the practical application of subject specific skill-sets, as well as preparing them socially and emotionally for the demands of any of the three pathways we offer at Scotch College: IB Diploma Programme, the Western Australian ATAR courses or our specialised vocational programmes.

What if my son enters midway through the programme?

The MYP is accessible and achievable for all students at whatever point they enter the programme.

What if we have to transfer schools - will my son’s results still be recognised?

Yes, the MYP is recognised globally and when combined with the College’s detailed reports, your son’s results will be understood and recognised by state and independent schools around the world.

How can I find out more about the MYP?

For further information, please visit the IBO website: http://www.ibo.org/programmes/middle-years-programme/

Where can I find the policies relating to teaching and learning in the Middle School?

These are the main policy and procedure documents that relate to your son’s learning in the Middle School:

Scotch College Student Learning Policy 2.1MD Scotch College Student Learning Policy

MYP Assessment Submission Procedures – AssessmentSubmission-MYPProcedure

Continuous Reporting Policy – ContinuousReportingPolicyFinal-2

Academic Honesty Policy – 33MDMYPAcademicHonestyPolicy2015-1

Language Policy – LanguagePolicy-1

Presentations & Publications

Sophie Berry 6-8

Sophie Berry 6-8

Dean of Teaching and Learning - Middle School

Middle Years Programme

Cara Fugill 9-12

Cara Fugill 9-12

Dean of Teaching and Learning - Senior School

Year 9 - 10

Year 9 and 10 encompass our philosophy of; Embracing academic inclusivity and diversity; by providing opportunity for every boy to achieve personal excellence. Our mission; to develop young men with a strength of character, self-understanding, a passion for sustained learning and spiritual inquiry who will become active members of the global community. Our Vision; A learning Community with an International Standard of Excellence.

The Year 9 and 10 programme is designed to offer a contemporary education to boys with an aim to develop young men, whilst guiding them through a potentially challenging and changing period in their life.

We seek to do this by creating an education experience that:

  • Challenges traditional education aiming to engage adolescent boys
  • Is based in research
  • Delivers the Australian Curriculum through the SCSA k-10 outline
  • Extends where needed, supports where needed
  • Teaches explicitly the Approaches to Learning skills
  • Has a local, national and international focus
  • Includes service learning
  • Aims to develop a positive mindset in relation to the boys’ wellbeing

The programme has been designed to address a number of perceived limitations in the traditional pedagogical approaches for the teaching of Year 9 boys. That can potentially result in under-achievement, low student engagement, inadequate skill development and lower literacy competencies.

Years 9 and 10 are dedicated to developing the Approaches to Learning skills in conjunction with a mastery of content (as defined by the Australian Curriculum) using an inquiry based, concept focused approach. The aim is to prepare boys to be best placed in their ability to successfully achieve within the Diploma, WACE ATAR or VET pathways.

Year 9 is different. The fundamental principle by which the Year 9 programme is developed at Scotch College is in recognition of the changes that adolescents experience around this time within human development. This development is supported by our teaching and Learning programmes and is continued into Year 10


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What do we know about boys at this age and stage?

  • Technology is quickly becoming more than a facilitator of learning; it is becoming the major method boys use to communicate and socialise, as well as explore their world.We need to design education to meet their needs.
  • We recognise that students have a great diversity in abilities, interests and achievements.
  • Physically, boys are at differing stages of development; whilst many have already reached and progressed through puberty, others are still developing into young men.
  • Intellectually, there is research to suggest that the developmental gap between boys can be up to 6 years at this age.
  • These two years are an inflection point whereby a boy’s interest in his education can be driven by his personal interests, levels of engagement and connectivity to people around him.
  • Boys in Year 9 are starting to explore the world around them and consider what is meaningful and relevant. Making learning relevant to this development will not only engage boys but guide them into deeper thinking about themselves and prepare them better for the rigours of Year 10, 11 and 12.
  • Scotch boys are yearning to make independent choices about all matters of their life, yet may not have the experience to do this without some guidance.

How do we deliver specific skills related to the boys’ wellbeing?

In Year 9 students will participate in the Scotch College Wellbeing program that has been modelled on the SensAbility program from Beyond Blue. SenseAbility is a strengths-based resilience program designed for young Australians aged 12-18 with the aim of enhancing and maintaining emotional and psychological resilience. The program is based on cognitive-behavioural principles, the evidence-based approach which says that our thoughts play a critical role in influencing feelings and consequent behaviour. The program focus on the development of essential life skills: Problem solving; Planning and Time Management; Communication; Helpful Thinking and Self-Talk; and Emotion Recognition and Regulation. The course will be facilitated by each student’s Head of House and will focus on issues relevant to students in Year 9 such as Cyber safety and behaviour, Mindfulness, Relationships, Approaches to Study and Resilience.

How do we promote service and encourage boys to become global citizens?

The Year 9 programme is designed to bridge the gap between working with peers to complete a project and taking part in active service learning. Students are immersed in a curriculum that promotes social, civic and environmental responsibility, both in individual subjects and through Cross Curricular Priorities. To do this, subjects value diversity and justice and promote an appreciative awareness of the interdependence of all aspects of the environment. The connections between these responsibilities provides motivation and purpose and fosters the development of vital human characteristics such as resilience and empathy. In Year 10, Service Learning is timetabled and this provides for a consistent and diverse programme to be delivered. The College has developed relationships with many local service agencies and the boys spend time off campus with these local operators and also assisting members of the College community. Through Year 9 and 10 our courses are designed to assist the boys in becoming responsible local and global citizens who strive to uphold the College’s values of Integrity, Stewardship and Service.

What curriculum is taught in Year 9 and 10?

The Curriculum is sourced from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority and is the Western Australian version of the Australian Curriculum.  It comprises content descriptors, General Capabilities and Cross Curricular Priorities.

General Capabilities are a set of identified skills that are to be included across all learning areas. At Scotch, we achieve this through explicitly teaching the Approaches to Learning.

Cross Curricular Priorities engage students with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, Australia’s engagement with Asia and Sustainability.  Ideally, teachers find genuine opportunities to deliver their content through the lens of the CCP. The CCP are best taught where appropriate rather than forcefully constructing lessons that explicitly teach them.

How do we teach Year 9 and 10 boys?

The method of teaching is concept based and aims to bring real world understanding and context to a students learning; promoting creativity and critical thinking.  This is also combined with an Inquiry approach, when appropriate, that starts by exploring concepts through open questioning, problem solving or self-discovery rather than presenting information as facts and providing a clear pathway to gaining knowledge. This approach is student centered and sees the teacher in a facilitator role.

How do I know what my son is learning?

An outline of the learning outcomes set to a timeframe is provided to all students studying the course and their parents via Seqta Learn and Seqta Engage.  In addition, an outline of the assessments, assessment types, weightings and dates are provided so that students can plan their term.

How will my son be assessed in his courses?

The emphasis on assessment is based on content from the Australian Curriculum. Each curriculum area will have assessment types that best fit their content such as;

  • Oral Assessment
  • Written Response Task
  • Production/Performance Task
  • Portfolio
  • Investigation Task
  • Examinations


Any assessment that carries a weighting towards their final grade will have an explicitly defined marking key that will result in a percentage for each boy. The assessment criteria will be shared with the boys prior to any summative assessment, when appropriate. Far from teaching to the test, it is deemed that for students to have the greatest chance of success, having an understanding of how to succeed in that assessment is critical. In the case of content driven assessments, such as tests, the criteria provided before hand will be a list of learning outcomes that are to be assessed.

On completion of the summative assessments the boys will receive a percentage result and, given the assessment is a task weighted greater than 5%, they will also be provided with feedback via Seqta Learn.

What are the Approaches to learning and how do teachers ensure they are developed in my son?

The Approaches To Learning (ATL) underpin the unique educational experience that we offer at Scotch College. The College recognises that skill development and content acquisition are both vital to adequately prepare boys for life beyond school. As such, the ATLs are explicitly taught in lessons and feature in unit planners. During the unit there is a focus on one or two specifically taught ATLs. These are accompanied with formative assessment methods that allow a teacher to make a judgment on the skill level as per the continuum. A rubric that outlines the observable behaviours at each level from Novice through to Leader for each specific skill, developed by teachers, is used to assist teachers to make this judgment.

It would be expected that through formative assessment, a teacher could initially place the student as a novice, learner, practitioner or leader in the particular skill based on their age level. Following completion of the unit, the teacher can determine if the student has moved along the continuum in this specific skill.

Will my son have to sit examinations?

In Year 9 examinations occur at the end of Autumn Term and Year 10 examinations occur at the end of Winter , and are compulsory for Mathematics, English, Science, Humanities and Languages. The Arts and Design and Technology use the practical work completed by students to provide the experience of working in a Practical Course of Study, as such, acting like an examination.  Examinations in Year 9 and 10 are an important experience that provide students with a measure on how successful their study techniques are for long term retention.

What is the Achievement Standard?

The achievement standard describes an expected level that the majority of students are achieving or working towards by the end of that year of schooling. Some students will have progressed beyond the achievement standard; others will need additional support. The expected standard for each year is reported as a ‘C’ grade.

How do you grade my sons achievement in each course?

We grade using A through to E. The grade boundaries are determined by Curriculum Leaders who work in conjunction with the teachers to place students in a grade boundary according to the grade related descriptor. A general indicator is provided in the table below;


E 35% and below
D 35% – 50%
C 50% – 65%
B 65% – 75%
A 75% and above

How will my son receive continuous reporting?

Teachers provide students’ with personalised feedback after each summative assessment that has a weighting of more than 5%. It will be made available to both students and parents through Seqta Learn and Engage respectively. The approach teachers will take when providing the student with feedback will involve outlining what went well, providing at least one area for improvement and a strategy to achieve this. The area for improvement could relate directly to the content or skills demonstrated in the assessment, or it could focus on the process and preparation work that took place prior to the assessment.

What is provided in the semester report?

Reporting will be semesterised. Each subject report will contain:

  • A weighted progressive total (as a percentage)
  • A grade (A-E as related to the grade related descriptor)
  • An examination grade (Semester 2 where applicable)
  • A cohort distribution
  • A grading of the ATLs that have been explicitly taught in the course, using the department developed rubrics of observable behaviours. (Novice through to Leader)

Does my son receive comments on his semester report?

Due to continuous reporting we do not provide comments on reports. Feedback is timely, specific and targets the learning within the assessment and improves students’ learning.

In addition, parents are contacted when their son significantly underperforms in an assessment or has not produced an assessment at the achievement standard.

What subjects’ will my son be studying?

 Year 9  Year 10
Subject Lessons Per Cycle
Mathematics 8
English 8
Individuals and Society 8
Science 8
Languages 6
Arts / Design and Technology 8
Physical and Health Education 6
Thinking Skills 1
Wellbeing 1
Subject Lessons Per Cycle
Mathematics 8
English 8
Individuals and Society 8
Science 8
Languages 6
Arts / Design and Technology/Philosophy 8
Physical and Health Education 6
Wellbeing 2

Students in Year 9 and 10 will study the following compulsory subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Languages (French or Indonesian) or Functional Literacy and Numeracy
  • Outdoor Education

Students will choose to study one semesterised course from each learning area; The Arts and Design and Technology. These Year 9 courses will run for 15 weeks each and the Year 10 courses will run for a semester.


The Arts Design and Technology
Drama Food Design
Media Metal Design
Music General STEM
Music Extension Product Design
Visual Art Wood Design
Philosophy Philosophy

Does my son do Outdoor Education?

The Outdoor Education Programme for Year 9 is in Winter Term and runs at Scotch College’s Outdoor Education Centre, Moray. It involves a five-day expedition programme where the boys focus on leadership and independence, through an expedition-based programme that encourages them to explore concepts of group leadership, personal challenge and citizenship. As with all Scotch Outdoor Education programmes, the entire experience is underpinned by the values of “Leave no Trace”.

In Year 10 the Outdoor Education Programme engages boys to choose a single mode of recreation in the outdoors to pursue and master. While continuing the journey of learning underpinned by principals of “Leave not Trace” boys choose one of a number of expeditions that extend their skill and understanding in a single disciplined environment. The goal being to upskill the students so as they continue to participate and engage in the outdoor pursuit beyond their years as a student at Scotch College. The choices include climbing, caving kayaking, Scuba diving, surfing, hiking, canyoning and mountain bike riding.

How does my son achieve Academic Excellence in the Senior School?

In Senior School Years 9 to 10, a Certificate of Academic Excellence is awarded when a student receives 5 or more A grades and his remaining subjects at a C grade or higher.

Presentations & Publications

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a broad-based, two-year (11 and 12) upper school course that offers students an alternative to WACE as a pathway to university studies. Students study six subjects and three core components. Three subjects must be studied at a Higher Level and three subjects at a Standard Level. Additionally, students are required to complete the three core components: Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity Action and Service. It aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring learners with an emphasis on developing intercultural understanding and open-mindedness.

Students will select six subjects; one from each of the six subject groups. Students studying the subject at a Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) are placed in the same class because HL and SL students have common units of work. However, HL students are required to complete additional units of work. Teachers dismiss SL students from classes when they are delivering a HL unit. SL students work independently in the Library on other course work and then return to class for common units of study.

Students are timetabled to study HL subjects for 240 hours and SL subjects for 150 hours over the two years. Additionally, students receive 100 hours of instruction time in classes for Theory of Knowledge and they have the same teacher over the two years of the programme for each subject.


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What curriculum does the DP follow?

The International Baccalaureate produces the Curriculum that is to be delivered in the Diploma Programme. They do this by working with teachers from around the world to make sure the content is rigorous and stimulating.

How does technology support learning in the DP?

All course outlines and unit plans are available to parents and students on-line through Connect. Assessments and due dates are outlined from the beginning which enables students to plan an effective study programme and work systematically towards deadlines. Additionally, the College uses Managebac which enables students to upload drafts of Internal Assessments, receive feedback from teachers and then re-submit final responses that are directly uploaded to the IBO. Through the Library website, students have access to past examination papers, the latest details regarding university requirements, tips on effective study habits, and a range of resources for all subjects. Scotch College has also provided students with an on-line resource, Kognity, which provides them with a variety of activities and resources for Diploma subjects; this has proven to be excellent preparation for examinations.

How are the Approaches to Learning taught in the DP?

The Approaches to Learning inform the pedagogy of the Diploma Programme and are written into the Unit Plans of all subjects. Through Approaches to Learning, students develop skills that have relevance across all areas of learning which help them “learn how to learn”. They provide a solid foundation for learning independently and with others. Approaches to Learning help students prepare for, and demonstrate learning through, meaningful assessment. They provide a common language for students to reflect on and articulate how they are learning, preparing students for success in their studies and life beyond school. Developing students’ ATL skills is about more than simply developing their cognitive skills; it is also about developing affective and metacognitive skills, and encouraging students to view learning as something that they “do for themselves in a proactive way, rather than as a covert event that happens to them in reaction to teaching”. In the DP, these cognitive, metacognitive and affective skills are grouped into five categories: Thinking Skills, Communications Skills, Social Skills, Self-management Skills and Research Skills. Teachers target these skills across a range of activities throughout the programme. Students who actively participate in this process work are the most successful in the Diploma Programme as Internal Assessments and examinations are designed to reward students who are able to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments, work collaboratively, analyse critically and communicate effectively in a range of oral and written contexts.

How can I support my son in the DP?

Encourage him to understand the value of working consistently and maintaining a regular study programme. There are numerous tips from successful past-graduates that are available through the library website; encourage your son to view these on a regular basis and learn from students who have successfully negotiated the challenges of the DP. Encourage him to work closely with his teachers and to be attentive to their instructions and feedback on assessed work. Success in this rigorous course requires a balanced approach to life; encourage your son to participate in physical exercise, eat sensibly and ensure that he gets enough sleep. Help him to understand that the most successful students in the DP have had the courage to face up to their failures and learn from their mistakes. The most important way parents can assist their sons is to ensure that they choose subjects that suit them; especially in the Higher Level subjects.

What languages does the school offer in the DP?

We offer French, Indonesian and Spanish ab initio SL. Ab initio means ‘from the beginning’, meaning students need no experience in Spanish language learning to start this course.

Students are also able to study Mandarin ab initio SL through the IB approved on-line provider, Pamoja.

What is the extended essay (EE)?

The Extended Essay is a 4000-word academic investigation on a topic developed from the list of available Diploma Programme subjects studied by the student. It is intended to promote academic research and effective writing skills. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice but under the guidance of a subject specialist (an appropriately qualified Scotch College teacher). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen.

What is Theory of Knowledge (TOK)?

TOK is a course about critical thinking and inquiring into the process of knowing, rather than about learning a specific body of knowledge. The TOK course examines how we know what we claim to know. It does this by encouraging students to analyse knowledge claims and explore knowledge questions. While there are arguably many “Ways of Knowing”, the TOK course identifies eight specific “Ways of Knowing”: language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition, and memory. Students apply these ways of knowing to the eight “Areas of Knowledge”: mathematics, the natural sciences, the human sciences, the arts, history, ethics, religious knowledge systems, and indigenous knowledge systems.

What is Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) in the DP?

Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning. CAS is organised around the three strands defined as follows:

Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance

Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle

Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need


CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.

The CAS programme formally begins at the start of the Diploma Programme and continues regularly, ideally on a weekly basis, for at least 18 months with a reasonable balance between creativity, activity, and service. All CAS students are expected to maintain and complete a CAS portfolio as evidence of their engagement. The CAS portfolio is a collection of evidence that showcases CAS experiences and for student reflections.

While not formally assessed, successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB Diploma.

How will my son be assessed in the DP?

In each subject, students complete Internal Assessments and sit an examination; these marks combine to provide a final mark out of 100. This mark is then converted to a numerical grade ranging from 1-7; the highest is a Grade 7. The six subjects combine to provide a total score out of 42 points.

In the core components, students must complete a 4000-word Extended Essay (EE) on a topic of their choosing; write a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay and complete an oral presentation. Students are also required to complete a series of activities to satisfy the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) component. The EE and TOK essays are completed at school but marked overseas by IBO examiners.

Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay provide students with an opportunity to earn three bonus points which is added to their subject scores.

Thus, the highest score in the DP is 45 points: 42 points from six subjects plus three bonus points from EE and TOK.

Do Australian Universities recognise the DP?

All Australian universities accept Diploma graduates. Some apply the ATAR Conversion Table which converts Diploma points to an ATAR score. Others offer direct entry pathways to university courses based solely on their Diploma score (UWA) or offer credits for certain courses (Curtin University).

Where can I find out more information about the IB admissions policies from UWA?

Where can I find out more information about the IB admissions policies from Curtin University?

How can I find out more about the DP?

For further information, please visit the IBO website: http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/

Presentations & Publications

Cara Fugill 9-12

Cara Fugill 9-12

Dean of Teaching and Learning - Senior School

Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)

The WACE or Western Australian Certificate of Education is administered by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA).

The ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) is determined by the Western Australian Certificate of Education courses a student completes.

The VET (Vocational, Education and Training) programme that :

‘…enables students to acquire workplace skills through nationally recognised training described within an industry-developed training package or an accredited course. A VET qualification is issued by an RTO. The achievement of a VET qualification signifies that a student has demonstrated competency against the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace.’

Please read our FAQ to find out more about your son will be learning in the ATAR and/or VET pathway.


Expand/Collapse All

What courses are available in the WACE?

ATAR Courses

General Courses

VET Courses including Certificate II and Certificate IV Courses

Endorsed Programmes

What do students need to do to achieve the WACE?

  1. The literacy and numeracy standard
  2. Depth and Breadth (Selecting a range of subjects)
  3. The achievement standard

How do students meet the literacy and numeracy standard?

  • Students will need to achieve a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy. This can be achieved by demonstrating a Band 8 or higher in the Year 9 NAPLAN or through the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA).
  • Completion of at least four units of English in Years 11 and 12, two Year 11 units from an English course and one pair of Year 12 units from an English course.

What is the depth and breadth requirement?

Completion of a minimum of 10 courses or the equivalent over the two years. This must include at least:

  • five courses or the equivalent in Year 12
  • one course completed in Year 12 from each of List A (arts/language/social sciences) and List B (mathematics/science/technology)

What is the achievement standard?

  • Achieve at least seven C grades or higher in Year 11 and Year 12 courses with a minimum of three C grades in Year 12 courses (or equivalents)
  • Completion of at least four Year 12 ATAR courses or a Certificate II or higher in a VET qualification

What VET Certificates does Scotch College offer?

VET Credit Transfer courses

Certificate II in Business

Certificate IV in Business (Year 12)

Certificate II in Music

Certificate II in Hospitality

*Other courses can be arranged on request e.g. Automotive, Sound engineering

What is an endorsed programme?

  • A recognised education programme that can contribute to the C grade requirement for WACE.
  • Workplace Learning is an authority‐developed endorsed programme that is managed by individual schools.
  • A student can only use endorsed programmes for two units of equivalence in Year 11 and two units in Year 12.
  • Many students already have endorsed programmes.
  • A list is available through the subject selection site.

Which courses/subjects can boys study at Scotch College?

All course information can be found by clicking on the course information link at the bottom of this page.

Are there any rules about which subjects a boy can study?


Only one score from the unacceptable combinations can be used in the calculation of the ATAR

  • English and Literature
  • Mathematics Methods and Mathematics Applications
  • Mathematics Specialist and Mathematics Applications
  • A student may not study more than four units with the same course title.


  • Students must take Methods if they take Specialist

Which courses receive a bonus?

A 10% bonus will apply to the calculation of the TEA for the following subjects:

  • French
  • Indonesian
  • Mathematics Specialist
  • Mathematics Methods

Does the school have a Careers Adviser?

Yes, Mr Peter Frusher is the College’s Careers Adviser.

What are the admission requirements for Western Australian Universities?

  • Meet the WACE requirements
  • Achieve competence in English – a scaled mark of above 50 in English or English Literature
  • Obtain a sufficiently high ATAR for entry to a particular university (minimum 70 ATAR)
  • Satisfy any pre-requisites or special requirements necessary to be considered for entry to a particular course

Are there alternative ways to gain entry?

  • Certificate IV in Business. See an example here:
  • Portfolio Entry
  • Foundation Programme/Enabling Course
  • TAFE into University
  • Audition

How does my son get into TAFE?

Entry into TAFE may be based on the following:

  • Any prerequisite WACE courses as prescribed by individual TAFE campuses – generally Mathematics and English
  • A lower level TAFE course required as a prerequisite to a higher level course
  • Workplace experience/part-time employment

NOTE: TAFE provides many courses that offer alternative pathways to access university

Does the College offer assistance predicting ATARs?

Yes, the College has developed their own tool that allows students to predict their ATAR.

If my son starts on the ATAR pathway can he transfer to study general courses?

Yes, many boys decide that they need to change pathways. We encourage this to happen sooner rather than later so that the student can settle into his new classes.

Presentations & Publications


As students complete Middle School and move into the senior years, they have an increased choice in regard to the subjects of study. This begins with the selection of electives in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 expanding into complete choice in Years 11 and 12. We encourage boys to base their selection on their passions and interest to ensure they are engaged in their learning.

The Course Information website provides families with a brief outline of what is taught within the relevant subjects being offered across the school.