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Curriculum Philosophy

Baulkham Hills High School is a school with an academically selective intake. A primary focus of the school is to provide a curriculum, which promotes excellence and extending students through a challenging and values laden curriculum. Our structures, such as the timetable and range of extra-curricular activities, will support this priority. We aim to provide a broad, strong curriculum and learning environment that is relevant to the needs of gifted and talented students thus promoting the developmental process of learning, training and practising. Students at Baulkham Hills High School overwhelmingly progress to higher level tertiary studies after leaving school and it is important that the school focuses on educational accountability. Gifted learners have different learning needs compared with typical learners. Therefore, curriculum must be designed to meet those needs. Pedagogy at Baulkham Hills places emphasis on the planning and delivery of lessons which foster the intellectual development of students. Teachers display a sound understanding of gifted and talented strategies which are utilised in lesson delivery.

The school aims to meet the needs of curious, imaginative and gifted students who enjoy learning and bring with them a range of diverse abilities and interests. Creative thinking is valued and encouraged. The delivery of the school curriculum aims to foster self-motivated and independent learners who are capable of success beyond the school environment. It is therefore necessary that the school recognises the importance of students undertaking a broad range of courses. As well as a commitment to the traditional academic subjects, the school supports the role of practical subjects. These encourage the development of important and valued skills and serve to broaden the students’ horizons. In keeping with this philosophy, student choice largely determines the elective curriculum.

Formal examinations play an integral role in the assessment of the student progress, especially in the senior years. The school’s assessment and reporting policies emphasise student individual strengths and weaknesses rather than focussing on performance comparisons between students. Students are always encouraged to compete against themselves rather than against each other.

In order to reinforce classroom learning experiences, teachers are encouraged to supplement class work with appropriate field studies and excursions. The school supports the entry of students into academically challenging state, national and international competitions. The school also encourages appropriately challenging courses in both senior and junior years, including extension and Distinction courses. Acceleration is available to carefully identified students.

The school strongly supports the importance of a well rounded education and values the involvement of students in sport and the range of cultural, social and community activities available to them. Sport is an integral part of the school curriculum and students are encouraged to participate in school carnivals and in grade or recreational sport. Students have the opportunity to excel in sport to the highest level of which they are capable. At all times, the emphasis is on involvement in order to develop individual and teamwork skills and striving to do one’s best, rather than simply on winning. Extra-curricular activities are also valued for the enrichment and extension they provide and are integral in the development of individual excellence, leadership and responsible citizenship. The school’s merit system is structured to encourage students to broaden their involvement in school activities as well as to strive for academic excellence.