Answers to frequently asked questions.

HSC: Do I have to do Maths?

The only subject that you must do is English or English ESL. There are no other compulsory subjects. However, it is very difficult not to do Maths as it will normally take up one whole line in the timetable. If you are considering not doing Maths you must talk very carefully to your Head of House and the Head of Mathematics to make sure you are making the right decision. To get enough units you may have to do an outside subject at, for example, TAFE.

Can I choose any subject?

No. For a number of subjects, the Head of Department may decide you do not have the ability to cope with the workload or be successful in a subject. If this is the case, you will be required to pick an alternative subject. Students must discuss options with their Head of House. 

In the IB, there are patterns of study that you need to adhere to.

Also note some subjects have major projects in both the HSC and IB. A student should be careful that he does not pick a number of subjects which have major projects due at the same time. Some subjects with large projects due in are English Extension 2, Drama, Visual Arts, Software Design and Development, Design and Technology and Industrial Technology.

HSC: What are Category A subjects? 

Category A courses demand academic rigour, depth of knowledge and are accepted by universities as suitable for students who want to go on to tertiary studies. All Category A subjects contribute to the ATAR calculations

HSC: What are Category B subjects?

Category B subjects are applied courses offered both internally at Newington and at TAFE. While all Category B courses count towards an HSC, you can only count 2 units of Category B courses in the calculation of an ATAR. Students are eligible for the HSC should they complete coursework and internal assessment. Students may choose whether to enrol in the HSC Examination in that subject in Year 12, depending on their post-school pathways.

What is an ATAR? 

ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank. It is used to gain direct entry to Australian Universities. A student rank of 70.00 in NSW is the same as a student rank of 70.00 in Victoria, which allows students to apply equitably to any university in any state. The highest rank attainable is 99.95.

HSC and IB results are converted into an ATAR.

Can I get into university without an ATAR?

Yes.  There are a range of alternative pathways and programs that are run by specific universities.

See Mr Priester for details.

What does VET stand for?

VET stands for Vocational Education and Training – courses that combine HSC study with nationally recognised qualifications. 

What’s the difference between a VET and a TVET course?

VET courses are studies at Newington.  TVET courses are VET courses studied at TAFE.

What is the impact of choosing a TAFE course outside of the Category B group?

TAFE provides a number of vocational courses other than Category B subjects. While they all count towards an HSC, none of them can be used in the calculation of an ATAR. Students need to be especially careful if they pick one of these subjects. They must make sure that they will still have at least 8 Category A units and a maximum of 2 Category B units should they wish to get an ATAR. Students do not wish to get an ATAR do not need to worry about this. 

In the context of VET, what does dual accreditation mean?

Dual accreditation means the course is accredited by the Board of Studies for HSC purposes and by ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) for industry purposes. Because VET HSC courses are based on national training standards, once completed, a vocational qualification is recognised across Australia. Subjects studied in their VET courses may give students credit when attempting other courses at a later date – this is called’ credit transfer’. VET courses may also give students credit transfer when attempting an apprenticeship or a traineeship. 

HSC: What is the NSW School of Languages?

The NSW School of Languages is the only LOTE (Languages Other Than English) specialist school in NSW. It currently teaches 11 languages to nearly 2000 students from over 500 government and non-government schools.

Interested students should speak to Ms Foster.

HSC: What is the Saturday School of Community Languages? 

The Saturday School of Community Languages offers a wide variety of languages, at both 2 unit and Extension level. It gives students the opportunity to study the language they speak at home if a course in that language is not offered at their own school. 

The school is a public secondary school which operates only on Saturdays. More than 6000 students in Years 7-12 from both government and non-government schools and TAFE colleges, are enrolled. 

Saturday School students follow Board of Studies syllabuses in 24 languages. These languages are assessable as part of their Higher School Certificate.

What happens if a boy is removed from an external or online course?

If a boy is removed from a course by the external agency or Newington for attendance, academic or behavioural reasons, the full cost of the course must be met by the parents. If a boy is voluntarily withdrawn from an external course before the final IB or HSC examinations all tuition fees for the course must be met by parents. Course completion is entirely dependent on attendance and diligence. If course requirements are not met, boys may put their HSC or IB completion in jeopardy.