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Higher School Certificate (HSC)

The HSC offered at Penrith Anglican College allows students to choose from amongst a very broad range of subjects. Normally, six subjects are taken in the Preliminary (Year 11) year and at least five for the HSC year itself; extension subjects for particularly able students are offered in English, Mathematics, History and Music.

Students are encouraged to see their senior studies as requiring far greater depth than will have been required in earlier years and a much higher level of careful, analytical thinking. In several subjects, creative projects of one sort or another are a requirement and students are closely counselled on the demands of these projects and on the advisability of taking more than one such subject.

Although subjects in Years 11-12 may vary a little from year to year, the following is a typical year’s offering:

  • English – Standard and Advanced, plus Extensions
  • Mathematics – General Mathematics, Mathematics, plus Extensions
  • Science – Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Physics
  • HSIE – Business Studies, Economics, Geography, Legal Studies, Society and Culture
  • Languages – French and Japanese, sometimes at both Beginners and Continuers levels
  • History – Ancient History, Modern History, Extension History; Studies of Religion
  • TAS – Design and Technology, Engineering Studies, Textiles and Design, Food Technology
  • Computing – Software Design and Development, Information Processes and Technology
  • Creative Arts – Music 1 and 2; Drama; Visual Arts
  • Personal Development, Health and PE

For further information please contact our Director of Studies, Mr David Tweed.

International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma)

Penrith Anglican College students are part of the global community connected through culture, economics, politics, technology and shared environmental concerns. As a result the College is committed to fostering international understanding amongst its students. This is why we offer the IB Diploma as an alternative university entrance course for students in Years 11 and 12. The IB Diploma encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

The IB requires that a student take six subjects – at least three at Standard Level and not more than four at Higher Level as well as completing three compulsory components – the Theory of Knowledge, the Extended Essay and Creativity, Action and Service.

  • Theory of Knowledge – This course investigates the nature of knowledge and encourages students to be aware of subjective biases and develops in them the ability to analyse ideas and appreciate other cultural perspectives.
  • Extended Essay – Is the result of a significant process of personal research, involving students in the types of research and writing skills, which will be expected at university. The research topic is of their choosing.
  • Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) – This component requires that students interact with a new experience in creative and performing arts, sport and community service. It encourages all students to use their energy and talents with a concern for the wider community.

IB subjects currently offered are:

  • Biology (standard and higher level)
  • Business and Management
  • Chemistry (standard and higher level)
  • English Literature (standard and higher level)
  • French Ab initio (standard level)
  • French B (standard and higher level)
  • History (standard and higher level)
  • Information Technology in a Global Society (standard and higher level)
  • Mandarin Ab initio (standard level)
  • Math Studies (standard level)
  • Mathematics (standard and higher level)
  • Physics (standard and higher level)
  • Psychology (standard and higher level)
  • Sports, Health & Exercise Science (standard level)
  • Visual Arts (standard and higher level)

Students considering the IB Diploma must be prepared to study a second language, continue with studies in Mathematics, Science and the Humanities to Year 12 level. They must also be willing to conduct some out-of-hours work. The most important criteria for selection to this program are the student’s own motivation, curiosity and interest in learning.

For further information on the IB Diploma, please contact our IB coordinator, Mrs Els van Zwieten or visit the International Baccalaureate Diploma website (