Learning and Teaching
From the first day of Year 7 to their final term in Year 12, what and how boys learn is increasingly diverse. Educating boys is at the heart of what we do at Newington.
The Learning Environment
One of the most exciting aspects about learning at Newington is the range of experiences that the boys have access to.
Our boys experience diverse learning opportunities and teaching styles. Regardless of what subjects your son chooses, we will teach him in the way that best supports his style of learning. What is important is for him to try and experiment with ways of learning about his subjects as well as ways of presenting back what he has researched, discovered, concluded or altered during his investigations.
He will come to understand himself as a learner, play to his strengths and also work on developing new skills—for those inevitable times when learning is complex or difficult.
Newington Learner Framework
Subjects may vary, but the way the boys are taught is informed by our data-driven Newington Learner Framework. Our teachers use analytics to track and guide the progress of each boy. We put students at the centre of our decision-making to improve their learning experiences.
What we want our learners to be
The Newington learner is:
- Reflective – engaged, ethical, critical
- Self Directed – independent, responsible, resilient
- Inquisitive – creative, collaborative, passionate.
Year 7 & 8
Our Year 7 and 8 curriculum focuses on the key literacy and numeracy skills that will create a strong foundation for later learning. To learn more about the Year 7 and 8 curriculum follow the link below.
In Year 7 and Year 8, we focus on developing key literacy skills including vocabulary development, spelling, grammar, syntax, reading comprehension, and the identification and written composition of various text types.
The boys begin to develop soft skills such as problem solving and collaboration and learn important numeracy, language and verbal communication skills.
As the boys settle into school they begin to discover and hone new interests and skills through our elective curriculum. Students choose two electives on top of their core subjects.
Year 9 and 10
In Year 9 and 10, after trying out a range of teaching styles and subject areas, boys choose three electives on top of their core subjects. We encourage the boys to follow their passions, fulfil their curiosities and learn more about their own strengths and weaknesses.
We now offer Trans-disciplinary electives for boys in Years 9 and 10 that focus on helping students build lifelong learning skills, in areas as diverse as Sports Journalism, Art Curation and Artificial Intelligence.
These classes are designed to teach our boys to be self-directed, inquisitive, motivated, reflective and critical.
These electives sit alongside our more traditional electives to provide our boys with a rounded education that will prepare them well for later years and later life.
Alongside our more traditional electives we currently offer:
- 12 Ideas that changed the world: An introduction to big philosophical ideas that have made us who we are
- Adventure: Thinking about the outdoors in a different way
- Artificial Intelligence: The practice, programming and ethics of letting technology think and feel
- Coding and Robotics: Building the skills to make things happen
- The Concordia Project: Creative processes and event management skills practically applied to managing an art gallery
- Global Sport: The business and industry of sport in the twenty-first century
- Hands on History: Leisure, games and sieges through the ages
- To Infinity and beyond: An applied mathematics program
- La Dolce Vita: An introduction to Italian society, culture and language
- The Lab: Creative approaches to design thinking and problem solving
- Lifestyle and Leisure Technology: Alternative technologies and design in practice in the workshops
- Making the news: The practice, ethics and skills of current affairs journalism
- Oh the places you will go: A deep-dive into travel and tourism
- Practically speaking: Four terms, an introduction to four new languages of the class’s choice
- The Three Ps: Art in practice in new ways
- Revue-ing the situation: Musical theatre with a satirical twist
- Spaceship Earth: Sustainability and ethics in a global society
- Space: All things astronomical, sci-fi, and ethical about our engagement beyond the earth
- The (not-so-much) Heroes of History: An exploration of the big personalities in history that might not have been all they seemed
- Thinkquest: An extension humanities course
- Walking on Earth: A different way of thinking through indigenous issues in modern Australia
- What’s the Problem: Creative and Critical Thinking in the Arts
- Sports Media and Journalism
Choose from the HSC, International Baccalaureate Diploma Program or Vocational Education Pathway in Year 11 and 12 at Newington. Find out about each of these pathways and the subjects they offer here.
Senior Study Pathways
Boys can select to complete the Higher School Certificate – the highest education award in New South Wales for Year 11 and 12 students, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, or a follow Non-ATAR vocational pathway.
About the HSC
- Boys complete a minimum of 12 units of course work in Year 11
- Boys complete a minimum of 10 units of course work in Year 12
- The HSC offers 40 individual subjects that range across all academic disciplines
- Boys receive an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) on completion
- The ATAR allows students to apply for universities and colleges both in Australia and internationally.
Our approach to teaching encourages a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for inquiry and deeper understanding.
Choosing the IB Diploma Programme
Why the IB Diploma?
Newington is the only GPS school that offers boys a choice between the Higher School Certificate (HSC) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).
We offer both so that boys have the opportunity to explore all available options and can take their Newington education anywhere in the world.
About the IB Diploma
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year course, undertaken in Year 11 and 12. Boys achieve a score out of 45 and fulfil 10 elements that make up the IB Learner Profile.
What’s behind the rise of the IB Diploma’s appeal?
Listen to Dr Glen Savage, Senior Lecturer in Education Policy at the University of Melbourne, with Glen Bartholomew on ABC Radio as they discuss the IB’s growing appeal.
Young people who care
- Caring is one of the 10 elements that are assessed in the IB Learner Profile
- The IBDP defines caring as a student who can, “show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others”.
- It involves a service component that requires students to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
But what does this mean in an academic context?
The Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) component of the IB requires students to participate in activities which engage with important global issues and consider the ethical implications of actions. It asks students to find ways to develop leadership and compassion as a vital part of their academic training.
Graduating directly to university is not for everyone. We provide senior learning pathways for students whose aspirations involve studies at TAFE or a transition into the workforce. On completion the boys receive nationally-accredited vocational qualifications at Certificate level.
About HSC Vocational Courses
- Industry supports the curriculum design and course delivery
- Designed to meet industry training needs
- Derived from national training standards
- Based on national training curriculum
- Course-writing and assessment is competency-based
- Designed to provide clearly defined pathways to the workforce
- Accredited by both the Board of Studies and VETAB (dual accreditation)
High Potential Academic Program
While Newington College is proudly non-selective, boys with extraordinary talents are in an environment where they can extend their boundaries.
Our experience is that each boy’s talents and strengths are individual, and our approach to each of them must be individual as well.
Our High Potential Program operates across Year 7 to Year 10, across and between students’ core and elective academic disciplines.
Each core subject takes individual approaches to ability-grouping, allowing them to extend and enrich students in a manner that is best for their age and stage of learning. In some cases this involves conventional streaming of boys, in others it involves lateral enrichment and exploration in a subject.
For some boys, extension means opportunities to work with a group of like-minded thinkers. For others, it is with a specialist tutor or mentor and for some, the opportunity to accelerate their learning in a specific subject. Each boy’s journey of learning is individual to him.
Identifying a student’s individual needs is a collaborative process. A student may be identified by the subject teacher, mentor or parent and referred to the Learning Enhancement Department for further inquiry and assessment.
The Learning Enhancement Department provides quality support to individual students, parents, classroom teachers and Heads of Department to improve literacy and numeracy skills across Year 7 to 12.
They focus on students who have difficulties fulfilling their academic potential due to individual learning needs. This includes students who are recognised as gifted.
Homework Club is an initiative run by the Learning Enhancement Department to support the literacy and numeracy skills of students in Year 7 to Year 12.
Each afternoon from 3.30pm to 4.45pm, specialist teachers are available to work with individual students to assist them with their school work.
Beat of a Different Drum
Assessing boys in music raises lots of questions. What does a 20/20 result sound like for a Year 7 or Year 8 Music student?
Examining our Assessment Style
Assessment is often thought about in traditional ways – boys seated behind desks, silence all around, doing an unseen paper. However, when we see assessment as being part of how we deliver a course, this changes the way we teach a subject.
How Teachers are using Library Services to help boys
The nature and the demand for research grows as students progress from one year to the next. How do the Library staff help students stay on top of their studies?
Support Based Learning (SBL)
Support Based Learning (SBL) classes are offered to students throughout Year 7 to 12 who are achieving below their age or stage level in literacy and/or numeracy. Taught by specialist Learning Enhancement staff, SBL focuses on remediating and reviewing the essential literacy and numeracy skills required across key learning areas.
The Newington Careers philosophy aims to give our boys the tools and knowledge to face the challenges of the 21st Century workforce.
P&F Careers Centre
The P&F Careers Centre provides a space for boys to meet with the Head of Careers to discuss career options. We offer resources and information to assist them with their decisions about higher education and career choices.
Over the course of Year 10, 11 and 12, boys learn about careers and higher education options before making their decisions in Term 3 of Year 12.
We advise boys to take the path that best combines their interests, abilities, personality and personal ambitions. The range of careers that our boys decide to pursue reflects the diversity of the Newington student population.
Newington Careers Expo
Each year in early June, the Careers Expo is held for boys in Year 10, 11 and 12 and their parents. This event is attended by numerous tertiary institutions and private colleges.
The P&F Careers Centre can help students apply for an overseas university or college. Many Old Newingtonians are studying at prestigious universities overseas such as Harvard and Cambridge University.
Learning Festivals and Tours
We are constantly in search of opportunities for our boys to consolidate what they learn. Our extensive festivals and tours calendar supports our boys to see their skills in action and gain new insights.