We know Jesus as ‘the Word’ (John 1:1). We know, therefore, that language is not only God’s gift, which we are expected to develop for His glory; language is also part of God’s nature. To use and study our language is to celebrate God’s nature and His image in us.
Stage 4 English students concentrate on the development of sophisticated critical analysis of texts, while continuing to extend their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. They learn to produce cohesive, effective arguments using skills of analysis and persuasion, and to recognise the means of persuasion in texts they respond to. They extend their capacity to create imaginative, engaging works that reflect upon their circumstances, and to appreciate the wonder and joy of engaging literature.
An ordered, complex universe is evidence of a careful, wise Creator. Mathematics allows us to see God’s design at a level beyond that which is immediately apparent; it reveals the care God takes with each aspect of His creation. When we use mathematics to examine patterns, for example, we observe distribution and mathematical proportion. Evidence of design reminds us that we can trust God to take care of the details of our lives.
Stage 4 Mathematics students work to build on foundational skills from Primary school while developing their skills in thinking Mathematically to prepare for the rigours of Mathematics for school and beyond
HSIE: History And Geography
History and Geography are essential to our understanding of relationships, within and with God’s created world. In Stage 4 HSIE courses focusing on world history and geographical skills and concepts. Students change between the two disciplines each semester.
OCS students appreciate that History is an essential characteristic of any society, and historical knowledge is fundamental to understanding ourselves and others. History ‘promotes the understanding of societies, events, movements and developments that have shaped humanity from earliest times. It helps students appreciate how the world and its people have changed, as well as the significant continuities that exist to the present day.’ (Australian Curriculum)
OCS Geography students build a holistic understanding of their world. They learn to question why the world is the way it is, reflect on their relationships with and responsibilities for their environment and propose actions designed to shape a socially just and sustainable future.
God is our creator, and he made us as creative beings. Visual arts students reflect on how Christians enjoy creating and enjoying what God has created for us in His universe. Each of us is blessed with the ability to think creatively; we have an obligation to nurture that ability and create work that is pleasing to God and others.
Stage 4 Visual Arts allows students to explore art theory and practical art making. Both areas are important for assessment purposes, though more time is devoted to the course’s practical component. Students learn to enhance their artistic abilities in the course’s art-making component and discover how to use a range of different media and styles.
Personal Developement, Health and Physical Education
In understanding that we are made in God’s image and that our bodies belong to God, we recognize that God’s gift of health entails obligations. PDHPE at OCS affirms healthy recreation, explores the nature and competitiveness of sport in a positive way, encourages the maintenance of healthy eating habits, and affirms the beauty of human movement.
Students use critical inquiry to understand the influences on health, safety and wellbeing. They are encouraged to be resilient, to develop empathy and to be actively engaged in their own and others’ wellbeing, using health, safety and physical activity resources.
Students focus on the development of skills and understanding that strengthen their sense of self; build and manage satisfying, respectful relationships and acquire movement skills that enable participation in a range of physical activities – confidently, competently and creatively.
Technology ( Mandatory)
Technology encompasses a diverse collection of knowledge, skills and processes that people use to satisfy their needs and to extend human capabilities. Technology Mandatory is a rich and complex subject that provides students with opportunities to become technologically literate individuals capable of developing creative solutions to identified problems and situations. The four strands of the Technology (Mandatory) course are Digital Technologies, Engineered Systems, Agriculture and Food Technologies, Material Technologies.
These creative endeavours can assist students to find satisfaction in processes through which they also understand their place in the world of the Creator. This personal and academic fulfilment through technology can lead to elective choices and VET courses available through the OCS Bembooka Trade Training Centre.
Auslan – Language Other than English (LOTE)
Stage 4 students are required to study a LOTE Subject. At OCS we teach AUSLAN or Australian Sign Language. The Auslan curriculum piloted by OCS has become the basis of NSW Curriculum now used by several schools in NSW. Students will study Auslan in either Year 7 or Year 8.
Stage 4 students are required to study a LOTE Subject. At OCS we teach AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language). As a pilot curriculum, OCS contributed to the formation of a NSW program across a range of schools in NSW, as well as an Australian curriculum. Students will study the mandatory AUSLAN in either Year 7 or Year 8.
Studying AUSLAN has several key advantages. It assists students to understand the grammar and construction of a European language pattern, cultural variation, as well as general literacy and education skills as an effective communication strategy. The course promotes an understanding of disability, as well as develops empathy, inclusion and collaboration. AUSLAN encourages innovation and growth mindset, and a wholistic community mentality. The skills studied directly impact the Christian understand that all are made in God’s image and are made ‘very good’ (Genesis 1).
Students are required to study Music in Stage 4 in either Year 7 or Year 8. “The study of music’s forms, styles and ideas enables young people to develop an interest in appreciation and enjoyment of music” (NSW Curriculum). Understanding the creative process helps students to appreciate the amazing world that God has created and also their own creative gifts and talents. Our class lessons focus on the theory underlying our music practice, using the keyboard as a hands-on way to experience what we learn. Learning to compose is a major aspect of the Music course.
Students in Stage 4 also engage in a compulsory two year Band program where they learn, or continue to learn, a wind, percussion or brass instrument such as clarinet, drums and trombone. Band leads into performance opportunities at Orange Eisteddfod, OCS On Show and Thanksgiving Service and to participation in the OCS Stage Band. Students are also encouraged to participate in the annual OCS Secondary musical.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) are a key strategic focus of the OCS Middle School. STEAM helps students to critically and creatively explore the created universe within a problem-solving framework. As part of the University of Sydney STEM Academy and other strategic partnerships OCS is building capacity in our students in coding, critical thinking, communications and collaboration; now considered Twenty First Century Learning skills.
Students participate in regular STEAM Challenge Days, a STEAM course, STEAM Maker Space and other opportunities such as the Mars Rover Challenge. This focus leads into Stage 5 Science and Mathematics options plus electives such as iStem and higher Sciences such as Chemistry and Physics in Stage 6.
iSTEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This subject draws on and develops knowledge and skills from across these disciplines in an integrated way, usually through hands-on projects.
iSTEM students understand that mathematical truths demonstrate God’s orderliness and precision. Many students will find God’s purpose in their lives through the practical exploration of His creation, emulating His principles of creativity and design.
iSTEM students respond to ‘real-world’ challenges, research relevant issues and scientific/mathematical principles, develop and refine designs, and build and test their designs and prototypes. They undertake projects ranging from designing ‘tiny houses’ and water-purification systems for disaster relief through to building solar-powered vehicles and programming quadcopters.
Students develop skills relevant to careers in engineering, scientific research, computer coding, design and architecture and many other areas. They develop skills in problem solving, innovation and collaborative learning, which are increasingly essential in our modern world and workplaces.
Narrative is central to the gospel; Drama provides a unique opportunity to investigate and live out narrative with the intimacy of first-hand experience. Drama also fosters understanding and empathy with others. Where students can develop a personal understanding of others’ perspectives, they are positioned to be effective godly witnesses.
The Stage 5 Drama course provides students with experiences in which the intellect, emotions, imagination and body are developed through expression, performance, observation and reflection.
The course involves eight content areas – improvisation, play building, dramatic forms, reading and writing of scripts, performance spaces and conventions of theatre, technical aspects of production, experience of performances and the study of theatrical history and theory.
Assessment in this course is based on written tasks, such as researched assignments and scriptwriting, and practical tasks, such as rehearsed and improvised performances. Particular emphasis is placed in some units on drama in a Christian context.
At the heart of food technology is the ancient value of hospitality, which is in turn fundamental to biblical commands (Rom 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9). Old Testament hospitality was much more than entertaining friends; it meant receiving strangers as honoured guests, providing them with food, shelter and protection.
Food technology is a diverse subject that covers topics from food packaging to food photography. Seven units of work are covered over a two-year period. All units include theoretical components and practical applications.
The two core topics of ‘Food Preparation and Processing’ and ‘Nutrition and Consumption’ are integrated throughout the course.
Students learn fundamental nutritional principles and cookery skills, and apply these in settings closely related to food in industry and at home.
Focus areas include ‘Food for Special Occasions’, ‘Food Equity’, ‘Food Selection and Health’, ‘Food Service and Catering’, ‘Food for Special Needs’ and ‘Food Product Development’.
Physical Activity and Sports Studies (PASS)
God has integrated our spiritual, mental and physical characteristics into our whole person. PASS focuses on our bodies as God’s dwelling-place, a blessing that brings a responsibility to honour our bodies and develop our physical gifts for His glory.
The PASS course promotes the concept of learning through movement. It represents a broad view of physical activity and the many possible contexts in which individuals can build activity into their lifestyle, incorporating lifelong physical activities: recreational, leisure and adventure pursuits, competitive and non-competitive games, individual and group physical fitness activities and the use of physical activity for therapy and remediation.
Students are encouraged to specialise and study areas in depth, to work towards a particular performance goal, pursue a formal qualification or examine an issue of interest related to the physical, emotional, social, cultural or scientific dimensions of physical activity and sport.
PASS develops valuable and marketable skills in organisation, enterprise, leadership and communication, skills that fit within a rapidly changing workplace.
God has given each of us different gifts, including the capacity for problem solving, creativity and design, to effect change in our world. Students demonstrate creativity and initiative in designing and managing the processes involved in completion of their projects.
Industrial Technology is predominately a practical subject, involving Timber based projects in which students build on design concepts and skills learned in Stage 4 Technology. Students are challenged to see timber as a valuable building material possessing unique qualities and requiring consumers to use this product wisely.
Project development follows the ‘Design Process’, which includes a written project log, a final presentation folio summarising the project’s main steps to completion, the student’s evaluation of their performance and the finished project.
Students are assessed on a range of research tasks, documented portfolios and completed projects. The course requires self-motivation and initiative, as students develop and modify design ideas.
VET Hospitality, VET Construction and VET Primary Industries
VET courses are a fundamentally practical way to place godly leaders in all walks of life. Jesus tells us we are to multiply our gifts for the Father’s glory (Matt. 25:14-30); OCS VET students strive for excellence in their responsibilities, demonstrating respect for co-workers and employers, to the glory of God, in a wide range of occupations.
VET Hospitality, Construction and Primary Industries courses are of two-year’ duration, and require the maturity of a self-motivated learner. Students participate in 70 hours of work placement, in adult work environments that require the willingness and maturity to work and interact with adults in a professional setting.
Our Vocational Education courses are dual credentialed: they lead to a TAFE Certificate and contribute to the HSC ATAR. The courses are specifically designed to teach the practical application of the course theory.
These classes are delivered in a block of time on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons, from 1:30pm to 5:30pm. They also require additional payment for specialist equipment and course delivery.