Learning in Senior School

Preparing our graduates for success
Our Senior School curriculum is geared to build the skills your child needs for success in higher education and work in the 21st century.

In Years 9 and 10, our students begin to specialise more and begin to understand the areas they enjoy and excel in. We support them in this process with personalised career guidance and planning from Year 9 onwards. We also provide our students with information and talks from Universities around the world, university fairs and discovering profiles that help them decide on their career paths.

In Years 11 and 12 our students study and graduate with the Higher School Certificate, an internationally recognised qualification.

With clear goals in mind, our Senior School students achieve excellent results, and have been accepted into the world's top Universities in the United Kingdom, USA, Netherlands, Canada, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Australia and many other countries.

Years 9 and 10 core subjects (Stage 5)
Laying the foundations for success, we continue our commitment to the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.

Our students also have increased opportunities to explore their own interests with a wide choice of electives.

At the end of Stage 5 (Year 10) of their studies, students receive a Record of School Achievement (RoSA) from the NSW Board of Studies. The RoSA is a cumulative credential in that it allows students to accumulate their academic results until they leave school.

Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) Malay & History (for Malaysian students only)
The Ministry of Education of Malaysia has allowed Malaysian students enrolled at AISM to sit the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations for Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language) and Sejarah (History), starting in 2020. This will provide our Malaysian students with an opportunity to pursue a career in the Malaysian civil service, should they wish to do so. In order to prepare Malaysian students for the Bahasa Melayu and Sejarah SPM examinations, a combined Bahasa Melayu and Sejarah elective course will be available, for Year 9 and 10 Malaysian students. Students will have the option of selecting Bahasa Melayu and Sejarah as one of their three electives. This elective course will also cover Malaysian Studies requirements.

English and English as an Additional Language (EAL)
In their study of English, students continue to develop their critical and imaginative faculties and broaden their capacity for cultural understanding. They examine the contexts of language usage to understand how meaning is shaped by a variety of social factors. As students' command of English grows, they are able to question, assess, challenge and reformulate information and use creative and analytical language to identify and clarify issues and solve problems. They become imaginative and confident users of a range of electronic and digital technologies and understand and reflect on the ongoing impact of these technologies on society. These skills and understandings allow them to develop their control of language in ways that will help them in lifelong learning, in their careers and in life.

Through the study of Mathematics we aim for our students to be confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics, able to investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal and work lives and as active citizens. We also foster the development of an increasingly sophisticated understanding of mathematical concepts and fluency with mathematical processes, so that students are able to pose and solve problems and reason in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. Students also recognise connections between the areas of mathematics and other disciplines and appreciate mathematics as an accessible, enjoyable discipline to study, and an important aspect of lifelong learning.

In Science we nurture our students' sense of wonder and expand their natural curiosity about the world around them. We build their understanding of, interest in, and enthusiasm for science and technology. Our students become capable of creatively applying the processes of working scientifically and working technologically to appreciate and understand natural and made environments.

The aim of the teaching of History is to stimulate students' interest in and enjoyment of exploring the past, to develop a critical understanding of the past and its impact on the present, to develop the critical skills of historical inquiry and to enable students to participate as active, informed and responsible citizens.

The aim of teaching Geography is to stimulate students’ interest in and engagement with the world. Through geographical inquiry they develop an understanding of the interactions between people, places and environments across a range of scales in order to become informed, responsible and active citizens.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education contributes significantly to the cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of students. It provides opportunities for students to learn about, and practise ways of, adopting and maintaining a healthy, productive and active life. It also involves students learning through movement experiences that are both challenging and enjoyable, and improving their capacity to move with skill and confidence in a variety of contexts. It promotes the value of physical activity in their lives.

Elective subjects for Years 9 and 10
Our students can choose 3 subjects from Malaysian Studies, Commerce, Visual Arts, Drama, Music, Information and software technology, Photographic and digital media, Physical activity and sports studies, Design and technology, Bahasa Melayu, French, Spanish, and Mandarin.

Languages Other Than English (LOTE)
Our students may choose a language to study throughout Year 9/10 from the following:

Bahasa Melayu

Design and Technology
Design and Technology provides broad experience in a range of contexts. The design and development of quality projects gives students the opportunity to identify problems and opportunities, research and investigate existing solutions, analyse data and information, generate, justify and evaluate ideas, and experiment with technologies to manage and produce design projects. The diversity of approaches to design projects provides the scope to develop high order thinking, future thinking and understanding of conceptual principles. The design process caters for a variety of student needs, abilities and interests. The flexible and creative consideration of parameters encourages students to take intellectual risks and experiment with resources when developing projects.

Visual Arts
Visual Arts has a significant role within the curriculum, providing learning opportunities designed to encourage students to understand the visual arts, including the different kinds of creative works they, and others, make.

Visual Arts fosters interest and enjoyment in the making and studying of art. Visual Arts builds understanding of the role of art, in all forms of media, in contemporary and historical cultures and visual worlds. In contemporary societies many kinds of knowledge are increasingly managed through imagery and visual codes and much of students’ knowledge is acquired in this way. Visual Arts empowers students to engage in visual forms of communication. The subject of Visual Arts serves to facilitate an interpretation and organisation of such information.

Music combines the development of affective, cognitive and psychomotor domains in the act of making music. It allows for the expression of emotion and imagination, the intellect and the exploration of values. Music fosters an understanding of continuity and change, and of the connections between different times and cultures. The nature of musical study also allows students to develop their capacity to manage their own learning, engage in problem-solving, work collaboratively and engage in activity that reflects the real world practice of performers, composers and audiences. The study of Music fosters knowledge, understanding and skills that contribute to lifelong processes of learning and to the appreciation and enjoyment of music.

While students will develop knowledge and skills in each of the individual areas of performing, composing and listening, the integration of experiences in these areas enhances the understanding and manipulation of the concepts of music in differing musical contexts.

Music in Years 6–10 provides students with opportunities to extend their musical knowledge and the Music elective course will serve as a pathway for further formal study in Music in the HSC.

Drama is an artform with a discrete body of knowledge including conventions, history, skills and methods of working. Drama encourages a cooperative approach to exploring the world through enactment.

The study of Drama draws on the contemporary drama and theatre practices of making, performing and appreciating drama. These practices are active, experiential, critical and reflective.

While students develop knowledge, understanding and skills that pertain to each of these practices, it is vital to integrate experiences in these areas in order to effectively realise the outcomes. In their appreciation of drama and theatre, students are aware of the collaborative contribution of actors, directors, playwrights, designers and technicians to productions. Manipulation of a wide range of technologies including traditional, electronic and digital applications helps students achieve particular dramatic intentions.

Commerce provides the knowledge, skills, understanding and values that form the foundation on which young people make sound decisions on consumer, financial, business, legal and employment issues. It develops in students an understanding of commercial and legal processes and competencies for personal financial management. Through the study of Commerce students develop financial literacy which enables them to participate in the financial system in an informed way.

Central to the course is the development of an understanding of the relationships between consumers, businesses and governments in the overall economy. Through their investigation of these relationships, students develop the capacity to apply problem-solving strategies which incorporate the skills of analysis and evaluation. Students engage in the learning process which promotes critical thinking, reflective learning and the opportunity to participate in the community.

Information and Software Technology
The study of Information and Software Technology assists students to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to solve problems in real life contexts. Through experiential and collaborative tasks, students engage in processes of analysing, designing, producing, testing, documenting, implementing and evaluating information and software technology based solutions. Creative, critical and meta cognitive thinking skills are developed through students’ practical involvement in projects.

Core content provides students with specialised knowledge of past, current and emerging technologies, data, hardware, software and people involved in the field of information and software technology. The core also includes legal, ethical, social and industrial issues. Students develop information and software technology solutions through project work, individually and collaboratively. Options provide opportunities for the contextualisation of the core and allow choices of areas of interest to be made. Options include artificial intelligence, simulation and modelling, authoring and multimedia, database design, digital media, the Internet and website development, networking systems, robotics and automated systems, and software development and programming.

Photographic and Digital Media
Photographic and Digital Media plays a significant role in the curriculum by providing specialised learning opportunities to enable students to understand and explore the nature of photographic and digital media as an important field of artistic practice, conceptual knowledge and technological procedures.

New technologies have changed the possibilities of production of artworks and the role of the artist. In Photographic and Digital Media, students use digital technologies as tools for the creation of artworks. It provides opportunities to investigate practice that uses photographic and digital technologies as their own medium – that is, being produced, stored and presented in digital form, making use of interactive and participatory features.

Physical Activity and Sports Studies (PASS)
PASS promotes the concept of learning through movement. Many aspects of the course can be explored through participation in selected movement applications in which students experience, examine, analyse and apply new understanding. 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.

Physical Activity and Sports Studies also promotes learning about movement and provides students with opportunities to develop their movement skills, analyse movement performance and assist the performance of others. The acquisition and successful application of movement skills are closely related to enjoyment of physical activity and the likelihood of sustaining an active lifestyle. Students will appreciate the traditions and special characteristics associated with various physical activities and also the artistic and aesthetic qualities of skilled performance and determined effort. 

Malaysian Studies
This course is compulsory for Malaysian students. It is the study of Malaysian History and Culture and in some aspects of Bahasa Language.

In the Camp Program, Year 9 and Year 10 students attend international camps which focus on peer group bonding, while building the excitement of being introduced to dynamic learning in a natural environment. Students learn new skills, engage in challenging activities and develop teamwork competency and a level of independence, all in a safe nurturing environment. A large component of the camp is related to not only the curriculum but also to Service Learning.

Year 11 students participate in an outback/Coastal experience in Perth, Western Australia to further develop their leadership capability. Year 12 students undertake a residential, personal leadership program at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne.