Option 3: The Shearwater Senior Studies Certificate
(A 2 Year Non UAI Program)
Experience has shown that many students at 17 or 18 are not ready to commit to a profession or vocation. Completing a broader-based Shearwater Senior Studies Certificate leaves the student’s options open longer, giving them time to make more considered choices.
The Certificate creates less pressure than many of the demanding Board Developed Courses and has been designed with flexibility in mind to allow students the possibility of movement between courses as their goals become clearer.
It allows relaxed and rounded completion of the Steiner School Learning Program, which takes into account the path of the student’s development and growth.
All these factors will place in the world more balanced, confident, motivated and competent individuals, in tune with their destiny and the needs of the world around them.
The inner mobility, subtlety and lightness cultivated in students will help them meet the changing demands of a rapidly evolving work place requiring a flexible, adaptable, multi-skilled and creatively focussed workforce.
All students complete the Year 11 Shearwater Designed BEC entitled “The Individual and the Global Community” but students choosing the Shearwater Senior Studies Certificate will complete a similar school designed BEC in Year 12, as well as 4 units of elective subjects and English. These courses may be chosen from any HSC subjects completed as Preliminary Courses in Year 11, or any other Preliminary courses offered. The remaining 3 UNITS involve the completion of a major work.
The Shearwater Senior Studies Certificate over 2 years has the following format:
Year 1 Terms 1 to 3 The Individual and the Global Community
(a compulsory BEC worth 2 units)
Preliminary Courses (for a minimum of 10 units)
Term 4 Major Work Project starts
HSC courses start
Year 2 The Individual and the Global Community
(a compulsory BEC worth 2 units)
English (a compulsory course worth 2 units)
Elective Subjects (4 units): two Board Developed/Content
Endorsed Courses or School Developed Courses.
Major Work (a compulsory work worth 3 units)
The Major Work
The Major Work is a year long Individual Research Project counting for 3 Units (6 Hours per Week). The Major Project requires Year 12 students to research, develop, produce and demonstrate a study of real interest with a theoretical, artistic and practical component. The highest standards are expected.
Examples of major projects completed in Steiner Schools have been:
– the writing, production, direction, costuming and casting of a dramatic piece;
– full exhibition of photography;
– the building of a full-sized billiard table;
– the writing and publication of a book of original poetry;
– the writing of music, its performance and production of a CD;
– the creation & fabrication of a collection of clothing, and the staging of a showing of the collection, etc.
Criteria and presentation:
– The work must be original. It is not meant to be a collation of secondary sources. It needs to be the result of the student’s own research and investigation. It must have a practical component.
– Projects with a strong practical bias (e.g. the making of a guitar) will be accompanied by a report of some 5,000 words. Reports could be supplemented with a photographic record, or a process journal in traditional or electronic format.
– Projects more theoretical in substance (e.g. writing an historical novel) will require a 10,000 – 15,000 word exposition.
– The projects are to be displayed and demonstrated publicly at an open presentation at the end of the year.
Each student requires the support of a Teacher Supervisor and a specialist Mentor during the year.
The Teacher Supervisor will monitor the student’s progress and help provide support and assistance as well as monitor the development of the project.
The Mentor shall be provided for students and help them access specialist advice and assistance. It is emphasised that the responsibility for the project belongs to the student, who is expected to provide the motivational drive to complete the project.
Assessment of the project occurs throughout the year, culminating in a lengthy oral presentation of the student’s work. The High School faculty in consultation with the student’s project supervisor will carry out the assessment of all aspects of the project – practical, written and oral.
This assessment group will be looking for the following in the student’s projects:
– an ability to work independently and show initiative;
– an ability to manage time and meet goals and deadlines (this will sometimes be related to the student’s ability to listen to advice!);
– evidence throughout the project of real work and real commitment;
– the quality of the end result or finished product. Is it successful? Has the goal been achieved?
– the quality of the documentation or written part of the project. Is it of a reasonable standard and a good documentation of the work?
– the student’s ability to clearly represent their project to the audience at the oral presentations.
During the year there will be various deadlines for progress reports, written documentation etc. These deadlines will be published at the beginning of each year.
Initial lessons will be conducted and mandatory attendance required. Areas covered in these lessons are:
– Personal and Professional Development;
– Public speaking;
– Careers Counselling, including project related work experience and the
investigation of future courses of Tertiary Study;
– CV Development;
– Creating and maintaining a Portfolio;
– Maintaining a process diary of your major work project
(including the maintenance of a major-work web-site);
– Choosing and developing your major work project;
– Finding a Mentor;
– Meetings with your Mentor.
The Mentor’s responsibilities are:
– to provide an overall perspective on outcomes, objectives, time management and a range of options for completion of a given task;
– to offer support and guidance through constructive criticism, professional insights and mature observations to facilitate the successful completion of tasks;
– to encourage and promote an open and honest dialogue regarding issues raised in achieving outcomes;
– to communicate any concerns with the subject Teacher / Guardian re lack of attendance, problems with content or behavioural concerns.
The Student’s responsibilities are:
– to provide a detailed presentation of the assessment task, major work or other project;
– to provide an outline of how he/she proposes to achieve a given outcome, e.g. resources, ideas, timeline, skills, plans;
– to be prompt and reliable when attending meetings and completing agreed tasks;
– to facilitate open and clear communication;
– to be open to identifying areas of difficulty experienced in completing or not completing a task, e.g. lack of motivation, poor time management skills, personal problems.