Years 11 and 12 (known as stage 6) includes the lead up to and completion of the Higher School Certificate (HSC). It's time to start thinking seriously about study timetables and maintaining good physical and mental health to get the most out of this opportunity.
In Year 11 your child will be expected to work harder and be more proactive in their study. It's a big step up from Year 10.
It's vital you attend parent-teacher information events this year. You'll receive important information on exactly what's happening this year and how you can help your child cope and succeed.
Homework, study and assessments
Students are expected to complete regular study in all subjects each week, without nagging them into doing it. It’s also a short year, with only 3 terms in the Preliminary course before starting HSC studies in Term 4. Encourage a regular and consistent study schedule from the first week of Term 1. Our study timetable (DOCX 46.58KB) allows students to schedule time after school and over the weekend to revise, write summaries and practise sample questions.
At the beginning of the year your child will receive an assessment schedule, with the dates and weighting of all assessment tasks for the course. Review this together and add all tasks to a term assessment planner (DOCX 47.04KB) for Terms 1, 2 and 3. Make sure it’s kept in a highly visible place so you can remind your child when tasks are coming up. Adding tasks to their smartphone calendar with notifications before the due date will also help remind them of upcoming assessments.
Students who leave school before the HSC may be eligible for a Record of School Assessment (RoSA). Students working towards getting their HSC will have opportunities to sit the HSC minimum standard online tests during Years 11 and 12. The minimum standard tests are not needed for the RoSA.
Physical activity is still important when study ramps up at school. This is the age many students drop sport, but it's important for them to continue to incorporate exercise into their schedule to help them manage stress as they prepare for the HSC.
Monitor your child's technology use. Research shows that the quality of study and learning suffers when students are frequently interrupted by texts, emails, phone calls or by flicking between homework and Facebook screens. Instead, tell them to schedule 10-minute breaks every hour to catch up on their social lives, if needed.
Some students begin driving in Year 11 and social lives increase. Keep talking honestly with your child about alcohol and drugs.
The HSC course starts for students in Term 4 of Year 11. It can be hard to get motivated at the end of the calendar year, with summer holidays approaching, but it is essential as most subjects will have their first assessment task this term.
Homework, study and assessments
Students will receive their HSC assessment schedule at the start of the course. As soon as the assessment schedule is received, add the task dates to the term assessment planner for Terms 4, 1, 2 and 3.
If your child hasn’t already passed the HSC minimum standards for literacy and numeracy, there are two opportunities to sit the reading, writing and numeracy online tests during Year 12. Students are also able to sit the minimum standard tests for up to 5 years after they start the HSC.
If your child is getting anxious about the HSC, a study timetable may help reassure them. Term 4 is a good time to revise the timetable. Make sure the study times set are practical – if they are failing to follow the study timetable they may give up – so help your child set realistic times for studying.
Discuss when your child feels their revision is most effective – are they a morning person? Not many teenagers are. Do they prefer to do their study straight after they get home from school? Maybe they prefer to study after dinner or in chunks on the weekend. Term 4 can be a good time to trial adjustments to the study timetable. It’s also important to discuss the need to keep revising and creating summaries over the long summer break.
Year 12 students need to get straight back into work once school returns after the summer break. Reminding your child they are a quarter of the way through their HSC at the start of the year may help motivate them.
Some other things to help make the HSC year go more smoothly include:
- avoiding any big decisions that could affect your child such as family holidays and changes in living arrangements, if possible
- ensuring your child eats well and gets enough sleep and exercise
- helping your child balance work and play – many students have part-time jobs – make sure the hours are manageable and don’t interfere with school work
- having open and honest conversations about alcohol and drugs.
Stay in contact with the school, especially if you have concerns. Year 12 teachers want their students to achieve the best possible results and appreciate parents who are interested and supportive. Contact the year adviser if you are worried about your child's emotional wellbeing or how they're handling Year 12 studies.
Remember, the HSC focus is only for a short period of time. Support your child to do the best job possible but also remember the ATAR is not the be all and end all. There are many alternative pathways to most careers, even if they don't receive the results they hoped for or an offer from their preferred university.
- To help your child with homework and study, visit Help with homework.
- For more tips to getting through Year 12, visit HSC.
- To watch a video and read more about the HSC minimum literacy and numeracy requirements, view NESA – HSC minimum standard.
- To learn more about the HSC minimum standards, visit NESA – What is the HSC minimum standard?
- If your child doesn’t complete the HSC, they may be eligible for a RoSA. See NESA – Record of School Achievement for more information.
Talking about alcohol and drugs
Alcohol and drugs can cause permanent damage to the adolescent brain and stop it from maturing properly. It is illegal to serve or provide under 18s with alcohol.
For tips on talking to your teen about alcohol and drugs, visit Your room – For parents for information and resources to download.
For advice on holding parties, visit NSW Police – Safe party tips.