HSC Electives

HSC English

English Standard

The Preliminary and HSC English (Standard) course is designed for students to become proficient in English to enhance their personal, social and vocational lives. The course provides students with the opportunity to become confident and effective communicators and to enjoy the breadth and variety of English texts. It offers a rich language experience that is reflected in the modes of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing.

English Advanced

The Preliminary and HSC English (Advanced) courses are designed for students to become critical and sophisticated users of English in order to enhance their personal, social and vocational lives. These courses provide those students who have an interest and ability in the subject, with challenging learning experiences and opportunities to enjoy the breadth and variety of English texts, through the integration of the modes of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing.

English Extension One

These courses provide students with the opportunity to pursue areas of interest with increased independence and to theorise about the processes of responding to and composing texts. Through extended engagement in investigation and composition, students explore multiple meanings and relative values of texts. They explore a range of conceptual frameworks for the reading and composition of texts and examine a range of reading practices to develop awareness of the assumptions that guide interpretation and evaluation.

This is a specialised study of English done in addition to the Advanced English course.  The course aims to provide students with the opportunity to pursue areas of interest with increased independence and to theorise about the process of responding to and composing texts. 

English Extension Two

In the HSC English Extension 2 Course, students develop a sustained composition, and document and reflect on this process. Students undertaking the HSC English Extension 2 Course must complete a Major Work.

This module requires students to work independently to plan and complete their Major Work in the form of an extended composition. It allows students to select an area of personal interest from their specialised study of English and develop their work in this area to a level of distinction. Areas include, poetry, speeches, short stories, critical responses and scripts.

Students compose the Major Work as an extension of the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in the English Advanced and Extension 1 courses. The Major Work is to be substantial. It may be imaginative, investigative, interpretive, analytical or a combination of these. The chosen form and medium must be appropriate to the nature of the task, the student’s interests and abilities and the resources available.

To provide the basis for the Major Work, students undertake ongoing, systematic and rigorous investigation into their chosen area. This investigation is documented in a journal that demonstrates the processes of inquiry, interprets, analyses and reflects the knowledge and understanding gained, and explains the stages of the composition of the Major Work.

HSC Mathematics

Mathematics is not compulsory beyond Year 10 in NSW, however almost all students at All Saints Grammar choose to study it as an elective subject in Years 11 and 12.

Courses we offer are:

  • General 2 Mathematics: Areas of mathematics that have direct application to the broad range of human activity are covered. The course provides a strong foundation for students undertaking further training or entering the workforce.
  • Mathematics Advanced: This course is based on the assumption that students have demonstrated high competence in Stage 5. It is a sufficient basis for further studies in mathematics as a minor discipline at tertiary level.
  • Mathematics Extension 1: This course is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of the skills of Stage 5 and who have an interest to study mathematics as a major discipline at tertiary level.
  • Mathematics Extension 2: This course is designed for students with a special interest and aptitude for the subject. It is a distinctly high level of mathematics that allows for suitable preparation for study of mathematics at tertiary level.

HSC Science


In Year 11, students study the “Local Ecosystem” through both theory and by “getting amongst it” in the field. They also investigate cells and their microscopic structures and other hidden features and “Patterns in Nature”. In “Life on Earth” students investigate the origins of life, by studying the fossil record and its relationship with evolution. Finally, a study of the “Evolution of Australian Biota” will help students understand why Australian animals and plants are so unique.

In Year 12 Biology, students learn about “Maintaining a Balance” on a cellular level and how living things manage to stay “healthy” by regulating their day to day existence through enzymes, hormones, temperature and other cellular functions. The “Blueprint of Life” explains how genes can pass on a vast amount of information, from leaf structure in plants to hair or eye colour in people. The topic “The Search for Better Health” is concerned with infectious disease, its causal organisms, the body’s immune response and the strategies we use, as a society, to control and prevent it. Finally, one option topic will be taught from the following: Communication, Biotechnology, Genetics, The Human Story and Biochemistry.

Both courses involve many interesting and challenging practical experiences as well as a compulsory field work component.


In Year 11 students study “The Chemical Earth”, the resources and materials that make up the world around us and how to separate and collect them; “Metals” the useful, the reactive and the beautiful and how we use and classify them. “Water” is life and we can’t live without it. Students find out why and also learn about “Energy” and the different forms used on vastly different scales, from cells and organisms to MACK trucks.

In Year 12, students learn about the “Production of Materials” and how we can get and even make what we need from the earth, the lab and the atom. The “Acidic Environment” reveals just how common acids and bases are and how we use them day to day. The topic “Chemical Monitoring and Management” focuses on the environment, pollution and how chemistry can help to reverse or minimise the environmental problems caused by technology and people. Finally, one option topic will be taught from the following: Industrial Chemistry; Shipwrecks, Corrosion and Conservation; The Biochemistry of Movement; The Chemistry of Art; Forensic Chemistry.

Both courses involve a large number of interesting and challenging practical experiences as well as some spectacular teacher demonstrations.


In Year 11, students study how “The World Communicates” by understanding how electromagnetic waves transfer information and energy. They: investigate factors affecting road safety in “Moving About” and learn about the origins of the universe and where it’s heading in “The Cosmic Engine”. Finally, students learn about “Electricity in the Home” and how it’s created, used and charged to the household.

In Year 12, students learn about magnetism and how we harness it using “Motors and Generators”, transformers and different sources of energy. Students study rocket science and how we can travel vast distances in “Space” using Einstein’s Relativity, the laws of Gravitation and liquid Hydrogen. They will take a quantum leap or two whilst investigating how physicists take their “Ideas to Implementation”, resulting in the wonders of computers, solar panels, Maglev Trains and MRI images. Finally, one option topic is taught from the following: Medical Physics, Astrophysics, The Age of Silicon, From Quanta to Quarks and Geophysics.

Both courses involve discovery through independent learning and challenging practical experiences as well as some spectacular teacher demonstrations.

Senior Science 

If students prefer to get a little bit of everything in Stage 6 they can choose Senior Science. A course that is not quite as rigorous as the other three subjects but still extends the knowledge that has been constructed in their junior years.

In Year 11, students have an opportunity to get out and about “in the field” whilst learning how a “Local Ecosystem” is delicately balanced; understand how “Plants” survive and thrive and learn how the human body reacts to the stresses and strains of everyday life.

In Year 12, students learn about “Lifestyle Chemistry” and how the chemical world impacts us both positively and negatively. “Medical Technology and Bionics” reveals how modern medicine helps us to deal with and overcome disease through the use of robotics, implants and the latest technological advances. The topic “Information Systems” focuses on how we manipulate and utilize electromagnetic waves to send information through the air and down optical fibres at the speed of light. Finally, one option topic will be taught from the following: Polymers, Preservatives and Additives, Pharmaceuticals, Disasters and Space Science.

Both courses involve a large number of interesting and challenging practical experiences as well as field work and excursions.

Of course, Science is everywhere, not just in a textbook or a classroom laboratory. Understanding Science can happen just as effectively (even more so) in the field, visiting a Nuclear Reactor or a teaching hospital, the zoo or the museum; listening to a lecture or taking measurements in the bush is a valued lesson at All Saints Grammar. Excursions are an integral part of the study of Science and feature across all Stages to help ensure that Science is not just interesting but relatable. In short, discovering Science at All Saints Grammar is not just about prescribed content, it is about constructing knowledge, acquiring understanding and getting a feel for what it’s like to actually think, behave and answer like a real Scientist.


Ancient History

Students look at History, archaeology and science and investigate the mysteries of the past and unlock ancient secrets. They look at Homer and the Trojan war from a Historical context and investigate Ancient Greek Drama. They investigate Pompeii and Herculaneum and what life and death would have felt like under the volcano. In keeping with our Greek roots, students look at Sparta to learn why this city was feared and revered through time and Greece in the 5th Century imagining what it was like to fight alongside the Athenians as they challenge the might of Persia.

Modern History

Geographical, ideological and political motives for testing of Nuclear weapons are discovered in detail including the impact of nuclear fallout and the implications for the new world order. Students investigate how Bismarck unified the German states and what implications this had for WWI and subsequent wars. Further to this they look at the role Liberalism and Nationalism played and what were the consequences of Bismarckian foreign policy and the Wars of national unification. Students then learn about The Civil Rights Movement in the USA in the 1950’s and 1960’s and how these helped shape the modern superpower that is the USA.

Studies of Religion

Religion as a worldview that acknowledges the supernatural dimension and has a belief in a divine being or powers beyond the human and/or dwelling within the individual. Students look at characteristics of religion including beliefs, texts, ethics and rituals. They explore Aboriginal Spirituality and the inextricable connection of the Dreaming, the land and identity. Two electives are chosen from Christianity/Judaism/Islam/Buddhism and Hinduism and students look at their Origins, Principal Beliefs, Sacred Texts and Writings, Core Ethical Teachings and how each is observed within the religion.

Business Studies

In Year 11, Students are asked to complete a Business Plan for a hypothetical Business.

Students in Year 12 cover the basics in running an organisation. They understand the importance of streamlined Operations and how any business is influenced by what, and how, they produce their product and/or service.

Marketing is examined in detail, with students gaining an understanding on how the “sell” takes place and which of the four “p”’s (product, place, price, promotion) are continually used. Finance involves all the elements of a Balance Sheet, Revenue statement and Cash Flow and how a business uses these and Financial Ratios to ascertain what position they are in. Human resources looks at the most important element of a Business, namely its people.


The focus of the first part of Economics is to look at the need for choice by individuals, businesses and governments. Students then investigate how consumers and businesses make decisions about the choices they face. The natural progression is then the operation of markets; the way in which market prices are determined and the need and means available for governments to intervene. Students look at the operation of specific markets including the Labour and Financial markets and how these are inextricably linked to the entire economy and how they are influenced by Government and vice versa.

Legal Studies

Students investigate the Legal System, basic legal concepts and the sources of contemporary Australian law including classification of law, and law reform and law reform in action.

They follow with research on the Individual and the Law incorporating rights and responsibilities, dispute resolution and a contemporary issue relating to the individual and technology. Students are also asked to look at the Law in Practice with opportunities being provided for students to deepen their understanding of their principles of law covered in the first sections of the course.


Students investigate biophysical processes and how an understanding of these processes contributes to sustainable management. A case study is conducted on coastal dunes and is undertaken at Colloaroy.

As well as physical Geography students are asked to look at the social, cultural, political, economic and environmental challenges that are occurring on the global scale. Students investigate political and development Geography as well as cultural integration and the ways in which it is shaping nations.

HSC Creative Arts and Technology

Visual Arts

Preliminary Course

During the Preliminary Course students build their technical competency in a range of 2D (drawing, painting and photography); 3D (sculpture) and 4D (video, installation and interactives) media; as well as explore a range of themes including the notion of Self and Identity; their place in the contemporary world; and Postmodernity through the challenge of art traditions, mainstream ideas and stereotypes.

The critical and historical study of artists and artworks not only informs their own artmaking but also develops their critical thinking and essay writing skills. Students are taught ways to develop their creative thinking skills and ideas through exploring media and techniques, experimentation, brainstorming and mind mapping; sketching; and investigating the work of other artists. The Visual Arts Diary (VAPD) is used to record and develop these explorations and is central to their art making.

HSC Course

In Year 12, students further develop the skills they have learnt in Year 11 to create a Body of Work from a wide range of forms including: Documented Forms; Collection of Works; Drawing; Painting; Photomedia; Printmaking; Textiles and Fibre; Graphic Design; Designed Objects; Sculpture; Ceramics; and Time-based forms They also complete five case studies on various topics in the Visual Arts. Their HSC result is a combination of their Body of Work or artmaking (50%) and a 90 minute examination (50%).


Preliminary Course

Students will have the opportunity to learn about three of the following topics:

  • Classical Music
  • Rock Music
  • Music of a Culture
  • Music and Religion
  • Theatre Music
  • Music for small ensembles
  • Jazz Music

Students will engage in a variety experiences including performance, composition, listening analysis and musicology.

HSC Course

Students will have the opportunity to learn about three of the following topics:

  • An Instrument and its Repertoire (instrument of student’s choice)
  • Music for Radio, Film, TV and Multimedia
  • Technology and its Influence on Music
  • Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries
  • Popular Music
  • Australian Music

Students will be able to customise their learning experience for the HSC by selecting their own combination of performance, composition and musicology components.

Design and Technology

Preliminary Course Structure

The Preliminary course involves a minimum of two design projects. The projects will develop skills and knowledge to be further developed in the HSC course. Each project will place emphasis on the development of different skills and knowledge in designing and producing.

Design projects involve the design, production and evaluation of a product, system or environment that includes evidence of design processes recorded in a design folio, which may be in a variety of different forms. Students are encouraged to communicate their design ideas using a range of appropriate media.

HSC Course Structure

The HSC course is 120 indicative hours and includes the development and realisation of the Major Design Project, a case study of an innovation and other teaching and learning activities. The comprehensive study of design and the processes of designing and producing that were studied in the preliminary course are synthesised and applied in this course.

The students undertake a Major Design Project which is the main focus in the HSC Design and Technology course. This project includes a comprehensive design folio and designed solution and is worth 60% of the HSC mark while the remaining 40% is a written external exam.

Information Processes Technology 

Preliminary course

Introduction to Information Skills & Systems:

  • Information systems in context
  • Information processes
  • The nature of data and information
  • Reasons for digital data representation
  • Social and ethical issues

Internet and website development

Tools for Information Processes:

  • Collecting
  • Organising
  • Analysing
  • Storing and Retrieving
  • Processing
  • Transmitting and Receiving
  • Displaying

Database Design:

  • Define database structure
  • Create a database
  • Edit, sort and search a database
  • Import and export data
  • Design, produce and evaluate a database project

Developing Information Systems:

  • Traditional stages in developing a system
  • Complexity of systems
  • Roles of people involved in systems development
  • Social and ethical issues

Multimedia Systems:

  • Define, describe and assess multimedia products
  • Research and develop multimedia content
  • Design, produce and evaluate a multimedia product for a given purpose

HSC course

Project Management:

  • Techniques for managing a project
  • Understanding the problem
  • Planning
  • Designing solutions
  • Implementing
  • Testing, evaluating and maintaining

Information Systems and Databases:

  • Information systems
  • Database information systems
  • Organisation
  • Storage and retrieval
  • Other information processes
  • Issues related to information systems

Communication Systems:

  • Characteristics of communication systems
  • Examples of communication systems
  • Transmitting and receiving in communication systems
  • Other information processes in communication systems
  • Managing communication systems
  • Issues related to communication systems


  • Transaction Processing Systems
  • Multimedia Systems