‘Booster Days’ help Year 12 students prepare for HSC

Published 16 June 2009

dhallcarterBusiness and Law

About 170 Year 12 students of Business Studies and Legal Studies from around northern NSW visited the University of New England yesterday for a fresh insight into the requirements of the Higher School Certificate examinations in those subjects.

The students came to the “HSC Booster Day” from Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Glen Innes, Gunnedah, Nambucca Heads, Quirindi and Tamworth.

They received advice about curriculum content and HSC examination strategies from two visiting experts: Mr Mohan Dhall, who teaches at the Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Croydon and also trains teachers at the University of Technology, Sydney, and Ms Anne Carter, who teaches HSC Legal Studies at Scone High School.

Mr Dhall, who has marked HSC Business Studies and Legal Studies papers and worked on the HSC Advice Line, is also a student of Law – and as such, he says, he can relate to any examination concerns the HSC students might have.

“The Booster Day gave them affirmation that they’re being as well taught here in regional NSW as are their counterparts in Sydney,” he said. “It also provided them with up-to-date information: for example, I was able to talk to Business Studies students and their teachers today about the Fair Work Act, which, when it becomes law on the 1st of July, will affect all businesses operating inter-State.

“In Legal Studies I presented a contemporary perspective on how to assess the effectiveness of the law – particularly from the point of view of the disadvantaged.”

“It’s been a wonderful day,” Ms Carter said. “I went through the core of the course with them, emphasising what they need to do to prepare for the exam, and what to expect. It’s important for them to hear these things from someone else – as well as from their classroom teacher.”

UNE’s Ms Nola Holmes, one of the organisers of the day, said it had been very successful, with students not only receiving valuable advice on preparing for their HSC examinations, but also experiencing a university environment in which they could pursue their studies at tertiary level. “They received information about relevant UNE courses that flow on directly from their current HSC studies,” Ms Holmes said.

THE PHOTOGRAPH of Mohan Dhall and Anne Carter displayed here expands to include Glen Innes High School students (from left) Jared Willis, Fiona Annetts, Jessica Dunn, and Tom Halloran.

The Sciences

jessopUNE also staged “Booster Days” this week for students preparing for HSC examinations in science subjects.

About 250 students from schools in Armidale, Barraba, Gunnedah, Guyra, Inverell, Uralla, Walcha and Warialda visited UNE yesterday and today for HSC-related activities in Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics led by UNE academics and technicians.

Joining them were 11 Year 12 students – coming from as far away as Brisbane and Newcastle – who are participants in the 2009 National Youth Science Forum (NYSF). Their NYSF-accredited “Uni Seminar” at UNE included the HSC Booster activities as well as a field excursion to Dangar’s Gorge, and an ecosystem management seminar presented yesterday evening by UNE’s Dr Karl Vernes.

After the event one of the teachers who had accompanied students from a rural school commented on “how much a program such as the HSC Boosters means to country – or, rather, rural – students such as ours”. It had given them “confidence, reinforcement, and an awareness that those in the big towns are at exactly where we’re at,” the teacher said.

Another teacher said that her students had learnt a great deal, and commented on the value of the “hands-on” experience they had received in the UNE laboratories.

THE PHOTOGRAPH of UNE’s Associate Professor Robin Jessop (one of the organisers of the Science Booster Days) displayed here expands to include Sam Moore and Christina Jeyaruban from O’Connor Catholic College.