Bankstown Senior College

Antwerp St, Bankstown, NSW 2200

Established in 1992, Bankstown Senior College (BSC) is a Government senior high school encompassing years 10-12 and Sydney’s only adult Intensive English Centre (IEC). The College provides an adult learning environment for students, aged 16 and over, seeking an alternative to conventional schooling. The student population is culturally diverse (40% of students are refugees, 70% are new migrants, 90% are from a non-English speaking background). In 2002, over 30 different languages were spoken by students who come from a variety of cultural backgrounds including Arabic, Assyrian, Somali, Vietnamese, Serbian, Kurdish and Chinese. Many are mature and re-entry students (70% are aged 18 and over) whose formal education has been interrupted or who are at a risk of not completing their formal studies. 435 students were enrolled at the college in 2011 with 247 male and 159 female students across Years 10-12.

How this program works

Bankstown Senior College aims to empower students to be active, confident, lifelong learners by creating a safe and secure learning environment that is built on mutual respect between staff and students. Learning is considered a partnership; students’ life experiences are valued, different ways of learning are recognised and student participation is promoted, for example, through the student representative council and leadership program. The college values and builds on the cultural diversity of its students working to develop relationships within the wider community through Community Liaison Officers and through school events that celebrate different cultures and foster a sense of belonging, for example Harmony Day and Team Building Day.

Full-time study takes place over 4 days and there are no school bells or uniforms. The college is committed to academic excellence with a focus on vocational education, English language support and the development of literacy and numeracy skills. An extensive range of accredited academic and vocational subjects are offered at Year 10, 11 and 12. This includes Cert II in General and Vocational Education and Higher School Certificate courses, as well as Intensive English Classes and Cert II in Spoken and Written English. ICT and e-learning are integrated into the curriculum. Students have individualised learning plans and reflection is used as a learning tool. There is a proactive student support program with developmental programs fostering physical, social, emotional and academic well-being and intervention programs which focus on specific individual needs, for example, the Bankstown Tutorial Program for students with internalising behaviour and mental health issues, one-to-one tutoring support for Aboriginal students, and an embedded learning support program to help students clarify their goals and develop their academic skills.

Outcomes

Positive outcomes, indicating the success of this program, include: growth in academic, social and cultural areas within the school, attracting a healthy number of students, offering a wide and varied curriculum and student academic and non-academic achievements:

Credentialed attainment: 68 year 12 students attained HSC or equivalent vocational educational qualification (2011). 95% of students on CGVE II course attained the qualification (2011).

Program wide achievements: The College achieved higher than state average HSC results for Arabic Continuers, Chinese Background Speakers and Vietnamese Background Speakers and performed better in Business Services examination than the Like School Group average. Students showe