What is 'life skills'?
Life skills courses have been designed by the Board of Studies to support the participation of all students in appropriate educational programs. Life skills is a program of learning that is offered to students who are enrolled in school, but who struggle with the demands of the traditional syllabuses set by the Board of Studies. Life skills courses may be taught in conjunction with traditional courses, but have several significant differences, particularly in terms of assessment.
Can I do a full life skills program?
Yes. It is possible to take 12 units of Life Skills courses and indeed many students do.
Can I take a partial life skills program?
Yes. This is also a common pattern. Students may take a combination of courses that are Category A or Category B (Board Developed Courses) along with some Board Endorsed Courses, such as sport, lifestyle and recreation.
Can I change back from life skills in Year 11 to Board Developed in Year 12?
No. Once you have chosen a life skills course, the courses are quite different in their expectations, outcomes and levels of difficulty although subject matter may be similar, so you cannot change back to a Board Developed Course in Year 12
Are there any restrictions?
There are three main restrictions. These are:
- a student who is taking a full Life Skills program, cannot receive an Australian Tertiary Assessment Rank (ATAR).
- A student who is taking a partial Life Skills program, with fewer than 12 units of Board Developed Courses in the Preliminary HSC and fewer than 10 units of Board Developed Courses in the HSC cannot receive an ATAR.
- Some courses cannot be taken together. These are outlined below in the section on course restrictions.
If I study a life skills program, will I still earn an HSC?
Yes, you will earn a life skills HSC from your pattern of study. All of the courses you study will be recorded on the Student Record of Achievement and provided you have completed 12 units of Preliminary HSC study and 10 units of HSC study, you will receive a life skills HSC.
Do I have to complete examinations and assessment tasks with a life skills program?
You will be assessed throughout the course, however, you will not have to complete the same examination and assessment program as those students taking Board Developed Courses. There is no formal HSC examination for life skills courses. Therefore, there is no formal school based assessment with HSC rankings either.
Life skills courses are assessed in terms of outcomes, so when you can demonstrate an outcome, you receive credit for that outcome. It will be recorded on your Profile of Student Achievement, which is the record kept of your achievements and leads to the award of the life skills HSC.
Of course, teachers may ask you to complete tasks like in class tests and quizzes or longer projects to show what you are capable of achieving. It is important to keep in mind that if you are capable of completing the Board Developed Courses, you must attempt those courses. Life skills is only open to those who will struggle to meet Board Developed Courses' outcomes successfully.
If I move to a life skills program, what course restrictions apply?
As life skills courses are more general courses that Board Developed Courses, there are some restrictions that apply. These are the restrictions:
- you cannot take a Board Developed Course and a life skills course of the same name. Therefore, you cannot study the course English studies and English life skills, for example.
- If you study Board Developed Courses ancient history and modern history, there is only one life skills course called history. If you are in this situation, you would need to study history life skills and another course, either a Board Developed Course or a Life Skills course such as society and culture life skills.
- If you study Board Developed Courses economics and business studies, there is only one life skills course called business and economics life skills. If you are in this situation, you would need to study business and economics life skills and another course, either a Board Developed Course (not business studies or economics) or, a life skills course such as society and culture life skills or citizenship and legal studies life skills.
- If you study two or Board Developed Courses in science (biology, physics, chemistry) there is only one science life skills course. If you are in this situation, you would need to study science life skills and another course, either a Board Developed Course (not a science course) or, another life skills course.
- If you study Board Developed Courses information processes and technology and software design and development or industrial technology multimedia, there is only one life skills course called information processes and technology life skills. If you are in this situation, you would need to study information processes and technology life skills and another course, either a Board Developed Course (not a computing course) or, another life skills course.
- As mentioned above, once you move to a life skills program or course, you cannot move back to the Board Developed Course.
What life skills courses are available?
The following courses have life skills syllabuses:
- creative arts:
- dance life skills
- drama life skills**
- music life skills**
- visual arts life skills**
- community and family studies life skills*
- English life skills**
- human society and its environment:
- Aboriginal studies life skills
- business and economics life skills**
- citizenship and legal studies life skills**
- geography life skills*
- history life skills**
- society and culture life skills*
- studies of religion I life skills
- studies of religion II life skills.
- mathematics life skills**
- personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE) life skills**
- science life skills**
- technology life skills:
- agriculture life skills
- design and technology life skills**
- food technology life skills**
- industrial technology life skills**
- information processes and technology life skills**
- textiles and design life skills
- work and community studies life skills.*
Am I able to choose any of these life skills courses?
Unfortunately, our capacity to provide courses is limited. Students will be completing life skills courses in the same classrooms as students completing Board Developed courses, so there will need to be some restrictions to enable teachers to prepare related material for similar courses.
Courses identified with two asterisks (**) will be readily available in the school; courses identified with one asterisk (*) may be available in the school.
What do I do now?
If you think that the life skills program may be of interest to you, download the Expression of Interest form (PDF 157KB) and the complete the section on Page 4 . This is not an enrolment into Life Skills; it is merely indicating that you are interested. Return the form to your Year Adviser and we will discuss your needs with you and your parent or caregiver.