The Southern Cross Advantage is the ability to provide personalised learning, and micro-credentialing for students, alongside a full ATAR pathway studying NESA Board Developed Courses. 

Performing Arts NESA Curriculum – Stage 6

The HSC Dance course is a rigorous course designed for students who have either studied Dance in Year 9 and 10, or who currently train at an accomplished level in their speciality area such as Contemporary, Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballroom or Tap. 

The course is unique in that the student can choose to be assessed in up to 80% practical skills – Performance and Composition – with the remaining 20% allocated to Appreciation. It is also the only HSC course where one of the components, Composition, requires the student to teach a younger student their choreography, who performs it for the HSC examiners.

Students study Australian Drama and Theatre (20%), and Studies in Drama and Theatre (20%) topics, as well as completing a Group Performance (30%), and then choosing one of the following for their Individual Project (30%): Performance, Critical Analysis (Theatre Reviews, Research Report), Design (Set, Lighting, Costume, Publicity & Promotion), Directors Portfolio, Video Drama (Film Making) and Scriptwriting.

The HSC Music 1 Course is a hands-on course for students who love to perform, compose, or listen to a wide range of music. Students can choose this course whether or not they have studied Elective Music in Years 9 & 10.

In the HSC, all students are required to perform one piece of music, with three additional elective choices to the total value of 70% in any combination of performance, composition or musicology. In addition to this, there is an Aural examination worth 30%.

When students choose Music, they must major in either voice or another instrument, and receive weekly private tuition. If students do not have access to a tutor outside of school, they may utilise on-site tutors. 

The HSC Music 2 Course is aimed at students who want a more in-depth study of Music from different genres, ranging from Classical to Art music of today. Students may only apply to study Music 2 if they have completed the Elective Music course, or equivalent Theory/Musicianship Grade Examinations in A.M.E.B or Trinity.

In the HSC examination, students complete a written paper (Aural and Musicology) worth 35 marks, a practical examination worth 20 marks, a core composition worth 15 marks, and an elective (either performance, composition or musicology) worth 30 marks.

In order to qualify for this course, students must be an accomplished musician on their chosen instrument, and receive weekly, private tuition.

Music Extension is an additional 1 unit added in Year 12 to the Music 2 Course. Students who choose this extension option perform 3 extra pieces, or compose an extra piece, or write a musicology essay. Most students who do Music 2 choose to take up the Music Extension option.

Students in Year 11 must also undertake the following:

  • Studies of Religion II (2 Units)
    The Studies of Religion II Preliminary course focuses on Aboriginal Peoples’ relationship to the Land, Aboriginal heritage and identity, and an historical examination of colonialism, racism and prejudice from pre-contact times to the 1960s. The course also includes the development of skills in culturally appropriate research and inquiry methods. It involves case studies.The Studies of Religion II HSC course provides for in-depth study of legislation, policy, judicial processes and current events from the 1960s. During the course, students undertake consultation with Aboriginal communities and study the course through the experiences of national and international Indigenous communities. Students apply research and inquiry methods through the completion of a major project.

Additionally, students are required to complete one of the following English Courses:

  • English Standard (2 Units)
    The English Standard course provides students, who have a diverse range of literacy skills, with the opportunity to analyse, study and enjoy a breadth and variety of English texts to become confident and effective communicators.English Standard offers a rich language experience that is reflected through the integrated modes of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing. Through study of the course modules students continue to develop their skills to analyse, reconsider and refine meaning and to reflect on their own processes of responding, composing and learning.
  • English Advanced (2 Units)
    In the English Advanced course, students continue to explore opportunities to investigate complex ideas in challenging texts, to evaluate, emulate and employ powerful, creative and sophisticated ways to use language to make meaning, and to find enjoyment in literature. Students refine their understanding of the dynamic relationship between language, texts and meaning.

Students explore this through critical study and through the skillful and creative use of language forms and features, and of structures of texts composed for different purposes in a range of contexts. Through study of the course modules students continue to develop their skills to question, reconsider and refine meaning through language, and to reflect on their own processes of responding, composing and learning.

  • Mathematics Standard (2 Units) – Optional
    Mathematics Standard offer students the skills to use mathematics to make informed decisions in their daily lives. Students develop understanding and competence in mathematics through real-world applications. These skills can be used in a range of concurrent Preliminary courses. Mathematics Standard improves numeracy by building student confidence and making mathematics meaningful. Numerate students can manage situations or solve problems in everyday life, work or further learning.

In addition to Board Developed Performing Arts Courses, Southern Cross also offers elite performers the option of studying a Music Theatre Pathway.

Music Theatre Pathway
The NESA Board Endorsed course, Certificate III in Community, Dance, Theatre and Events, is a nationally recognised VET qualification – aimed at students who want a more in-depth study of Musical Theatre. This course is aimed at singers, dancers and actors. This is a highly practically based subject, taught by professionals who have extensive skills in performing, directing and producing musicals over many years.

Students studying this course will study units in dance, acting, singing, costume design, production elements, and creating partnerships with industry, as well as participate in a major production each year.

Students may commence the Stage 6 Certificate III course in Year 10 or 11.

Additional Qualifications in Performing Arts
In addition to the VET Music Theatre Pathway, Southern Cross also offers National Qualifications in:

Certificate III in Music Industry (open to Year 10-12 students)
This qualification provides students with the foundation knowledge and skills required for an exciting career in the Music Industry. Through a  combination of theory and practical work, units of study in this course will provide students with the ability to develop and apply musical ideas and listening skills, as well as play or sing music, and incorporate music technology into performance.

Certificate III in Screen and Media (open to Year 10-12 students)
This certificate is a nationally recognised entry-level qualification for employment in the film, television, radio or digital media industries. This course prepares students to apply a broad range of competencies in a varied work context, using some discretion and judgement and relevant theoretical knowledge so as to provide support to a team.

Certificate III in Entertainment Industry (open to Year 11-12 students)
This qualification aims to provide students with the foundation knowledge and skills required to provide technical support in a staging, lighting and audio context in a safe and efficient manner. The qualification is recognised as an entry-level qualification for employment in the entertainment Industry and provides opportunities to:

  • Set up and complete sound and audio checks
  • Work with staging elements and assist in the ‘Bump in’ and ‘Bump out’ of a production or performance
  • Provide client services – receiving clients, handling patron’s enquiries and complaints

The Certificate III in Entertainment Industry has an optional HSC examination which contributes 2 units towards an ATAR. Therefore it is recommended a student study this course in Years 11 and 12.