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Hunter Sports High School

Hunter Sports High School

Personalising Pathways

Telephone02 4943 5755

Teaching And Learning Program

Life Skills Curriculum

The NSW Board of Studies sets the core curriculum by developing syllabuses for Kindergarten to Year 12 and provides support materials for teachers and parents.


Our students in Years 7-10 (Stages 4 & 5) follow Life Skills courses focusing on eight key learning areas:


Our Year 11 & 12 students (Stage 6) follow and receive their High School Certificate in Life Skills courses in the following key learning areas:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Technology and Applied Studies
  • Human Society and Its Environment
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Creative Arts
  • Community and Family Studies
  • Work and the Community


Click here for Stage 6 Life Skills syllabus documents.


Integration of Technology

The GEM Academy has iPads and laptops available for student use. The use of technology is integrated across all learning tasks in order to increase our students' digital literacy skills and prepare them for important skills for their future. A variety of software and applications are utilised including Google applications, Microsoft 365, Skoolbo, Mathletics, WUSHKA and many others.


A selection of music and art applications are available to all students to support our teaching and learning programs. These applications and programs are frequently reviewed and monitored, with new programs added regularly. Our students exhibit a high level of engagement when using iPads as a tool in their everyday learning activities, and many of these applications are proven to support students with autism. 


Explicit Teaching of Literacy and Numeracy

The GEM Academy has a focus on literacy and numeracy. The explicit teaching of literacy includes spelling, comprehension, sight vocabulary and reading. We implement pre and post testing to identify individualised student literacy tasks. This highly structured approach has resulted in improved student literacy levels in spelling and reading. The focus area for numeracy is using mathematics in everyday life situations with a particular emphasis on developing money skills. 


Work and the Community

The GEM Academy provides two authentic learning experiences each week - the Coffee Shop and the Recycling Program. Students involved in these programs can be seen to grow in confidence and in their ability to work together as a team.


The Coffee Shop program, where students prepare and serve lunch for staff and parents, operates on Fridays from 12pm until 2.10pm every week (except for the first and last weeks of term). Students acquire many skills through participation in the program, e.g. food preparation, food hygiene, cleaning procedures, totaling of dockets, cash handling and customer service. The program is supported by one of the unit's teachers and a Students Learning Support Officer (SLSO) and involves students from Years 9-12. Any profits go directly to the GEM Academy to fund items to support student programs.


Coffee Shop Preparation:

  • On Wednesdays and Thursdays students begin preparation for Friday by cutting up vegetables and salad items, icing cakes and making cordial.
  • On Friday morning students set up the room for Coffee Shop and perform the last minute tasks before serving.
  • Some of the most popular dishes have been Mega Beef Burgers, Mexican Spuds, Snickers Rocky Road and our Mini Pavlovas.



TAFE and TVET courses are an important option for our students to explore post-school options. Many senior students complete courses such as mainstream Child Studies, Hairdressing and Furniture Making. Students learn to catch buses independently to and from the venues for these courses.