Real choice in the Senior Years    

Senior Years

At St Andrew’s Cathedral School students at our coeducational Senior College campus enjoy the opportunity to study a significant breadth of subjects and courses, with the option to choose either the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) pathways in Years 11 and 12. Alongside dedicated, expert teachers, the campus structure and city-based location of our Senior College creates a uniquely supportive pre-tertiary environment for our senior students.

“I believe there is great value in being able to offer students a choice of exit credentials and a broad range of subjects to suit all learners,” said Dr Julie McGonigle, Head of St Andrews Cathedral School. “Both the HSC and the IBDP are world-class qualifications that have their respective merits. We offer these two pathways because the different curriculum structures appeal in different ways to different students. In making the decision, students can consider their individual needs and preferences as well as future goals.”

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While the HSC offers a wide variety of subjects it is also flexible in allowing students to narrow in on a particular area of interest. English is the only compulsory subject and students have the option of specialisation with a broad range of extension courses. As an example, if you have a child who has an interest in the sciences, they may want to do Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Sciences along with compulsory English. The Year 11 Preliminary Course is the ‘building block’ for the final year; by Year 12 a blend of traditional written exams and school-based assessments culminate in end-of-year written examinations. 

The IBDP, developed by educators in the mid-1960s, is designed to be deliberately broad-based, and is best suited to the all-rounder who is interested or excels in a cross-section of disciplines. Students must include a foreign language, English, Mathematics, Science and a humanities subject in their study. An interdisciplinary approach promotes skills such as critical thinking, independent research, service learning and a global perspective. A challenging and comprehensive set of courses and exams asks for a student to consistently manage workload across two years, preparing an individual for university education worldwide.

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“Our students excel in both courses,” said Dr McGonigle. “Last year our Year 12 IB students achieved the School’s best ever IBDP results with an outstanding 87% achieving an ATAR over 90. Likewise, our Year 12 HSC students also achieved the School’s best ever HSC results, with 42% of the School’s HSC students on the distinguished achievers’ list. Regardless of what curriculum choice is made, our campus is focused on preparing the character development, interests, strengths and skills of our young people for life well beyond the classroom, and our students flourish in universities both in Australia and abroad.”

Academic Scholarships are now open for Years 10 and Year 11, 2025, closing on Friday 14 June 2024.

To experience our School first-hand, join our Head of School Tour on 4 June.

To book, visit our website or to find out more email


Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, St Andrew’s Cathedral School is an innovative, co-educational day school, providing students from […]

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