Learning & Teaching


The 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians states that ‘Education equips young people with the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to take advantage of opportunities and to face the challenges of this era with confidence.’ While this may be the collective responsibility of all stakeholders, we believe that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially, emotionally, morally and spiritually. Teachers, in particular, set the tone and priority of Pastoral and Academic care by their witness and example.

John Therry Catholic College is founded on the Marist philosophy, ‘To educate children first you must love them, and love them equally’ (known as St. Marcellin’s ‘Golden Rule’) as well as honouring all of the work in the school and those who undertake it.

Therefore, our curriculum aims at providing students with learning experiences that prepare them for life beyond the College premises and provide our students with an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas. There are three elements that we believe are conducive to establishing such an environment

  • The teacher acting as a guide
  • Allowing the child’s natural curiosity to direct his/her learning, and
  • Promoting respect for all things and all people

The John Therry Secondary Educational Program draws on the CEO Wollongong Guidelines for Developing a Quality Secondary School Educational Program and incorporates the Diocesan Learning & Teaching framework. The program provides a clear whole-school plan of how quality Catholic learning, teaching and assessment will occur for all learners.

Curriculum & Pedagogy

John Therry offers the following learning experiences for students:

  • Learning support programs with targeted intervention
  • Transition programs from primary to secondary school
  • Vocational Education & Training – Business Services, Hospitality, Entertainment, Construction, Sport, Fitness & Recreation, Information Digital technology and various TAFE delivered courses
  • Under the guidance of the Literacy & Numeracy Instructional coaches, a whole school emphasis on literacy and numeracy, as a certified college
  • an emphasis on e-learning in classrooms centred around the 1:1 laptop program
  • a whole college emphasis on curriculum differentiation to support individual needs
  • the promotion of assessment for learning, assessment of learning and assessment as learning to enhance assessment experiences which improve learning.


According to the NESA website, Assessment is the broad name for the collection and evaluation of evidence of a student's learning. It is integral to teaching and learning and has multiple purposes. Assessment can enhance student engagement and motivation, particularly when it incorporates interaction with teachers, other students and a range of resources.


  • provides opportunities for teachers to gather evidence about student achievement in relation to syllabus outcomes
  • enables students to demonstrate what they know and can do
  • clarifies student understanding of concepts and promotes deeper understanding
  • provides evidence that current understanding and skills are a suitable basis for future learning
  • Reference Assessment principles

Each year, the John Therry assessment calendar for Years 7-10 and the Year 11 Assessment Grid, is designed to provide students with the richest learning experiences enabling them to become confident, independent and self-directed learners. Additionally, in keeping with the Catholic ethos of the school, assessment experiences reflect gospel values where every student is provided with a platform to give of his or her best.

The HSC internal assessment program is designed to provide a summative measure of a student's achievement in each course. School-based assessment tasks are linked to standards and enable teachers to collect information about a student’s achievement in relation to outcomes in each course.

Academic Policies & Procedures

The John Therry Gifted & Talented Program

In accordance with the Diocesan Gifted and Talent network and its frameworks, at John Therry gifted and talented students are identified through tests like AGAT, along with evidence from classroom learning. Enrichment opportunities for gifted students included:

  • The Year 10 Science Fair
  • Participation in the UOW Learning Labs program
  • The UWS Young Writers’ Workshop
  • External competitions in various KLAs
  • The ANZAC Schools Project (John Therry students have won the competition three years in a row)
  • Years 8 & 9 Ignition program

Junior School Subjects

All Year 7 & 8 students study a range of subjects as mandated by the Board of Studies:

Compulsory Subjects:

  • Religious Education
  • Science
  • Personal Development/Health & Physical Education
  • Language (Japanese or Indonesian) in Year 8
  • English
  • History
  • Music
  • Mathematics
  • Geography
  • Mandatory Technology

All Year 9 & 10 students study the mandatory core subjects:

  • Religious Education
  • Science
  • English
  • Australian History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship
  • Mathematics
  • Personal Development/Health & Physical Education

In addition, students’ study TWO elective subjects from the wide selection that are offered:

  • Child Studies
  • Commerce
  • Drama
  • Food Technology
  • Industrial Technology – Engineering
  • Industrial Technology – Timber
  • Information and Software Technology
  • Japanese
  • Music
  • Photography & Digital Media
  • Physical Activity and Sport Studies
  • Textiles Technology
  • Visual Arts

Senior School Subjects

Stage 6 study which results in the Higher School Certificate (HSC) requires the satisfactory completion of the Year 11 course (the Year 11 part of the Stage 6 course) and the HSC Course. Year 11 courses, at John Therry, commence in Term 1 of Year 11 and extend to the end of Term 3 of Year 11. As a prerequisite to the HSC, the Year 11 course requires students to develop knowledge and skills critical to the study of the HSC course.

The HSC course, at John Therry, commences in Term 4 of Year 11 and concludes with the state-wide HSC examination in Term 3 of the following year.

Courses offered are a combination of Board Developed Courses and Board Endorsed Courses/Content Endorsed Courses.

To qualify for the Higher School Certificate, candidates must study a minimum of 12 units of Year11 courses and a minimum of 10 units of HSC courses, which must include:

At least two units of English.
A minimum of six units of Board Developed Courses.
At least three courses of 2-unit value or greater.
At least four subjects.
No more than 6 units of Science.

A student graduating from John Therry will achieve some or all of the following depending upon their selected program of study:

Matriculation for University entrance.
A TAFE Certificate.
Industry accredited Competencies.
Relevant and accredited workplace experience from industry.
Credit transfer to TAFE.

Courses offered at John Therry can be from the following:

Board Developed Courses Category A


Category A (continued)


Studies of Religion I


Music 1


Studies of Religion II




Ancient History






Investigating Science


Business Studies


Society and Culture




Software Design and Development


Community and Family Studies


Textiles & Design


Design & Technology


Visual Arts




Category B


Earth & Environmental Science


Business Services (240 hrs) - VET




Construction (240 hrs) – VET


Entertainment Industry (240 hrs) - VET


English Standard


Hospitality Kitchen Operations (240 hrs) - VET




Information Digital Technology (240 hrs) – VET


English Advanced


Retail Services (240 hrs) – VET


English Extension 1


Hospitality Food & Beverage (240 hrs) – VET




Mathematics Standard1 (Examination)




English Studies (Examination)


Food Technology






Content Endorsed Courses (Cannot be counted for ATAR)


Information Processes and Technology


Photography, Video & Digital Imaging


1 or 2




Visual Design

1 or 2

Languages (please refer to Open High School or Saturday School NSW Department of Education)


English Studies (non-examination)




Sport, Lifestyle & Recreation

1 or 2

Industrial Technology - (Furniture & Timber Products)


Work Studies

1 or 2

Legal Studies


Mathematics Standard1 (non-examination)


 Mathematics Standard 2


Board Endorsed Courses (Cannot be counted for ATAR)






Mathematics Extension 1


 Studies in Catholic Thought (SICT)


Modern History




Student Achievement

The school used a variety of assessment strategies at key points in the learning framework. These included teacher observation, projects and presentations.

National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)

The school participates in the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for the purposes of diagnosing individual learning needs and reviewing whole class teaching programs. Each year, NAPLAN is implemented for students in Years 7 and 9 and the results provide valuable information about student achievements in Literacy and Numeracy. Student performance in NAPLAN is reported in ten bands. Each year these tests are administered in May over three days in the areas of Literacy (reading, writing, spelling, grammar) and Numeracy (number and data, measurement, space and geometry). Students are supplied with a report, that provide their individual results in these areas as well as the state average. Each year, John Therry students achieve sound results in NAPLAN.

Higher School Certificate

School Dux

Each year, we, at John Therry, celebrate achievement of our students’ HSC results which is a result of the combined hard work of our students, parents and teachers. The improved learning and teaching strategies supported by the Homework Club, the after-school tutorials, study days, networking with high achieving schools and faculties, all advance the improved results.

2021 College Dux - Damien Pattinson

(6th in State for English Standard)

 2021 Top Achievers in Visual Arts

Toby Harland (1st in State) & Lauren Marsh (2nd in State)

Lauren Marsh.jpg

Distinguished Achievers

Lauren Foreman - Visual Arts

Cameron Ible - Design and Technology

Talia Huynh - Visual Arts

Joseph Koura - Visual Arts

Jonathan Corscadden - Modern History

Jessica Soh - Music 1

Mohit Subedi - Drama

Chloe Williams - Community and Family Studies

Griffin Hills - Business Studies

Alyssa Powell - Music 1, Japanese Continuers

Isabella Gerace - Community and Family Studies

Saidy Boustani - Community and Family Studies, Visual Arts

Aaron Crispino - Visual Arts

Kyle Kalabric - Business Studies, Information Processes and Technology

Chloe Kerswell - Visual Arts

Amith Jacob-Kovoor - Investigating Science, Studies of Religion 1

Giselle Levine - Visual Arts, English Advanced, Studies of Religion 1

Sophia Wolczak - Maths Extension (E4), Maths Extension 2 (E3), (Notional Band 6)

Joshua Innes - Maths Extension 1 (E4), Maths Extension 2 (E3), (Notional Band 6)

Morgan McPhee - Visual Arts, English Advanced, Modern History, Studies of Religion 1

Olivia Mesa - Studies of Religion 1, English Advanced, Legal Studies, Modern History, Drama