FOR many students, the Higher School Certificate (HSC) is about more than formalising six years of secondary education. It is about the life lessons they learn along the way.
Students across the city put their knowledge about community groups to the test when they – along with more than 8,000 of their contemporaries statewide – sat the Community and Family Studies (CAFS) exam on Tuesday.
There was strong representation in the exam from Orange Christian School’s 13 students, with the subject compulsory at the school.
For Amber Kent, who made revision notes and practiced with past papers in the lead-up to the exam, there were no surprises on the day.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy but it was a nice surprise that it wasn’t overly difficult,” she said.
Jesse Richardson also felt well prepared for the exam.
“It was more or less what I expected. It’s a relief, I’m less stressed now,” he said.
Emily Pierce said the subject gave her a different perspective on life and groups in the community.
“You learn about different groups in society and develop empathy for the groups,” she said.
“You can see the immediate relevance to everything in life.”
CAFS students studied groups including people living with a disability, those in late adulthood, those who were homeless and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Emily said the subject dispelled incorrect attitudes.
“I think we learnt how wrong some community attitudes are. It was surprising,” she said.
Orange Christian School principal Melissa Brown said the subject aligned with the school’s student outcomes.
“If you’re going to be a leader, you’re a leader of people and developing empathy is very difficult to do if you’ve never had that experience,” Mrs Brown said.
“We know that for our kids, they’ll go through different stages of life. This subject asks to get a snapshot of these stages.”
On Wednesday students will sit modern history and language exams.
On Thursday students will sit biology, software design and development, French and Japanese extension.
On Friday students will put their mathematics skills to the test with mathematics general two, mathematics and mathematics extension two.