Kent Street High School in Perth, the pioneer of Aviation studies in Australia, is looking to expand nationwide, in a bid to save the specialty course.
The school introduced the subject into its school curriculum back in the late 1970s but is now in danger of losing it.
Unfortunately, in recent years other high schools in Western Australia offering the subject have ceased offering the university bound program for Year 11 and 12 students.
This places the future of the course at risk due to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s (SCSA) minimum requirement of 100 candidates in Year 12 for the course to be both statistically and economically viable.
That led to Kent deciding to spread its wings to other states. It will use its expertise to provide exams as well as marking.
Kent street Principal, Kath Ward along with Aviation teacher, Kevin Bennett, head off on a national tour in March and will hold presentations in each capital city to highlight its its proposal.
The school is proud of its specialist Virgin Australia Aviation Program that offers Year seven to 10 students a unique opportunity to delve into the challenging and rewarding field of aviation and transitions in the upper school to the university bound Aviation course – a diploma course and/or a Certificate course in Aeronautics.
Bennett describes the Aviation Program as “a quality evidence-based STEM program taught across all year levels”. Study spans a diverse range of areas including mathematics, English, science and environment, and technology and enterprise. It caters for both those students who wish to pursue a career in aviation to those keen to explore the subject as a hobby.
The school’s world-class Aviation Education Centre opened in 1994.
They are offered many exciting aviation-related experiences and opportunities from helping to build an aeroplane, flying the Airbus A320 flight simulator, jump-seating on an airliner to learning the skills required to fly an aircraft themselves.
Students are also introduced to key aviation organisations, such as the Royal Australian Air force (RAAF) Base Pearce and the Royal Flying Doctors Service, and attend significant aviation events including the Avalon Airshow in Victoria.
The school’s world-class Aviation Education Centre opened in 1994 and was especially designed for aviation education.
Aviation staff at Kent Street are all licensed commercial pilots and have on board a qualified flight instructor, qualified to instruct students in flying training towards receiving their private pilot’s licence.
Kent Street owns two training aircraft to provide economical and accessible flying training for students. Previous Kent Street aviation students have built a Vans RV-6A aircraft which first took to the air in 2003.
The Aviation faculty at Kent street together with the Canning Coalition and Virgin Australia, have formed a strong industry partnership which has provided aviation students with invaluable work experience opportunities and future career prospects following graduation.
Under the “Adopt a School” initiative, aviation students are now offered the opportunity to undertake work experience at Virgin Australia, assisting Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers with the maintenance of jet aircraft with the potential of subsequently gaining an apprenticeship.
Ward and Bennett are expected to visit Canberra on 3 March and Brisbane 6 March with plans to visit all other states after that.
For more information please visit www.kentstreetshs.wa.edu.au
Jessica Snir is a clinical trial coordinator at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Cosmos contributor.
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