High School Preparation; a solid foundation
Practising dentist and EQI alumnus Dr Charles Xiaohang Sun writes about his High School Preparation (HSP) experience. EQI HSP is a highly successful intensive English program that gives students a solid foundation for mainstream high school studies and beyond.
Why choose the EQI High School Preparation program:
- To prepare for mainstream studies in high school
- To benefit from high quality teaching in a supportive and modern environment
- For an introduction to the Queensland high school system and language
- To develop confidence in spoken English conversation skills
- To learn and make friends through fun activities, excursions and sporting activities
- To practice speaking English with teachers, students and homestay hosts*
- For the assurance of quality: EQI HSP is endorsed by the National English Language Teaching Accreditation Scheme (NEAS).
HSP is offered at:
Elements of design at Indooroopilly State High School
Indooroopilly State High School (SHS) values the individuality of every student and celebrates creativity and culture by blending artistic activities with student learning.
Before formal HSP learning begins at Indooroopilly SHS, the Student Services team organises an orientation for new students to give them an opportunity to meet current students who help them to settle in on their first day. At the same time, they are given valuable information about the HSP centre, complete any administrative formalities and tour the school to familiarise them with the school premises and facilities.
The school also uses creative activities as an innovative way to help students to settle in and stay engaged in their new learning environment.
‘Elements of Design’ is a unit within the HSP at Indooroopilly SHS that combines practical, cultural and academic activities using design elements and principles of art, such as texture and shapes. Students practice with these elements and then apply their learned knowledge and skills to create a practical artwork that reflects their personal identity and interests.
Activities such as the examples below have been found to have a positive effect on students:
“Working as a team” - the Indigenous Dot Mural
In this activity, new HSP students learned the cultural aspects and symbols of Australian Indigenous art and were teamed up to design their own artwork during NAIDOC week. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, and the first week in July is dedicated to celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements.
The students worked together to create a mural that reflects themes from Indigenous drawings. The activity helped the students to get to know each other and settle into the new term. With everyone contributing to the artwork that now hangs in their classroom, there is a real sense of community and achievement.
Australian Pop Artists were the inspiration for this artistic activity. Students brainstormed existing artworks for ideas before sketching and creating clay sculptures of their favourite foods and other objects.
This future activity will include a short study on the relationship between masks and culture. Students will research masks from various cultures, draw sketches of them and take notes that highlight the connections between the masks and the cultural practices of the people who created them. Using this information, the students will design and construct a mask to reveal their understanding of cultures and ceremonial tradition.
Science with Ms Stacey at Mitchelton State High School
Teaching science to High School Preparation (HSP) students is fun and exciting. At Mitchelton State High School our inspirational teachers guide HSP learners through hands-on chemistry lessons.
Ms Stacey engages her students by setting up her laboratory with all the instruments and materials they need to complete science experiments. After she explains and checks her students’ understanding of the safety rules and scientific instruments, she guides them through the scientific method and their reading of the task sheet.
Students really benefit from these experiences and are actively involved and focused in the lessons. When they complete each experiment, Ms Stacey uses questioning to review students’ knowledge, and asks them to summarise their learning. This process builds language fluency and enables the students to use their vocabulary in different lesson contexts.
These fun and interactive science lessons help students to gain an understanding of the language used in the mainstream curriculum. By using English in this way, students are encouraged to participate and maximise their learning in an authentic environment – the lab.
High School Preparation; teachers in focus
Jacqui Smith from Whites Hill State College
Bachelor of Education (secondary); Bachelor of Arts (Languages and Applied Linguistics)
Teaching areas: English, English as Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D), Italian
"My name is Jacqui Smith and this is the philosophy of the school where I teach.
I love teaching. My aim as a teacher is to make a difference to students’ lives by helping them succeed. I teach Year 11 and Year 12 English as Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D), a senior English subject, as well as Literature and Integrated Skills in the High School Preparation classes. The students in my classes come from all over the world which makes for interesting and lively discussions in the classroom.
Literature in High School Preparation prepares students for English classes in Queensland. The genres covered include poetry, drama, short stories and novel studies. The students may know about these in their own language, but they need to know the vocabulary used to discuss styles, themes and issues in mainstream classes. It is always a delight to see the smiles on their faces when students make the connection between their knowledge and what we teach."
Andrew Haverd from Whites Hill State College
Linguistics and Japanese (New South Wales University and The University of Queensland)
Teaching areas: HSP Integrated Skills, English for Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE), Information Communication Technology (ICT)
"G’day everyone! My name is Andrew and I come from Sydney, Australia. I began my teaching career in Japan 26 years ago. During my time there, I immersed myself in the language and culture so I fully understand the challenge and commitment it takes to be a successful English learner and HSP student.
In Japan, I was fortunate to teach EAL/D at both secondary and tertiary level. In 2013, I returned to Australia and settled in beautiful Queensland with my young family. Since then, I have taught IELTS to adults from all over the world, and it has been wonderful to see them achieve their dreams of university study in Australia.
In June 2015, I became an EAL/D teacher at Whites Hill State College where I teach Integrated Skills, English for Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE) and ICT. I really enjoy helping and getting to know our students and seeing them fulfil their goals to study at high school here in Brisbane."
High School Preparation (HSP)
The EQI High School Preparation (HSP) program is for students who need to improve their English before enrolling for mainstream study in a Queensland state school. As these impressive student stories show, successful completion of the HSP can lead to a world of study opportunities, including possible entry to an Australian university.
English proficiency: reading, writing, listening and speaking
The HSP program introduces international students to the Queensland school system and gives them the skills and confidence to settle into an everyday school routine. The curriculum is designed to encourage students to practise their spoken English skills with teachers and other students, and teach them the words and strategies they’ll use in high school study.
HSP students receive a foundation in English for mathematics, science, technology and the arts, and learn essential listening and analytical skills to help them excel in academic classes. Outside the classroom they have lots of chances to enjoy Queensland’s healthy outdoor lifestyle with organised excursions, sports and social activities.
With the guidance and support of their teachers, HSP students gain:
- a strong understanding of English, receiving a minimum of 20 hours of lessons per week
- knowledge of the words and language they will use in high school academic subjects
- greater confidence in English conversation skills through regular practice with teachers and other students and
- the skills to prepare and structure academic assessments.
Students who complete HSP and achieve the benchmark English proficiency can enrol in high school classes or high school study abroad programs.
New High School Preparation (HSP) Alumni
Beichen (Tony) from China studied the HSP program at Indooroopilly State High School before completing senior study at Kenmore State High School. He is now studying a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at The University of Queensland
Adjusting to learning and leisure time
When a student joins our HSP program they become part of a small learning community led by highly qualified ‘English as an Additional Language/Dialect’ (EAL/D) teachers. Many of these teachers have lived overseas so they understand how to help international students settle into new learning and living situations.
"My HSP experience was excellent because I got to meet a lot of friends from different countries. I also got to learn legal terminologies to prepare for my mainstream (study). In legal studies, I learned about the current Queensland Law system, and I got a chance to participate in the National Constitutional Convention, to represent my school and Queensland."
Yu Fei from Hong Kong, Mitchelton State High School
Each school has a specialised team of staff to manage the needs of international students and their families. This includes arranging an airport ‘meet and greet’ when the student first arrives in Queensland and organising safe and welcoming homestay accommodation with a local family. An orientation gives students all the information they need to settle into school, along with the reassurance of having friendly and helpful staff to go to if they need help or extra support.
“I chose Whites Hill State College for the High School Preparation program because it made me more comfortable to learn English in class. International camp was great! I also went surfing and to the EKKA with friends and my teacher. That was amazing too! My teachers are just amazing! They are really helpful, lovely and they help me all the time and also, students are really kind towards international students.”
Haruka from Japan, Whites Hill State College
Study High School Preparation in Brisbane, Queensland
EQI has three schools in Brisbane that offer HSP (Intensive English):
HSP can be run over one or two school terms of approximately 10 weeks each, and includes a minimum of 20 hours of English language instruction per week. EQI also offers a five-week Summer Term during Australia’s December to January school vacation, with a one-week break for Christmas.
All three HSP centres are quality endorsed by the National English Language Teaching Accreditation Scheme (NEAS), the industry body that ensures all accredited programs uphold high standards of English Language Teaching (ELT).
There's more to learning English than just study
With its sub-tropical climate, blue skies and fresh air, Brisbane is an ideal place to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether it’s a light stroll or a game of tennis or basketball - exercise helps to refresh the mind between academic classes, and is a great way for students to make new friends.
“HSP staff understand that families want information about the progress of their student and they know that family involvement, regardless of distance, increases academic scores and students’ confidence in approaching new and exciting learning environments.”
Andrea Pugh, Director of Studies (HSP),
Mitchelton State High School
“We want our students to leave HSP with the skills and the knowledge we know they need. We believe that we have the place, the knowledge, the personnel and the resources to give every student the best opportunity to be successful in their mainstream studies.”
Jean Hamilton, Director of Studies,
HSP, Whites Hill State College
“As a teacher it’s wonderful and encouraging to meet with past students and hear the success stories of the many who achieved high rankings to enter university in order to gain qualifications for professional fields such as medicine, pharmacy, engineering and business. Some past students have even started their own businesses. HSP has provided an initial platform to build confidence and use language skills as the key to open doors.”
Astar Alexis, HSP Academic Coordinator,
Indooroopilly State High School