College and Campus Frequently Asked Questions | Hastings Secondary College

What is the difference between private school and public school? And why choose public schools over private?

Obviously public schools are run by the NSW State government Department of Education and private Schools are run by religious organisations or private businesses. Port Macquarie residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to education.

We are confident that our College knows every child and cares for every child whilst delivering on our key areas of Excellence, Innovation, Opportunity and Success specific to each individual.

We extend an open invitation to come to both of our Year 6-7 Information Evenings where we open our doors to you. Meet and talk to our staff, students and community and choose the best education option for your child.

  • Wednesday 9 May - Port Macquarie Campus
  • Monday 14 May - Westport Campus

We are proud to uphold our NSW Public School core values:

INTEGRITY: Being consistently honest and trustworthy.

EXCELLENCE:  Striving for the highest personal achievement in all aspects of schooling and individual and community action, work and life-long learning.

RESPECT:  Having regard for yourself and others, lawful and just authority and diversity within Australian society and accepting the right of others to hold different or opposing views.

RESPONSIBILITY:  Being accountable for your individual and community's actions towards yourself, others and the environment.

COOPERATION: Working together to achieve common goals, providing support to others and engaging in peaceful resolution of conflict.

PARTICIPATION: Being a proactive and productive individual and group member, having pride in and contributing to the social and economic wealth of the community and the nation.

CARE: Concern for the wellbeing of yourself and others, demonstrating empathy and acting with compassion.

FAIRNESS: Being committed to the principles of social justice and opposing prejudice, dishonesty and injustice.

DEMOCRACY: Accepting and promoting the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of being an Australian citizen.

What is the difference between the two campuses? Is it just the zone? Do they offer the same subjects?

Our College prides itself on the excellence of our two campuses. We have worked hard since the College started to deliver on our values of Excellence, Innovation, Opportunity, Success for our College students. We don’t distinguish between the campuses, both achieve these aims and this was evident at the 2018 College Awards of Excellence ceremony.

So, Westport Campus is nestled in the Rainforest and regularly visited by koalas, Port Macquarie overlooks Oxley beach and enjoys views of the ocean from some classrooms.

Your child’s campus is designated by zones set by the department of education and is based on your residential address. Non local placement applications are administered by Michelle Garven HT College

When students have choice of subjects, both campuses offer the same subjects/courses. Students may choose their:  Academies and PIP’s in Years 7 and 8; elective courses for Year 9/10 and elective classes actually taught reflect student choice at each campus.

In subject selection in Year 11/12 courses become available, dependant on student choices. Our College is able to offer substantially more subjects/courses together as we can combine students from two campuses to create a class that may otherwise have not been available. In their senior years your child my do courses at the second campus, often with friends they have met through College events and initiatives, or with new friends they quickly make. Approximately 40 students from Year 11 and 12 undertake cross campus courses.

How will I know which campus my child is zoned for?

This information is pre-populated on your child’s personalised Expression of Interest to Enrol at hastings Secondary College. This form is in your child’s enrolment pack. If you are still unsure, contact Michelle Garven College Head Teacher or phone her at either campus.

What if my child hasn’t decided which campus to go to by the time the EOI are due?

Our College prides itself on the excellence of our two campuses. We are confident your child will enjoy their years of earning, regardless of their campus. Our Year 7 speakers at College Connect often express how their worries about going to high school or their campus disappeared at orientation or Day 1. Our College Connect transition an orientation program is comprehensive and thoroughly prepares students for secondary education.

Positivity and excitement from parents and carers goes a long way to allay any of your child’s concerns. Remind them it wouldn’t be exciting if it wasn’t bit scary - compare it with rides at a theme park: the merry go round (not scary and boring) to their favourite ride (a bit scary and thus exciting).  Be excited for and with them as they move to High School, after all it is a “rite of passage” for every child. Our College’s transition program is “a safe and supported adventure” as they grow and mature into teenagers and young adults.

Your child’s campus is designated by zones set by the Department of Education and is based on your residential address. Non local placement applications are administered and processed by Michelle Garven HT College

Can you describe your approach to discipline and boundaries with students?

We can direct you to our website

What types of programs/intervention strategies do you use when dealing with bullies? Can you outline your anti-bullying policy?

Our College Anti-Bullying Policy involves a comprehensive, pro-active approach towards supporting our stance against any bullying or harassment. The College delivers Pastoral Care each day, during this time staff and students discuss current issues facing our youth such as positive relationships, cyber safety, being a supportive friend and building resilience.

An array of student led days encourage positivity and inclusion, such as Harmony day and our College “Be a super hero” Anti-bullying Day on Friday 16th March, these are run by our student leadership teams.

Numerous workshops with guest speakers are held throughout the year; police visits alert students to the dangers of drugs, anti-social behaviour and the need to take responsibility; Charles Sturt University (CSU) Study Skills days for Year 11; ‘Courage to Care’ – an anti-bullying program with links to the Holocaust and motivational speakers for the Year 9 Boys At Risk Program are among those.  More information can be found on our website at:

Safe in Social Media is a Hastings Valley Community of Schools initiative for 2018 for primary to Year 12, seeking to ensure our young people are safe on Social Media, whilst educating them about the responsibilities and consequences of online posting and having an online ‘presence’. This information and support is available to parents through links on our Facebook page.


What trade does the College support their students to get into?

Hastings Secondary College will support your child with their career or trade aspirations.

We have qualified staff to deliver Australian Certified VET (Vocational Education and Training) to Year 11 and 12 in VET Construction, VET Entertainment, VET Hospitality - Food and Beverage, VET Hospitality - Kitchen Operations, VET Information and Digital Technology, VET Metal and Engineering, VET Primary Industries, VET Retail Services. These can be undertaken as part of an ATAR pattern of study.

We also offer externally provided courses. The Externally Delivered Courses listed below represent the common and popular courses previously available. However, courses delivered by external providers will vary each year based on demand.

EVET Automotive, EVET Electrotechnology, EVET Financial Services, EVET Human Services; Aged Care/Nursing, EVET Tourism Travel and Events, EVET Animal Studies (Wauchope TAFE), EVET Beauty Services (options in Nail Technology and/or Make-up), EVET Early Childhood Education and Care, EVET Fitness, EVET Interactive Games and Apps Development, EVET Screen and Media. You will need to seek advice from your Career’s Advisor to whether these courses can be taken as part of an ATAR pattern of study

Does HSC have a student exchange program? If yes, to where?

Hasting Secondary College hosts students from Japan EVERY YEAR, from our sister school Okadama Senior High School, Sapporo, Japan. In 2018 we also hosted the Port Macquarie Sister city school from Handa, Japan.

Our students are often supported by Port Macquarie and Westport Rotary clubs alongside our College to exchange overseas.

We also offer a senior European study tour, with the highly renowned Academy Travel every second year. This cover subjects such as Modern History, Ancient History, Visual Arts and Languages.

Is the taxi between campuses only Year 11/12? Is there a teacher present in the cab?

YES taxis are only for Year 11 and 12. They are mature and responsible young people of 16 years and over, almost always travelling as a group. There is playground duty staff near the front gates, where students are picked up and dropped off in Lunch 2.

In line with Department or Education Policy, students who have a licence and are lucky enough to have a fully insured car or access to one, may get permission to drive to or from their cross-campus lessons. They may also seek permission to take passengers. Passengers must also seek permission to be a passenger.