HSC CoWorks: Building a Pathway for Lifelong Learning
Updated: Feb 12
It’s all well and good to “Give a Gonksi” about the alarming fall in basic numeracy and literacy standards of our nation’s schoolkids, but when David’s endlessly revamped plans are so complicated not even Duckworth Lewis knows the score, parents and students alike are rightfully asking, how did education become so complicated?
This predicament’s nothing new. In 1996 Fergus Gardiner, a teacher who’d become frustrated with the gaps in the school system, set up a coaching business specifically for year 11 and 12 students, HSC CoWorks. The premise was simple; give the students a framework for learning so that it can be applied for HSC excellence in that very challenging two year process, but beyond that, the principles can be applied to the real world.
25 years later, and in an increasingly competitive and complex work environment, the ability to learn is far more important than the underlying specifics of what you learn. Jesse Gardiner, Fergus’ son and HSC CoWorks’ Head Performance Coach explains, “Our focus is making the educational experience a priceless tool for greater life. We think of our students working towards their best possible HSC result as climbing a mountain, but we’re not a ‘Marks Factory’.”
Whatever HSC result a student attains is only as valuable as the climbing skills they’ve learnt to get there. Jesse continues, “If a student’s been spoon fed specific answers, that’s not going to serve them well down the track. In fact, it harms them. But if they’ve taken our principles to become independent learners with the mindset that learning is a positive experience, they’re primed for success in the greater world regardless what mountains they’ll have to climb in their career paths ahead.”
The fact so many HSC CoWorks’ students apply to work as coaches once they’ve completed their high school exams is a strong indication of how highly they value the program. “We’ve got an abundance of our ex-students, 19 and 20 year olds, who’ve gone on to tertiary studies, and are so keen to work as coaches, impart all the wisdom they’ve taken from their own HSC journeys to the next generation.”
HSC CoWorks is not intended to replace the great work schools do in educating kids but is designed to be the perfect complement. With coaching clinics expanding in Dee Why, Mosman, Chatswood, Bondi Junction and online, there’s clearly a healthy appetite for the educational product they have to offer.