2021 HSC Winter School Teacher Support

SYO aims to support HSC Music classroom teachers who are determined to provide their students with opportunities to boost their confidence, skills and exam preparation through our intensive HSC Winter School.

DATE Monday 5 – Friday 9 July 2021
TIME 10:00am – 2:00pm
LOCATION Santa Sabina College, Strathfield OR SYOnline Digital Platform

RECOMMENDED FOR: All Year 11 & 12 HSC Music 2/Extension students as well as Year 10 students preparing for HSC Music 2/Extension.


Classroom teachers can access a teacher reference code which your students can use to receive a discount on the cost of their own SYO HSC Winter School registration fee.

To receive a teacher reference code, please complete the following form: HSC Winter School Teacher Reference Code

If you are having trouble accessing or completing the form, please email [email protected] or call 02 9251 2422.


SYO invites classroom music teachers and tertiary music education students to join for observation sessions on specific focus days or across the 5-day program. This can be undertaken in-person at Santa Sabina College (dependent on availability) or online via the SYOnline Digital Platform.

Teacher Support through the 2021 SYO HSC Winter School observation days will also include time for Q&A and collaborative discussion with SYO teachers and other participating teachers.

This program does not count as NESA Accredited PD, however course hours could be used towards Elective PD.

Key Focus for HSC Winter School Days*
Monday 5 July          Introduction, HSC Exam Paper and Aural Transcription
Tuesday 6 July          Musicology and the HSC
Wednesday 7 July     Performance Practice and Sight Singing
Thursday 8 July         Composition and the HSC
Friday 9 July              Performance Practice and Course Review

*please note this is an indicative schedule only and may change. A final schedule will be available closer to HSC Winter School dates.



James Pensini – Head of Orchestral Training at SYO & Head of Music Performance P-12 at Santa Sabina College
John Ockwell – Senior Music Teacher and Director of Orchestra at Fort Street High School, HSC Marker & SYO Conductor
Jeffrey Willey – Head Teacher, Music at the Conservatorium High School & HSC Senior Marker
Josephine Allan – Sydney Philharmonia Choirs (Principal Accompanist), Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Principal Keyboard, 1996-2012), regular appearances with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.



Individual observation days              $50 per day
Full program observation (5 days)    $200 (-$50 discount)
Student registration discount*         – $50
Booking fee for card payments         1.49%

*Teachers who have 5 or more students register for HSC Winter School using their teacher reference code will receive a $50 discount (or a free observation day).

To register for observations of the SYO HSC Winter School, please use the following form: HSC Winter School Teacher Observation

About HSC Winter School
Participants will receive the following under the guidance of our team of expert teachers:

  • Advice on written examinations including workshops on past papers, aural transcription and essay writing
  • Practical tips on HSC Music 2/Extension performance examinations, with the opportunity for students to choose to perform for peers unaccompanied or with leading accompanist Josephine Allan (Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Symphony Orchestra)
  • Key insights on HSC Music 2/Extension composition assessments, with the opportunity for students to choose to have a one-on-one consultation with an experienced HSC senior marker
  • Expert guidance on maintaining healthy studying, practice and social habits to stay focused and in control of the demands of the HSC and HSC Music
  • Online and printed resources available to build on skills and information gained at HSC Winter School to continue to excel in classwork, written and practical examinations
  • The opportunity to receive an original customised rehearsal track created by leading accompanist Josephine Allan (Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Symphony Orchestra).