Learning and Teaching
Curriculum Overview

In the junior years, the academic programme at Mary MacKillop College builds core skills and knowledge. Through years seven and eight students are given a taste of all subject areas. Students are encouraged and supported to develop more initiative and greater capacity for independent thought and work as they progress through the College. By graduation, each student will have been helped to reflect on his or her special interests and abilities and will have identified a pathway for further study or careers.

The College’s Active Learning Framework informs and shapes this process. Students are encouraged to:

  • Take ownership
  • Make connections
  • Think deeply
  • Be courageous.

Each of these concepts applies to the academic, social, physical and spiritual development of our students. Mary MacKillop students are achievers, ready to not only make their way in the world but also to make the world a better place by contributing to their communities.

Our full program includes:

  • Religious Education
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science – Biology, Physics (Robotics and Racing), Psychology
  • French
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Pastoral
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Humanities – Geography, History, Law and Finance, Money and Markets
  • Drama – Theatre Studies
  • Music
  • Home Economics – Food technology, Food and Hospitality
  • Design Technology – woodwork, building and construction
  • Health and Human Development
  • Graphics
  • Information Communication Technology

VCE, VET & VCAL Program

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a qualification designed for students in Years 11 and 12 that is recognised around the world. It is a valuable pathway to university study, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and the world of work. It is also possible to do a vocational certificate (VCE VET) or a school-based apprenticeship (SBA) or traineeship within the VCE.

The VCE program is a set of units that are completed over a 2 to 3-year period. Each study consists of units 1-4, with units 1 & 2 usually completed at year 11 and units 3 & 4 at year 12. There is some flexibility to this standard that will be explained in more detail throughout this handbook.

Mary MacKillop College offers a wide range of subjects and can tailor a VCE program to match student interests and career aspirations.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the VCE & VCAL

In senior secondary years, students can choose to complete a VET program as part of their VCE or VCAL. There are a number of VET programs from which students can choose, which can contribute towards a student’s satisfactory completion of the VCE or VCAL, and which give the students a nationally recognized vocational qualification. VCE VET programs provide students with pathways to university, TAFE, further training and the workplace and include job training such as music, agriculture, building and construction, multimedia, business, engineering and other fields.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

VCAL is a hands on option which provides practical work – related experience as well as literacy and numeracy skils and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work. The VCAL program has a vocational emphasis it is an applied learning approach to senior studies. It offers pathways into employment, traineeships or apprenticeships. In VCAL students connect with their communities and gain real life experiences. Real life tasks are used to achieve learning outcomes form a number of VCAL strands.

VCAL is not for all students, it is for those who want to work towards an apprenticeship, traineeship, school based apprenticeship or Diploma tertary qualification. It is for students who are highly motivated, industrious and have initiative.

The VCAL has four compulsory strands:

  • Literacy and Numeracy Skills
  • Work Related Skills
  • Industry Specific Skills
  • Personal Development Skills

These strands give students practical work-related experience, literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that stand them in good stead for both work and life.

VCAL students may apply to enroll in VCE subjects to complement their VCAL program. The VCE application will only be successful if the VCE subject in question does not clash or interfere with their SBA or VCAL subjects on the timetable. If the application to study a particular VCE subject is successful, the student will not sit VCE examinations and will not receive a Study Score for that subject unless the family makes it clear to the school that a Study Score is desired.