Students at years 9 and 10 undertake a number of core subjects and elective subjects over the two years. Each subject aims to make links to our Essential Understanding, ‘A sustainable world depends upon knowledgeable, active citizens making connections’. This organisational aspect of our curriculum design encourages learners to make links between subjects and find relevance in a broader, global context.
Years 9 and 10 represent what we call the Transition Sequence in the secondary school curriculum. In years 7 and 8, all students are engaged in a common core curriculum that provides a strong foundation for future studies, hence it can be known as the Foundation Sequence. At years 11 and 12, which are the Final Sequence, students have a very broad range of choice to cater for their individual talents, needs and future directions. It is in the Transition Sequence that students are introduced to some choice to allow them to pursue areas of interest or areas in which they have a particular talent.
Students study English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, and Health and Physical Education within their core along with subjects that link to Personal and Social Learning domains. Elective subjects are drawn from the disciplines of LOTE, the Performing and Visual Arts, Materials Technology and Information and Communication Technologies. We encourage a balance of areas of study within students’ choice of elective units to ensure a breadth of educational experiences. Students have access to an exceptional natural environment from which to learn and enjoy.
Core subjects are undertaken within specific year levels. A most important feature of our learning structure is combining year 9 and year 10 students for the elective program. This is encouraged by Victorian Essential Learning Standards and by the research on the developmental needs of adolescents. As at every age through formal schooling, there is a range of knowledge and skill development from student to student and this can be addressed very successfully in multi-age classes.
There is a core requirement of studying a language other than English (LOTE) at year 9.
Our program is divided into four blocks. The block of Core subjects and Blocks A, B and C providing opportunities for students to elect their subjects.
Language and Communications subjects (block A)
Global Sustainability which incorporates Humanities and Environment subjects (block B)
Breadth Studies (block C)
The subject of Global Sustainability incorporates the studies of Commerce, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, History, and Politics. In semester 1 of year 9 the focus is on developing skills as outlined in the Australian Curriculum and VELS guidelines. In semester 2 the focus shifts to preparing students for their Big Experience through the application of their skills and knowledge.
The year 9 Big Experience is the culmination of year 9 and will be an overseas experience where our students authentically explore our guiding principle that ‘a sustainable world depends on knowledgeable, active citizens making a difference’ – they will make a real difference to the lives of others as well as their own lives. At this stage of planning it may take place in Thailand, where students will live with local communities and be involved in community service and other activities always linked back to the dimensions of sustainability.
Core studies and Block A and B subjects are timetabled throughout the ten day timetable and are allocated periods indicated in the table below. Block C elected subjects are timetabled for a half day each (morning and afternoon) every Tuesday.
Students choose electives as follows:
Block A - One elective - for year 9 this will be their Language Other Than English and at year 10 the Language Other Than English may be replaced by Communication Studies
Block C – Breadth Studies:
Trimester 1 – a morning and an afternoon elective from the Breadth Studies schedule Trimester 2 – a morning and an afternoon elective from the Breadth Studies schedule
Trimester 3 – a morning and an afternoon elective from the Breadth Studies schedule
We will operate a trimester system (where the year is divided into three periods of approximately 12 weeks) to increase the amount of choice and breadth of study for each student. Students may choose two electives from the Breadth Studies each trimester. To widen their experiences, we encourage them to choose a different elective in the morning and afternoon blocks. Breadth Studies subjects will be scheduled one day each week. This day will consist of two extended sessions for years 9 and 10. This provides more time for students to actually plan and start longer projects without interruption. We encourage students to include an Arts course in their study. This may be chosen from Art, Visual Communication and Design, Drama or Music.