Sacred Heart College offers a range of academic, applied and vocational strands to foster our students’ various aspirations, talents and skills. 

Sacred Heart College provides students with the opportunity to develop programs of study tailored towards the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) or the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).  Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses are a compulsory part of the VCAL program and increasingly students are incorporating it into their VCE program.  These VET courses can contribute towards VCAL or the VCE. It is also possible for students to blend their VCAL or VCE studies with traineeships and school-based apprenticeships. The College’s strong careers education and work experience program supports students in selecting appropriate pathways. 

The College also provides access to VCE Studies by Distance Education where a subject not offered by the College is a required component of a student’s future learning pathway and career choice. 

Senior School Programs Overview 

The Senior School is comprised of Year 10,Year 11 and Year 12 students undertaking: 

  • a generalist academic Year 10 course of study which may include a VET or accelerated VCE subject 
  • a program of studies leading to the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or program of studies leading to the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) 
  • selected Vocational Education and Training (VET) subjects within their program of studies. 

Vertically Aligned Timetable Structure 

Although most students undertake a course of study appropriate to their Year Level, the curriculum is structured so that it allows students to undertake accelerated progression in one or more subjects in advance of their current year level. Acceleration into an advanced program is not automatic and students contemplating accelerated progression must complete in full the acceleration application form by the due date. 

To allow for maximum flexibility, classes in the Senior School have been aligned to operate in common time blocks.  This allows students in Year 10 and Year 11 to undertake accelerated VCE and VET programs.

Support For Students in the Senior School

The College provides strong support for students making the transition to the senior years of schooling and a number of key personnel are available to help parents and students.  They include: 

  • Student’s Learning Advisor 
  • Careers Advisor 
  • VCE Leader 
  • VCAL/VET Leader 
  • Year Level Coordinators 
  • Distance Education Coordinator 
  • Domain Leaders 
  • Subject teachers 
  • Deputy Principal: Learning and Professional Practice 
  • Deputy Principal: Students and Organisation 
  • Principal.


Senior School Student Support Policy



Victorian Certificate of Education 

To complete the VCE, students are required to take greater responsibility for their own learning, their choice of studies and make a mature commitment to study both within and beyond the classroom. 

Minimum Requirements 

Satisfactory completion of the VCE requires satisfactory completion of at least 16 units, which must include: 

  • three units from the English group, with at least one unit at unit 3 or 4 levels 
  • three sequences of unit 3-4 studies other than English, which can include VCE and VET sequences. 

VCE students at Sacred Heart College must study six units per semester at Year 11 and five units per semester at Year 12. In addition,Year 11 students complete one unit of Religion and Society over the year. 

The VCE is a certificate completed over two or more years with units 1 and 2 normally studied in Year 11 and units 3 and 4 undertaken in Year 12. 

At Sacred Heart College, most students complete the unit 1-4 sequence over two years. However, as most unit 3-4 sequences do not have prerequisites, it is possible to study a unit 3-4 sequence without completing either unit 1 or unit 2 of the study; however, exceptions do apply.


VCALThe Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands-on option for students in Years 11 and 12. 

The VCAL gives students practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work. 

Like the VCE, the VCAL is a recognised senior qualification. Unlike the VCE, which is widely used by students as a pathway to university, students who do the VCAL are more likely to be interested in going on to training at TAFE, doing an apprenticeship, or getting a job after completing Year 12. 

The VCAL’s flexibility enables students to design a study program that suits their interests and learning needs. Students select accredited VCE and Vocational Education and Training (VET) modules and units from the following four compulsory strands: 

  • literacy and numeracy skills 
  • work related skills 
  • industry specific skills 
  • personal development skills. 

What are the qualifications? 

The following VCAL programs are offered by the College: 

  • Intermediate usually at Year 11 
  • Senior usually at Year 12. 

These qualifications cater for a range of students with different abilities and interests.They also provide a progression of skills, knowledge and attitudinal development.


Vocational Education and Training (VET) 

VET in the VCE allows students to include vocational studies within their VCE Program. Students undertake nationally recognised training from either accredited State curriculum or National training packages that may contribute to their VCE.VCE/VET programs lead to nationally recognised qualifications, thereby offering students the opportunity to gain both the VCE and a nationally portable VET qualification. 

VET in the VCE Benefits 

Successful completion of VET in the VCE may provide students with: 

  • a VCE and a VET qualification 
  • an enhanced ATAR, which can improve access to further education 
  • pathways into employment and/or further VET qualifications 
  • workplace experience including structured workplace learning.