The College has a vibrant middle school and senior school curriculum. During the middle school years there is a strong focus on developing literacy and numeracy skills whilst experiencing a range of subjects in Manual, Performing and Visual Arts, LOTE.
The College is proud to be able to offer pathways for academic as well as vocationally minded students with strong VCE results as well as an award winning VCAL program. Our senior students enjoy excellent facilities and small class sizes. Students enjoy a high level of access to teachers, not only during schedule class time but also during self directed learning on Wednesdays and revision programs that run during the term holidays.
Sacred Heart College provides a distinct middle schooling program for students in Years 7–9. The learning environment, underpinned by the College's Middle Schooling Framework, aims to meet the many and varied learning needs of students.
Middle School programs, based on sound educational research and Australian and international best practice, recognises that learning is most effective when it is relevant and purposeful. Most importantly, it recognises that the learning needs of students in these important years of schooling are specific and different from younger and older students.
Learning in the middle years is supported by specialised Middle School teams of teachers who are experienced in meeting the learning needs of younger adolescents and bring curriculum expertise to engage students in real and relevant learning experiences within and beyond the classroom.
Learning at Years 7 and 8
A strategic focus of Sacred Heart College’s Annual Action plan is to use robust evidence of student learning to track growth and identify areas of challenge for individual student’s learning. This process allows us to target our teaching effectively promoting student mastery of learning in Numeracy and Literacy in particular.
At Year 7 and 8 teachers use a range of resources including but not limited to the following:
- Maths Pathways Planning
- Pat Reading
- Pat Maths
- Pat Science
- NAPLAN data
Using a range of diagnostic tools and effective collaboration between teachers at the College and Grade 6 staff and families, we have seen this targeted approach provide positive results in the mastery of learning of important concepts to date.
Year 7 and 8 students at Sacred Heart College participate in the following timetabled classes:
- Religious Education
- Physical Education & Health
- Information Technology
- Languages other than English (Japanese)
- Art/ Technology subjects including:
- Visual Art
- Food Technology
- Dance and Drama
Learning Pathways for Senior Students
Learning in Senior School reflects the diverse range of pathways available to students in Years 10–12. During these years, students begin to specialise by selecting and studying subjects based on personal interest, future learning and career pathways. Sacred Heart College offers a range of academic, applied and vocational strands. Whilst most students predominately develop learning programs within one of the strands, it is becoming increasing popular to include study from more than one strand in a program of study.
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). Many students often include a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course in their program of studies. These VET courses can contribute towards both the VCAL and the VCE. It is also possible for students blend their VCAL or VCE studies with traineeships and school-based apprenticeships. A 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 required component of a student's future learning pathway.
The Transition to the Senior Years
The senior years of schooling are important years in the education of our young people. They represent a step into post-compulsory schooling and bring an increase in workload, responsibility, freedom and the need for self-discipline.
In the final years of school, senior students are generally beyond the minimum school leaving age, and have made a choice to attend school and further their education. Hence, we expect a mature commitment to the total life of the College. We expect that students will seriously apply themselves to their studies, treat others with respect and courtesy and take advantage of the range of activities Sacred Heart College provides.
An important aim of Sacred Heart College is to develop a strong sense of Christian community, helping students to develop their faith and a respect for and commitment to the welfare of others. This is achieved through the Religious Education program and the Catholic identity expressed in all aspects of College life.
Senior School Programs—an Overview
The Senior School is comprised of Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 students undertaking:
- a generalist Year 10 course of study which may include a VET or accelerated VCE subject;
- a program of studies leading to the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL);
- a program of studies leading to the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE);
- selected Vocational Education & Training (VET) subjects within their program of studies.
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 have this option approved by the College.
Vertically Aligned Timetable Structure
To allow for maximum flexibility, classes in the Senior School have been aligned and operate in common time blocks. This allows students in Year 10 and Year 11 to undertake accelerated VCE and VET programs. It is common for Year 10 students to include a VET or VCE class in their program of studies. Most students in Year 10 and Year 11 study six subjects per semester. Most students in Year 12 will study five subjects per semester. Students undertaking a School-based apprenticeship or traineeship will spend one day per week in the workforce and will therefore study less subjects.
Developing Self-directed Students
Learning in the Senior School requires the students to be more self-directed. Student learning blends opportunities for teacher-directed and self-directed learning. Students have access to a dedicated senior study room, located next to the senior staff room facilitating easy access to assitance.
Support for Students and Parents
The College provides 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. The key personnel include:
- The Learning Advisor
- Pathways Leader and Careers Advisor
- Year 10, 11 and 12 Level Leaders
- VCAL/VET Leader
- Deputy Principals
Learning at Year 10
At Sacred Heart College, Year 10 marks the beginning of the transition to Senior School. At this point in time students select a program of studies to help prepare them for a senior secondary certificate. It is not uncommon for students to commence study of a VCE or VET study.
Year 10 Learning Program
Student study six units per semester or twelve subjects over the year. These units include two units of compulsory studies in Religious Education, integrated English/History, and Mathematics and two units of study in from the Humanities and Science Learning Areas. The remainder of the student learning program generally consists of interest-based studies selected from the Arts, LOTE, Physical Education and Technology Learning Areas, including the following:
- Forensic Science
- 3D Printing and Design
- Run Your own Business
- Agriculture Horticulture
- Health & Motion
- Wood Technology
- Visual Communication
The curriculum aims to provide a breadth of subject choices and allows students to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge for a successful transition into Years 11 and 12. Students selecting subjects for Year 10 need to carefully read the unit information to ensure that they choose subjects that provide them with a general study program to keep their VCE options open.
The timetable structure has been vertically aligned to allow students to include accelerated VCE or VET subjects in their learning program. Unless exceptional circumstances exist, a student can study only one VCE or VET sequence in their program of studies.
Any student wishing to take a VCE Unit 1-2 sequence of VET Unt 1-2 sequence in Year 10 may do so with the recommendation of their subject teacher and after a successful Application for Accelerated Progression. Applications for Accelerated Progression are always subject to availability of places.
An application for Accelerated Progression is not required for the following subjects studied at Year 10 level:
- VET Building Construction;
- VET Engineering Studies.
Whilst students will normally select subject preferences for the full year, there may be some scope for unit changes mid-year, depending on constraints such as staffing, facilities, resources and timetabling.
Support for Students and Parents
The transition process requires much consideration and investigation by students and their parents. We encourage parents to discuss with their child, his/her options and aspirations and to take advantage of the expert advice offered at the College. The student’s Learning Advisor will assist students and parents in the process of course counselling.