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Do Year 11 and 12 Differently

Complete Year 11 and 12 in an adult-learning environment with our Senior College program. Our school alternatives option is perfect for 15 to 17-year-olds who are looking for a practical and independent alternative to the traditional high school system. You can either complete a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or vocational pathway, based on whether you want to go to university or get straight into the workforce.

Completing your senior studies can open up doors to your future, including further study opportunities. Whether you're currently in high school or have left school already, we've got your pathway to work or further study sorted.

Download 2019 course guide Enquire now

Understanding your options

Our Senior College program lets you to earn a selection of QCAA, QCAA-registered and/or vocational qualifications. Depending on your goals, these qualifications can help you transition to tertiary study or secure a job. 

 
Career starters
I want to go to university

The OP pathway:

  • we recommend six QCAA subjects
  • must sit Queensland core skills (QCS) test
  • optional vocational certificate
  • could include a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SAT)
  • mentor program

Leads to:

  • Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
  • gaining an OP score
  • employment
  • entrance to a TAFE Queensland diploma/university degree

 

Senior college
I want to start working

The employment pathway:

  • we recommend four QCAA-registered subjects and one vocational certificate or five QCAA-registered subjects
  • to complete, students need to have accumulated 20 points, including at least 12 core credits
  • should sit Queensland core skills (QCS) test
  • mentor program

Leads to:

  • Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
  • vocational certificate(s)
  • employment
  • entrance to a TAFE Queensland diploma/university degree.
 
Course overview
  • OP Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway mandatory subject

English is a two-year program that is highly recommended if you who want to gain an OP score. Most university courses require applicants to have successfully completed four semesters of Senior English. It is also a subject that employers recognise and value.

Assessment is predominantly written with some compulsory spoken tasks. Both written and spoken components must be passed in order to achieve a passing result in this subject.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • language use
  • critical awareness
  • literary appreciation
  • writing skills
  • spoken communication
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • writing for academic purposes
  • how to deliver a formal presentation
  • textual analysis

English Communication

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway mandatory subject

English Communication focuses on content and skills which will prepare you for employment. You will be expected to read, view and discuss a wide range of texts and media including novels, films, documentaries and songs.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • youth issues
  • this sporting life
  • small business
  • anthology
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • narrative structure of contemporary media
  • how to craft creative fiction and non-fiction textual analysis
  • the core elements of basic business communication

Mathematics A

Course overview
  • OP Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway mandatory subject

Mathematics A is a QCAA subject that can contribute to an OP for university entrance. Mathematics A will equip you with the skills to manage the mathematics you will encounter in everyday life, as well as those that you will experience in non-science university courses.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • financial mathematics
  • applied geometry
  • data exploration and analysis
  • operations research
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • the knowledge and skills of computation, estimation and measurement
  • how to interpret and analyse information presented in a variety of forms
  • the ability to make judgments based upon evidence and reasoning
  • how to justify and communicate results in a variety of forms.

Pre-vocational Mathematics

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway mandatory subject

Pre-vocational Mathematics provides a broad base of practical mathematics if you are planning a vocational outcome. The course is organised under various themes with a focus on numeracy and basic mathematical skills that are encountered in day-to-day living with practical applications relating to vocational areas.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • reading maps, tables and graphs
  • learning, spending, borrowing and investing money
  • taxation and GST
  • renting, buying and renovating property
  • business planning.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • calculations used for basic financial management
  • skills needed to interpret data displayed graphically
  • knowledge required to plan for and establish a small business enterprise.

Biological Science

Course overview
  • OP Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Biology will give you an understanding of the complex and diverse world of organisms and the natural systems that affect them. You will get the chance to complete experiments that investigate problems related to the living world, including plant and animal physiology, genetics and ecology.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • cellular biology
  • animal and plant physiology
  • genetics and diversity
  • ecological studies
  • contemporary global issues in science.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • developments in biology and their impact on modern society
  • the link between biology, technology and economic development
  • basic anatomy and physiology of plants, animals and microbes.

Science in Practice

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

The program of study is based on a thematic, life-related approach to the study of science and draws from the disciplines of biology, chemistry, earth sciences and physics.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • science for the workplace
  • resources, energy and sustainability
  • health and lifestyle
  • environments
  • discovery and change.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • scientific literacy and working scientifically
  • workplace health and safety
  • effective communication and self-management skills.

Study of Society

Course overview
  • OP Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Through a combination of psychology, sociology, anthropology, politics and law you will develop an awareness of yourself as an individual and how you interact with the culture around you. The aim of this course is to increase the ability and willingness of society’s citizens to participate constructively and ethically in their public and private lives.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • how individuals are shaped
  • social behaviour
  • power and equity
  • media research and how it can influence culture.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • envisaging a better future
  • what societies can achieve and what they struggle to achieve
  • how barriers to beneficial change can be overcome
  • how change happens and how to deal with and initiate it.

Modern History

Course overview
  • OP Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Modern History is a two-year program that is highly recommended if you want to gain an OP score. In this course you will engage in hands-on experiences as historians — examining archival materials and working on collaborative projects such as conducting oral history interviews.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • the role of gender, race and culture in social conflict and social change
  • the emergence of alternative, folk and youth subcultures
  • factors that lead to mobilisations and revolutions
  • global indigenous movements and climate change.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • using research processes
  • critical examination of sources (written, photographic, digitised archives, popular culture and the arts)
  • the variety of perspectives that flow from diverse standpoints.

Legal Studies

Course overview
  • OP Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Law affects every member of a society. Individual members of society need to be better informed of their legal position, rights and responsibilities. If you study this course, you will gain an understanding of the legal implications of daily life, as well as your rights and obligations.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • civil obligations: agreements and torts
  • renting and buying property
  • family
  • the legal system
  • crime and society.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • basic historical and social issues
  • the law to know their rights as private citizens and when to seek legal advice
  • how to contribute as informed members of society to critical discussion and debate about law.

Business Studies

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Business learning involves a range of experiences that provide knowledge, processes and skills that can be applied to business in the real-world. You will gain an understanding of business environments and have the opportunity to engage in practical business projects.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • events and sports management
  • marketing
  • retail and real estate
  • financial services.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • the technologies utilised in day to day business operations
  • how teamwork facilitates innovation and success in business
  • communication strategies that can be used to sell ideas and build partnerships.

Information and Communication Technology

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a practical course designed to train you to apply knowledge of ICT to produce solutions to simulated problems. Through practice in problem solving in a variety of contexts — both individually and collaboratively — it creates adaptable, competent, and self-motivated users and consumer of ICT who can work with clients and colleagues to identify issues and solve problems.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • digital imaging and modelling
  • document production
  • online communication and application development
  • technology
  • webpage production.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • current and emerging hardware and software combinations
  • social, environmental and legal impacts of your actions
  • skills needed to solve technical issues
  • rapidly changing ICT practices and protocols.

Visual Arts in Practice

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Visual Arts in Practice encompasses art forms that communicate and express meaning through visual perception. This program gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge and understanding of visual arts practices, visual mediums, art-making technologies and techniques to communicate meaning through visual forms.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • 2D media processes including drawing, painting and print making
  • digital media processes
  • 3D media processes such as ceramics and sculpture
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • how to seek creative solutions to design problems
  • how to apply critical thinking to meet deadlines
  • how to demonstrate creative and technical skills
  • relevant workplace health and safety practices.

Drama in Practice

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

This subject gives you hands-on experience in various styles of acting and aims to give you real-life practice in various plays, monologues, auditions, performances and different events throughout the year. This program is not just for ambitious actors; it is for anyone who wants to be involved in all areas of performing arts, film, entertainment and music.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • arts management
  • performance principles
  • improvisation
  • career development.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • how to confidently perform on stage for an audience
  • the business, marketing and administration that goes into funding and planning performances
  • the intricacies of establishing a career in the performing arts.

Music in Practice

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

In this subject you will develop skills in all areas of music including performance, management, technology and creation. This is a hands-on practical subject where you have the opportunity to regularly rehearse, set-up, perform, and market.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • music theory and production
  • music composition
  • recording processes
  • marketing in the music industry.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • developing and refining self-created musical pieces
  • technologies involved in the recording and mastering of musical work
  • business and marketing practices utilised in funding and promoting music.

Health Education

Course overview
  • OP Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

The focus of Health Education is the understanding of health in the context of society, and the mechanisms necessary to develop and promote health for individuals, groups, communities and nations. Health Education offers you the opportunity to develop the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills needed to help you to participate effectively in the promotion of equitable health outcomes.

TOPICS COVERED:
  • the ecological interaction between human health and the sociocultural, physical, political and economic environment
  • the need for health to be considered at the global, national, local and personal levels
  • individual and collective participation in the maintenance and promotion of their own health.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • the health realities of living in contemporary Australia
  • increasing community capacity and individual empowerment
  • how to develop and promote essential health initiatives.

Aquatic Practices

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Aquatic Practices is a practical course designed to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with the safe and responsible use of the marine environment. When you complete this course you will be equipped to participate more safely in a variety of marine pastimes.

This course develops your practical application of knowledge and skills using Moreton Bay and its facilities as the focus of learning and practice.

Successful completion of the specific units make you eligible for a Recreational Shipmasters Licence (Boat).

TOPICS COVERED:
  • recreational shipmasters licence
  • weather, tides, and currents
  • personal water safety and safe working practices
  • recreational fishing and snorkelling
  • boat handling and navigations.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • essential skills for safety on the water across a variety of vessels
  • professional practice in commercial maritime setting
  • local maritime laws and regulations.

Vocational certificates

Course overview

Our vocational courses are available in many different career fields such as engineering, health care, computer technology, tourism, office management and skilled trades. These courses are offered as part of our TAFE at School program.

The vocational courses we offer:

  • provide job-focused training for specific roles or careers
  • are developed with industry
  • offer you a nationally recognised qualification
  • give you valuable credits towards your QCE.
View TAFE at School courses

Mentor program

All senior college students are enrolled into our mentor program which is designed to prepare you for the challenges of study, regardless of your academic ability.

The program includes formal scheduled class time involving a variety of activities, discussions and guest speakers, as well as informal time where students can raise issues.

Through this program, Year 12 students are prepared for the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) test. Our Mentor Program supports our students throughout their time with us, enabling you to set and achieve clear and realistic goals for their future.

 

Career Hub

Year 12 students will also join the Career Hub in semester two of the mentoring program. This prepares students for the completion of Year 12, and equips them with key skills required to be job-ready. Students will focus on their individual career pathways and learn skills to meet these goals, including an exciting schedule of industry guest speakers to discuss various career choices.

Frequently asked questions 

What is QCAA?

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) is a statutory body of the Queensland Government which provides Kindergarten to Year 12 syllabuses, guidelines, assessment, reporting, testing and certification services for Queensland schools.

What is an Overall Position (OP) score?

An OP is a student’s position in a statewide rank order based on their overall achievement in authority subjects. It indicates how well a student has done in comparison to all other OP-eligible students in Queensland and is used for tertiary entrance purposes only. Students are placed in one of 25 OP bands from OP1 (highest) to OP25 (lowest).


What is a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)?

The QCE is Queensland’s senior school qualification which is awarded to eligible students usually at the end of Year 12. It is a broad-based school qualification awarded to young people who have achieved a significant amount of learning at a set standard and have met certain literacy and numeracy requirements.

The QCE is awarded to students who achieve 20 credits in the required pattern at the required standard as well as meet the literacy and numeracy requirements.


What is a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship?

A School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SAT) is a government- funded program where students are able to commence a nationally-recognised training program as an employee while completing their QCE.

A training plan is individually designed in consultation with the student, the employer, the vocational trainer, an Australian Apprenticeship Centre, and the school. For example, SAT students may find they would prefer to complete their senior studies over three years.

TAFE Queensland is ideally positioned to offer the SAT programs as we have a fully-integrated QCAA, QCE and/or employment pathways program.

A student taking on a SAT program will:

  • study three to five QCAA subjects and undertake the Mentor Program
  • work part-time
  • undertake vocational training connected to their particular work area.

What are authority subjects and authority-registered subjects?

Authority subjects are based on syllabuses that have been approved and issued by the QCAA. Results in Authority subjects can count in the calculation of your Overall Position (OP) and Field Position (FP), the most common selection devices used by the tertiary sector.

 
What is an ATAR?

An Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) allows tertiary admissions centres to compare students from across Australia when they apply for tertiary places. The ATAR is a number between 0 and 99.95 in increments of 0.05. ATARs below 30 are not reported.

In Queensland, students who complete Year 12 may apply for tertiary entrance using multiple pathways. However for Queensland students, only students who are eligible for an Overall Position (OP) are eligible for an ATAR.

The ATAR will replace the Overall Position (OP) in Queensland from 2020 (i.e. students entering Year 11 in 2019).

How to apply

Students entering the Senior College program ideally should have completed Year 10 or the equivalent.

Each application is examined on merit. All applicants must be between 15 and 17 years of age at application, and undertake an interview prior to enrolling.

Once we have received your application, we will contact you to advise if you have progressed to the interview stage.

Do Year 11 and 12 Differently
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