Student Life > Learning

Mount St. Joseph Girls' College commits to our core work to holistically educate each student in a safe, welcoming and individualised learning environment, where expectations are high and success is celebrated and affirmed.

The Victorian Curriculum has been introduced across all learning areas in Years 7 to 10. The Victorian Curriculum has been developed to provide a foundation for successful, lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community. It acknowledges that the needs and interests of students will vary, and that schools and teachers will plan from the curriculum in ways that respond to those needs and interests.

The Victorian Curriculum includes eight learning areas and four capabilities. The eight learning areas of English, Maths, Science, Humanities, Health & Physical Education, LOTE, Arts (Visual and Performing), and Technologies include distinct disciplines.

The capabilities represent sets of knowledge and skills that are developed and applied across the curriculum. These capabilities have been embedded where relevant and appropriate in each learning area. They are:

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Ethical
  • Intercultural
  • Personal and Social

These capabilities encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that, together with curriculum content in each learning area, will assist students to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century.

The Victorian Curriculum must be both relevant to the lives of students and address the contemporary issues they face. With this in mind, the curriculum gives special attention to three priorities:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability

Year 7

All subject domains have core subjects in Years 7. Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Health & Physical Education, Languages and Humanities are year long subjects, whilst Technologies and Arts are term length units.

A broad range of subjects is offered so that students can deepen their understanding of different learning areas and the associated skills required to successfully learn knowledge and understanding. This will assist students to identify their strengths and interests and to engage with new areas of study that may not have been available in primary school. It is also important for them to be exposed to a range of subjects so that they are able to make informed decisions about subject selection for the senior years and future pathways.

Year 8

At Year 8, students will study core subjects whilst being given some flexibility within an elective structure. The elective component of the Year 8 course offers a variety of units designed to meet various learning outcomes and, at the same time, offer students challenging and rewarding learning experiences. This allows students to explore particular areas of interest.

Year 8 Curriculum Overview

Year 9

To ensure students receive a broad general education, the students in Year 9 undertake studies encapsulated within the Victorian Curriculum. Within these learning areas, a variety of units are provided and choices increase as the students move through the College. As well as electives, students will have the opportunity to participate in a Year 9 Program.

The Year 9 Program consists of four threads during the year and will occur on one day a cycle.

  1. Healthy Living and Wellbeing
  2. Pathways and Learning to Learn
  3. Faith
  4. Making Connections – Community

Year 9 Handbook

Year 10

The curriculum at Year 10 is designed to cater for the requirements of the new Victorian Curriculum as well as allow for student choice across all domains and, as such, each student’s program will consist of a combination of compulsory, core and elective units.

Compulsory Units
Compulsory units are studies which must be included in each Year 10 program and whose course content is common to all students at Year 10. At Mount St. Joseph Girls' College, the compulsory units are Religious Education.

Core Units
Core units are those studies which must be included in each Year 10 program to fulfil the requirements of the Victorian Curriculum but still allows for some choice within the studies. At Mount St. Joseph Girls' College, the core units are those chosen from the English, Mathematics, Science, Health & Physical Education and The Humanities (History) domains. In Semester 2, Year 10 students will be able to participate in an Enhancement Program. Enhancement refers to students undertaking a course of study that extends their knowledge and skills beyond Year 10.

Elective Units
Elective units are those studies which may be included in each Year 10 program and can be chosen from the Technology, Visual Arts and Performing Arts domains.

Year 10 Handbook

Years 11 and 12 Learning Program

At Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College, there are two types of courses offered to students:

1. Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

2. Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)


Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

During the last two years at Mount St. Joseph Girls' College, students usually study a minimum of 22 VCE units. Of the 22 units at Mount St. Joseph Girls' College, students must select:

1. At least four sequential units from the group of English Studies:

English 1 & 2, English 3 & 4, English Language 1 & 2, English Language 3 & 4, Literature 1 & 2, Literature 3 & 4.

2. Religion:

Religion and Society 1 & 2, Religion and Society 3 & 4, Text and Traditions 1 & 2, Text and Traditions 3 & 4, Religion in Art, Music or Ministry.


EnglishEnglishEnglish LanguageEnglish LiteratureEnglish as a Second Language
MathematicsGeneral MathematicsSpecialist MathematicsMathematical MethodsFoundation Mathematics
HumanitiesGlobal PoliticsAccountingBusiness ManagementBusiness VETHistory 20th CenturyLegal StudiesGeography
Religious EducationReligion & SocietyTexts and TraditionsReligion & Society (Art)
Health & Physical EducationHealth & Human DevelopmentPhysical EducationOutdoor & Environmental Studies
TechnologyFood TechnologyProduct Design & TechnologyInformation TechnologyComputing
Visual ArtsStudio ArtsMedia StudiesVisual Communication and Design
Performing ArtsDramaMusic PerformanceMusic Industry
* Classes will run provided there is adequate student interest.


EnglishEnglishEnglish LanguageEnglish Literaure
MathematicsFurther MathematicsMathematical MethodsSpecialist Mathematics
HumanitiesAustralian Global PoliticsAccountingBusiness ManagementHistory - RevolutionsLegal Studies
Religious EducationReligion & SocietyText & Traditions
Health & Physical EducationHealth & Human DevelopmentPhysical EducationOutdoor & Environmental Studies
TechnologyFood TechnologyProduct Design & TechnologyInformation Technology
Visual ArtsStudio ArtsMedia StudiesVisual Communication & Design
Performing ArtsDramaMusic PerformanceMusic Industry (VET)
* Classes will run provided there is adequate student interest.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning at Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College is offered and accredited to the senior level. The timetable is structured to enable VCAL students to satisfy the Industry Specific strand through their VET training and related employment off campus on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Students undertake VET training through a TAFE or Registered Training Organisation for School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

The VCAL’s flexibility enables students to undertake a study program that suits their interests and learning needs. The four compulsory VCAL strands include:

1. Literacy and Numeracy Skills
2. Industry Specific Skills
3. Work Related Skills
4. Personal Development Skills.

VET (Vocational Education & Training) Studies Available

VET studies may be undertaken within a regular VCE program, as part of a VCAL program, or as part of a School Based Apprenticeship.

Years 11 and 12 students have access to VET studies including:

  • Certificate III in Aged Care
  • Certificate II in Automotive Technology
  • Certificate II in Business – Office Admin
  • Certificate III in Children’s Services
  • Certificate III in Community Services
  • Certificate II in Beauty
  • Certificate III in Hair & Beauty
  • Certificate II in Building Construction
  • Certificate I in Engineering Technology
  • Certificate II in Furnishing
  • Certificate II Equine Studies
  • Certificate II in Horticulture
  • Certificate II in Info Tech-Software (with modules in Cert III)
  • Certificate II in Multi-Media (with modules in Cert III)
  • Certificate III in Music Performance
  • Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
  • Certificate II in Hospitality

Personalised Learning

Support for Student Learning

Some students benefit from additional support in their learning in order to achieve success in particular areas of their learning. In each and every classroom, our dedicated teachers provide support to meet the needs of each individual child. This is based on expert advice, evidence-based practice and a team of Learning Support Staff in classrooms. Additional programs that are provided at the College include English as a Second Language Programme (ESL) and Homework Club (support for all year levels).

Extension of Student Learning

Extension of students with talent in one or more learning areas is facilitated through a three dimensional approach.

Within the Classroom

Stretching Thinking Skills of all Learners

Girls are extended within the classroom through the scaffolding of learners to apply higher order thinking skills in order to extend their independent, critical and creative thought processes. Extension is also encouraged through a broad elective program allowing for a deeper learning experience in fields of choice.

Accelerating Highly Able Students

Any Year 10 student meeting College prerequisites with respect to outstanding academic achievement in a particular learning area in Year 9 has the opportunity to study an enhancement option in English, Mathematics, Science or Humanities (History).

Year 11 students who meet the College prerequisites have similar access to a selection of the VCE Unit 3 and 4 studies on offer.

Digital Technologies

A key element of our Learning and Teaching Charter is a commitment to the provision of high quality contemporary facilities to support learning. We provide dynamic environments and technologies for learning to support the curriculum and foster engagement, independence, creativity and collaboration. Students also enjoy access to specialist computer laboratory facilities that support learning via more specialised hardware and software. Data projectors have been installed in all learning areas.

The ‘1 to 1 Laptop Program’ gives access to an Apple MacBook to all students. The wireless access across the College extends the learning environment beyond the classroom and gives students the capability to collaborate, share experiences and self manage their learning. It also allows students to collaborate with teachers and seek feedback through the submission of work in an online class workspace.

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