Curriculum

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The Secondary School provides a vibrant, friendly environment where students are provided with developmentally appropriate opportunities and experiences that encourage personal development and positive growth. In the Middle Years (Years 7 to 9) students explore who they are and how they can develop and change. In the Senior Years (Years 10 to 12) students are encouraged to investigate how they fit into their world and how their influence can bring about change that can affect the global village. The College emphasises a balanced approach to education where students are encouraged to become involved in a variety of pursuits. Central to this, of course, is our goal to maximise the academic and/or vocational potential of all our senior students.

The Academic Program for the Middle Years is tailored to allow students to become confident, focussed, independent learners who develop not only the skills for success in Years 11 and 12 but also the skills for success in their post school lives.

The core subjects, including English, Mathematics, Humanities and Science, are constants throughout these three years as are Music, Christian Education, Student Wellbeing and Physical Education.

In Year 7 and Year 8, students experience other subjects that lead into semester courses offered in Years 9 and 10; these courses offer further opportunities to address students’ interests and talents, and are allocated through a course preference process that takes place at the end of Year 8 (ready for Year 9) and at the end of Year 9 (ready for Year 10). Of course at all times the requirements and needs of Middle Years students are integrated into the curriculum of all subjects and teachers complete professional development in these areas.

The Academic Program in Year 10 is designed to provide challenging yet accessible courses for all ranges of abilities and backgrounds. Students are required to study the core academic subjects of English and Mathematics as whole-year courses; Mathematics classes are assigned by College recommendations about best-match for students to various Mathematics standards. Other courses addressing specific areas of Science, Humanities, The Arts, Technology, Languages and more are offered as semester-duration courses designed to prepare students for the rigour of the senior subjects they will encounter in the Senior Phase of Learning (Years 11 and 12). Year 10 students take five of these courses each semester (ten in total over their Year 10 program). In addition to these courses, students are provided with opportunities to extend themselves through extra investigations, competitions and academic co-curricular activities. The current suite of semester courses offered in Year 10 is: 

Ancient History Chinese Exercise Sport Science Legal studies Music Spanish
Biology Design Food and Nutrition Literature Physics STEM
Business Drama Geography Marine Science Pre-specialist maths Sustainability
Chemistry Engineering Industrial technology Modern history Short course numeracy Visual art

As one of our goals is to enable students to become responsible global citizens, the teaching program also encompasses Christian Education, a regular participatory Chapel Service, Physical Education and Student Wellbeing. Christian Education is an inclusive exploration of personal spirituality in an environment of support and collaboration. In addition to weekly Physical Education lessons, students are required to participate in a Sport/Activities program within school hours, either competing against other Independent schools or through involvement in a non-competitive activity that emphasises participation, health and wellbeing. The Student Wellbeing program concentrates on developing those crucial areas of an adolescent's education that address their understanding about mental health, cyber safety, emotional wellbeing and sex education. Students are encouraged to be involved in a range of co-curricular sporting and cultural activities, including a well-established instrumental and ensemble music program.

During Year 10, students create their Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan as part of the career planning program. Near the end of the year, all Year 10 students are expected to undertake a week's Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) to help with career pathway planning. To assist Year 10 students with formalising their subject preferences for Years 11 - 12, the College holds a subject information evening in Term 3 enabling students and parents to discuss individual subjects with the relevant teachers and Heads of Faculty.

Academic success is a cornerstone of the College’s ethos, and all students will be given every opportunity to achieve their potential through a dedicated teaching staff and a strong curriculum program. Most of our senior teachers are involved in regional curriculum panels and are thus up to date with the latest educational requirements in relation to subject content and skills. We are very proud of all our Year 12 graduates. While their academic results are outstanding and rank us in the top schools in Queensland, more pleasing is that the students have been able to achieve these results while still strongly contributing to College life. These results have gone from strength to strength with the College being ranked consistently among the best schools in Queensland.

In 2019, Queensland implements its new ATAR system which replace the existing OP system.  This sees our current Year 11 cohort commencing their ATAR system journey, while our current Year 12 cohort works towards completion in the OP system.  As with the OP system in which students are not required to obtain an OP, in the new ATAR system there are Vocational Education & Training (VET) options for students who are planning a skill-based career rather than university.  These VET options include Certificate III, Diploma and School-Based Traineeship programs which are included in the student’s weekly timetable.  For further details about the ATAR system and/or VET programs, please contact the Director of Studies, Mr David Elley at delley@saac.qld.edu.au.

Year 11 and 12 courses, though similar, now operate according to different syllabuses due to the revision in QLD from the OP to ATAR system.  Details about either year level’s available curriculum options can be obtained from the Director of Studies. 

View our 2019 Senior Pathways and Subjects Guide

  • NB 1: Music Extension is offered as a one-year course commencing in Term 4 of Year 11.
  • NB 2: English Extension, when offered (reviewed each year by the College), is a one-year course commencing in Year 12.
  • NB 3: Some students may apply to the College for permission to study through Distance Education subjects not offered by the College (e.g. French).” 
  • NB 4: Further details about the range of VET (Vocational and Educational Training) programs are available through our Tertiary and Careers webpage, or from our VET Coordinator: Mrs Samantha Leo sleo@saac.qld.edu.au.

Students study six subjects in Year 11 and 12 plus the following:

Sport/Activities Assembly Study Lesson Student Wellbeing
Christian Education Pastoral Lesson Chapel QCS Test Preparation (if OP eligible)

A schedule of before and after-school tutorials is provided by our teaching staff to assist all of our students to achieve their personal best academically. The service is aimed at helping Years 7 to 12 students with consolidating concepts learned during regular class time as well as providing guidance and assistance in relation to assignments or preparation for exams.

Canvas is a 24/7 software-based platform that provides a framework and tools to facilitate teaching and learning both inside and outside of the classroom, and at home. Canvas allows students to revisit topics explored in class, access extra work on these topics, ask questions of their teachers, leave feedback for teachers or other students and to catch up on work that may have been missed.  

Canvas bundles assessments, grading, messaging, learning data, and more—while keeping everything simple, easy, and in one place.  Canvas was chosen as the St Andrew’s Learning Management System for its wide range of easy to use tools for teachers, students and parents.  Canvas will allow our teachers and students to use our 1:1 technology more efficiently and more effectively.

This system does not take the place of ‘good teaching’ but rather is an addendum and extension to what is covered at school. Students have found that accessing the Canvas has taken the pressure off missing work and allows for revision when it suits the student. Canvas is certainly a very positive and integral cornerstone of learning at St Andrew’s.

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