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6. Curriculum


The curriculum aims to provide challenges and opportunities for all students whatever their academic potential. A compulsory core of studies in Religious Education continues from Year 7 to Year 12, as befits the curriculum of a Catholic School. The study of English is also compulsory from Years 7 to 12.

The curriculum is organised along lines as required by the NSW Teaching and Education Standards Authority and all students experience a wide variety of courses in their early years at the College. Later they elect to take courses that are appropriate to their needs, interests and/or career aspirations.

The curriculum comprises two types of courses, those that are compulsory and those that are elective. The way in which these are organised throughout the College is summarised below.

Years 7 and 8 (Stage 4)

All students experience a common curriculum.
Some of these courses are short introductions of one term only.
Not all of these courses are offered in both years.
Most time is allocated to the English, Mathematics and Science courses.

Compulsory Courses:

  • Catholic Studies
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Visual Arts
  • Music
  • Geography
  • History
  • Technology (mandatory with associated modules)
  • Languages – Italian
  • Sport

Elective Courses:

  • NIL

Years 9 and 10 (Stage 5)

Generally two electives are chosen.
Not all electives will be necessarily offered in any given year.
The College publishes a separate guidance booklet for the benefit of parents and students.

Compulsory Courses:

  • Catholic Studies
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Sport
  • Geography
  • History

Elective Courses:

  • Agricultural Technology
  • Commerce
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Food Technology
  • Italian
  • Music
  • Photographic & Digital Media
  • Physical Activity and Sports Studies
  • Industrial Technology – Metal Products
  • Industrial Technology – Timber Products
  • Textiles Technology
  • Visual Arts
  • iSTEM

Distance Education Courses

Students are able to access additional courses through Southern Cross Distance Education Centre.
These courses attract an additional fee of $800 (Years 11 and 12) and $400 (Years 9 and 10).

Life Skills Courses

For a small percentage of students, particularly those with an intellectual disability, a Life Skills Course can be provided in both compulsory and elective subjects in Years 7 to 10. All Key Learning Areas (KLA) Stage 4 and 5 syllabuses now contain Life Skills course outcomes.
For students in Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) specific NESA Life Skills Courses are available.

Years 11 and 12 (Stage 6)

The College publishes a guidance booklet on the Higher School Certificate.
Prior to entering Year 11, all students are interviewed by either a teacher, the Vocational Pathways Coordinator, a Leader of Learning or a Welfare Coordinator.
Generally a student will select five or six of the elective Board courses.
Not all courses will be offered every year.
Courses will depend on student demand.
Some courses may be taken at different levels.
Provision is made for some students to take TAFE Delivered VET Courses at local TAFE colleges.
In addition, we have teachers trained to supply Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses on site.
We also offer online delivery of some courses and Distance Education options.

Compulsory Courses:

  • Studies of Religion I or II Units or Religion – Catholic Studies
  • English – Standard or Advanced or English Studies

Life Skills Courses:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Science
  • Work and Community
  • Technology and Applied Studies (TAS)
  • Creative Arts
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
  • Citizenship and Society

Board Developed Courses:

  • Agriculture
  • Ancient History
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Community & Family Studies
  • Dance
  • Design & Technology
  • Drama
  • Earth & Environmental Science
  • Economics
  • English Extension I
  • English Extension II (HSC)
  • Food Technology
  • Geography
  • History Extension (HSC)
  • Information Processes & Technology
  • Italian Beginners
  • Italian Continuers
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematics Standard 1 and 2
  • Mathematics Advanced
  • Mathematics Extension I
  • Mathematics Extension II (HSC)
  • Modern History
  • Music I
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Society and Culture
  • Software Design and Development
  • Textiles and Design
  • Visual Arts

Board Content Endorsed Course:

  • Photography, Video & Digital Imaging
  • Sport, Lifestyle & Recreation
  • Visual Design
  • Work Studies

TAFE Delivered Vocational Education and Training Courses – Board Developed Courses:

  • Accounting
  • Electronics Technology
  • Tourism
  • As well as all TAFE courses offered at local TAFE Campuses

Vocation Education & Training Frameworks – Board Developed Courses:

  • Information Technology
  • Primary Industries
  • Tourism & Hospitality – Hospitality Operations
  • Tourism & Hospitality – Food & Beverage
  • Entertainment
  • Business Services
  • Building and Construction
  • Retail Operations
  • Metals and Engineering
  • Furniture Making
  • Fitness

Online Delivery – Flexible Delivery – Diocese of Lismore:

  • Engineering Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Economics
  • Software Design & Development
  • Geography
  • Japanese Beginners
  • History Extension
  • Science Extension (HSC)

Distance Education Courses

When a student is unable to study a course within the school timetable they may apply to study through Distance Education Southern Cross.
This is only available to students who are independent learners.
Students must see the Leader of Curriculum to seek enrolment in a Distance Education course.