In Years 11 and 12 students are entering the final years of their schooling and will make decisions that will influence future career pathways.

Initiative, personal responsibility for learning and a strong sense of commitment are central to our students’ life in the Senior School. The collaborative partnerships between staff, students and their families strengthen as the students are supported in their quest for VCE or VCAL success and successful career pathways.

We make it a priority to ensure our students are well prepared for a University or TAFE of their choice, or to pursue employment and vocational training with distinction and confidence. Students are provided with access to a full range of VCE, Vocational Education and Training (VET), and VCAL programs.

High achieving students continue to be challenged through enrichment programs in English, English as a Second Language, Maths Methods and Specialist Maths, as well as the opportunity for Year 11 students to study a Year 12 subject.

To ensure students are thoroughly prepared and confident for their future, the Managed Individual Pathways (MIPs) Program intensifies with individual course counselling, subject selection and planning advice and guidance in choosing an appropriate post-Year 12 pathway.

Please refer to the Senior Years Handbook for more detailed information about Year 11 & 12 courses.

Senior School Team

  • Year 10 – 12 Assistant Principal – Marney McLean
  • Senior School Year Level Leader – Rick Taig
  • Year 10 Year Level Leader – Maria Antinou


Year 10 Overview

In Year 10 the curriculum choices expand to meet the broadening interests and capabilities of the students. Increased self-reliance is fostered as students become more mature and independent.

High achieving students are offered advanced study options. This includes the opportunity for Year 10 students to study one Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) subject. It is during the Middle School years that the College begins to focus on and explore the students’ post-college future. Guided by the Managed Individual Pathways Program (MIP’s), students learn to use career development tools.

They receive course counselling and subject selection advice tailored to their individual preferences and abilities. In Year 10, the MIP’s Program provides students with further guidance and advice on pathway choices. Students have the opportunity to participate in work experience.

This is a critical stage in secondary education and the College focuses on supporting students to choose appropriate pathways through VCE, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and beyond in tertiary studies (University/TAFE) or employment.

Please refer to the Year 10 Handbook for more detailed information about Year 10 courses.


What is the VCE?

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a recognised course of study that provides pathways for students into employment, TAFE, and tertiary institutions. Students are assessed and ranked, and it is this Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking (ATAR) that is required for university entrance.

To obtain a VCE, students must satisfactorily complete at least 16 units of study including:

  • Three units from the English curriculum area with at least one Unit 3 & 4 sequence.
  • Three sequences of Unit 3 & 4 (or VET equivalent) other than English.

Who should do the VCE?

  • Students who are realistically seeking a university pathway should do their VCE.
  • Students who have a proven track record in their English studies.
  • Students who prefer to work independently.
  • Students who can complete the minimum number of hours of homework per night, ie., 3 hours in VCE Year 12.
    NB. Students aiming for a high ATAR will study for 4-5 hours, as a minimum, per day, in addition to the extra time they devote to their studies on the weekend.
  • Students who are well equipped to devote the time and energy to the production of sustained written responses to prompts in all subjects.
  • Students who passionately conceptualise and produce folios reflecting their creativity.
  • Students who are prepared to challenge themselves and are able to comprehend abstract concepts.
  • Students who achieve satisfactory results in tests and exams and have demonstrated the capacity to prepare for their exams.
  • Students with excellent organisation and time management skills.
  • Students who are prepared inside and outside of class to work intensively with their teachers.
  • Students who are prepared to devote a significant amount of time to their studies over school holiday periods and attend holiday classes if and when required.

VCE Assessment


Every unit has learning outcomes that are obtained through a set of varied activities directly related to the areas of study. The classroom teacher (using a range of assessment methods) is responsible for assessing outcomes.

  • Units 1 & 2 in the VCE are graded differently from Units 3 & 4.
  • Students completing a Unit 1 & 2 subject will receive an overall mark of S (Satisfactory) or N (Not Satisfactory) for every unit they undertake.
  • For Unit 3 & 4 students’ work is graded on a scale from A+ to E. These marks are used with students external exam results to calculate a study score, which is used to determine their Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).
  • Each unit of the VCE study has a number of learning outcomes that are assessed by tasks that are common to all students.
  • An N for any one of these gives the student an N for the unit. It is from the study’s outcomes that satisfactory (S) or not satisfactory (N) completion of a unit is determined.
Graded Assessment Tasks

For students undertaking Units 1 & 2, there will be graded tasks in each unit. Students will also be required to sit a school based examination at the end of each unit.

For students undertaking Units 3 & 4, there will be School Assessed Coursework (SAC), School Assessed Tasks (SAT) and/or Externally Assessed Tasks for each unit. In each unit there will be a combination of school assessed work and examinations that are assessed directly by the VCAA.

Grades will be awarded on the scale A+, A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D, E+, E, UG or NA. All marks and grades awarded by the school are conditional and may change as a result of statistical moderation conducted by the VCAA.

Calculating the ATAR

ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank, so it is a rank – not a score. It is represented as a number between 0 and 99.95 in intervals of 0.05, with 99.95 being the highest rank.

Because the ATAR is a rank, there is no pass or fail ATAR. Everyone who receives an ATAR has successfully passed the VCE. The ATAR simply demonstrates each student’s achievement in relation to all other students in the Year 12 age group. Someone receiving an ATAR of 55, for example, has performed better than 55 per cent of the Year 12 age group that year.

Subjects aren’t scaled because of how ‘hard’ or how ‘easy’ we think they are. In reality, every subject is scaled in the same way: based on the strength of the competition in a particular year. VCE Study Scores are standardised rankings, or relative positions, reported on a scale between 0 and 50, with a middle ranking of 30. So, a student with a Study Score of 30 has performed better than half the students in that subject for that year. Scaling is applied to determine the difficulty in achieving the middle ranking – the median study score of 30 – in each subject.

Take Economics as an example. To scale this subject The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) looks at all of the students that took Economics this year and calculates the average of each of these students, across all of their other VCE studies. Where the average study score of a subject is above the mean (30), then the study is scaled up, because it shows that those students performed above average overall, meaning that there was higher competition in Economics – it was harder to get that middle score of 30. If Economics students performed below average in all of their other studies, then Economics would scale down, because that shows us that there was less competition in Economics this year. For more information about the scaling process, check out the ‘ABC of Scaling’.

An ATAR aggregate is calculated by adding:

  • the scaled study score in any one of the English studies, plus
  • the scaled study scores of the student’s next best three permissible studies, plus
  • 10 per cent of the scaled study score for a fifth study (where available), plus
  • 10 per cent of the scaled study score for a sixth study (where available).

The aggregate will be converted into a ranking of between 0 and 99.95 (the ATAR).

Specific Advice for You

Current Year 10 Students Transitioning into a VCE Year 11

Current Year 10 students wishing to enrol in a VCE program must choose 6 VCE Unit 1 and 2 subjects.

Students can also select a VCE-VET (Cranbourne VET) to include into their program. A VCE-VET (Cranbourne VET) can be selected in place of one Unit 1 and 2 subject.

Maths is not a compulsory subject but it is highly recommended for students who are unsure about their career pathway.

Students are planning a two year study program. The majority of students will study 6 subjects in VCE Year

In VCE Year 12 students complete 5 subjects. Students need to include prerequisites for any university or TAFE courses that they intend to pursue. Students should visit the VTAC website to complete research into course prerequisites.

Year 11 VCE students can choose a Cranbourne VET program (NOT a SELLEN VET) as one of their subjects.

Upon successful completion of a Cranbourne VET program a student will receive the nationwide Certificate level qualification for that program. Some VET subjects can be calculated as part of the final ATAR score. For more about VET studies, please refer to the VET section in the Senior Years Handbook or speak to our VET Coordinator.

Some VCE students might have a slightly unusual program – for example, if a student is enrolled in an external language study, or they are completing additional units or they are completing a course over three years. *If this is your situation, you need to speak directly to the Head of VCE to discuss the implications of this for your subject selection.

Current VCE Year 11 Students Transitioning into Year 12

A student’s choice is mostly to do with confirming the pathway they are currently on. Year 12 students choose five subjects including English or EAL – most students will have to decide which subject they will drop from their VCE Year 11 study program. Students cannot pick up a VCE-VET program in VCE Year 12. They can do a VET subject if they move into the Senior VCAL program.

In some cases, students will need to make changes. In this case, please note that some subjects cannot be studied at Unit 3&4 level unless a student has completed the Unit 1&2 sequence in the same subject. Please see the current Senior Years Handbook for further information.

Changing to Senior VCAL

If a student wishes to move into the Senior VCAL program in 2019, they will need to complete and submit a Senior VCAL course application form at course counselling.


Choosing a VET Course

Students moving into Year 11 VCE may choose to include a VET (Vocational Education and Training) course as part of their studies, whilst those undertaking VCAL MUST choose a VET course as part of theirs.

A VET course provides a nationally recognised qualification, and may lead to employment or further training in the area. Some VET courses are also eligible to be counted towards the final VCE ATAR score where the student undertakes a scored assessment of the course.

VET courses are delivered by TAFE or other Registered Training Organisations (including schools) but are quite different to the type of work done as a “school” subject. All VET courses have both theory and practical components and students must be prepared and able to complete both components of the course. VET courses are assessed according to competency – that is, the student can demonstrate the ability to do or understand the material in the unit being covered. Students who select a VET need to be aware that they are making a commitment for a 2 year course of study. Students must also realise that they are expected to display the maturity, responsibility and confidence to successfully participate in an adult learning environment.

The VET subjects that can be chosen are slightly different for VCE and VCAL students. The VET subjects listed in the following section are available for Year 11 and Year 12 VCE students to choose from. These courses will run (subject to student numbers) at either Cranbourne SC or at Lyndhurst SC (Automotive).

VCAL students may choose from these VET courses, but will also have the opportunity to choose from a much wider range of courses from a group called the SELLEN cluster. Please refer to the Senior School Handbook for a list of SELLEN VET subjects that are currently on offer.

Students who choose a SELLEN course must be able to get themselves independently to and home from the venue of the course.

If a Year 11 VCAL student has already successfully completed a VET course, they may choose to undertake another course or to undertake two days work placement for their Year 12 VCAL course. Most VET courses are two years, so they will only be able to complete part of the course, but will receive credit for units successfully completed in any further study.

Cranbourne Cluster VET Courses (for VCE or VCAL students)

These courses are available to BOTH VCE and VCAL students. Students who want to take up a VET course not listed here must do VCAL.

  • Certificate 2 Automotive
  • Certificate 2 Building and Construction
  • Certificate 2 Dance
  • Certificate 3 Kitchen Operations
  • Certificate 3 Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • Certificate 3 Sport and Recreation

Sellen VET Courses (for VCAL students only)

As the list is quite extensive, students can speak with the VET Co-ordinator (in the V Block Careers office) for SELLEN VET courses.

Please refer to the Senior School Handbook for more detailed information.

VCAL Curriculum

VCAL is a hands-on option for Year 11 and 12 students at Cranbourne Secondary College. The VCAL certificate gives students the opportunity to build employability skills, industry experience, personal development skills, as well as numeracy and literacy skills. The certificate is designed for students wishing to pursue a career pathway involving an apprenticeship, employment or TAFE.

VCAL is an exciting opportunity for students who enjoy challenges and applied learning. The VCAL students have access to the newly refurbished Applied Learning Centre.

The VCAL certificate will give students practical work-related experience and qualifications that will be recognised by TAFE institutes and employers. Together, these will help students move from school into work, an apprenticeship or traineeship, and/or further training at TAFE.

During the year, each student will complete:

  • Structured Work Placement to gain experience in their chosen industry, establish industry networks, and increase employment opportunities.
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) vocational studies and nationally recognised training from either accredited state curriculum or national training packages within their VCAL certificate. All students in VCAL need to complete a VET training program. VET subjects can be selected from the SULLEN or Cranbourne VET Cluster.
  • Studies in Literacy, Numeracy, Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills to extend and improve their communication skills, reading, writing, numeracy, self-esteem, team work and leadership skills.

VCAL Subjects

Literacy Skills

The purpose of the literacy curriculum selected for this strand it to enable the development of skills, knowledge and attitude in literacy that allow progression in the main social context of family, employment, further learning and citizenship.
Literacy includes reading, writing and oral communication skills. Students are expected to read text and complete extended pieces of writing.

Numeracy Skills

Numeracy is the ability to use mathematical skills in order to carry out purposes and functions within society relating to design, measuring, constructing, using graphical information, money, time and travel and the underpinning skills and knowledge for further study in mathematics or related fields.

Industry Specific Skills (VET subject)

The purpose of the Industry Specific Skills Strand is to enable the development of skills, knowledge and attitudes related to one or more vocational contexts in preparation for progression to further learning or employment. A student must complete a VET program to satisfactory complete this area of study.

Work Related Skills

The purpose of the Work Related Skills Strand is to develop employability skills, knowledge and attitudes valued within community and work environment as a preparation for employment. The development of employability skills within this strand provides learners with a capacity to consider and choose from a range of pathways.

Work related skills includes skills that align with the employability skills of communication, team work, problem solving, technology, initiative and enterprise, planning and organizing, self-management, learning. Employability skills are those that are valued by employers.

Cranbourne Secondary College students are required to organise their work placement for one day per week. This is a compulsory part of Work Related Skills.

Personal Development Skills

The purpose of the Personal Development Skills Strand is to develop knowledge, skills and attributes that lead towards the development of self, social responsibility, building community, civic and civil responsibility, improving self-confidence and self-esteem, valuing civic participation in a democratic society.

The development of knowledge, skills and attributes in this strand underpins the development of skills in the three other VCAL curriculum strands.
Compulsory camps and field excursions are an integral part of the subject Personal Development Skills.

An example of a VCAL Program Timetable at Cranbourne Secondary College

School Attendance

At SchoolVET course

At school or at TAFE depending on the course chosen

At SchoolAt SchoolWork Placement

Offsite at an external business

Program Description:

The VCAL is a rigorous Senior School Program that prepares students for entry into the workforce and/or further training & education. The VCAL Certificate is delivered in a flexible adult environment that is able to meet the needs of all students.

The program focuses on developing employability skills.


The Senior School policy on progression states that a student has to achieve a satisfactory result in at least one unit from each of the following VCAL subjects: Numeracy, Personal Development skills, Literacy and Work Related Skills. Students must also complete a minimum of 100 hours of work placement in order to progress to the next year level.