Breaking down the curriculum in Victoria

Years 7 and 8

These are the final years of the ˜middle years' of schooling, where students progress from learning basic skills and knowledge to a general education. Most schools introduce students to a full range of subjects so they can trial each area before starting to make subject choices in Years 9 and 10.

Year 9

The ˜core and elective' pattern becomes almost universal in Year 9. The ˜core' is what everyone continues to study: English, mathematics, science, the humanities, and health and physical education. About a quarter of each student's time is then available for elective subjects, which range from art and music to human movement, information technology, woodwork and home economics. Year 9 marks the transition into adolescence for most students. A growing number of schools now treat it as a year in which students need to develop self-reliance and self-discipline through special programs that remove students from the standard school campus to an isolated environment.

Year 10

Once the end of schooling for many young people, Year 10 is now seen as a preliminary VCE year, with more choice in the curriculum and the option of taking VCE and VET units. Not all students choose to start VCE or VET units a year early. Many ensure that they get all the right background work done before their senior secondary years.

Years 11 and 12

There are two senior secondary certificates in Victoria: the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). An alternative to these certificates is the International Baccalaureate (IB).

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