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Senior School

What is the Senior School?

The Senior school at Mountain Creek State High School encompasses Year 10, 11 and 12 and responds effectively to the specific developmental needs of adolescents, (predominantly 15 to 18 year olds).  Like all students, adolescents have a range of personal, intellectual and social needs. These include completing a senior education, undertaking further education and training, leaving home, finding work and forming personal relationships.  The senior years of education at Mountain Creek State High School provide an excellent framework for our students to achieve their individual career goals and to develop personal and social skills.

Curriculum Framework

Currently, the senior years of schooling are directed by 2 curriculum frameworks, one operating within Education Queensland and the other externally moderated by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).

Year 10

While the Year 10 curriculum is guided by the KLA Syllabuses, the focus is on preparing students for the QSA Senior School Certificate or the IB Diploma.  The curriculum in Year 10 provides students with the opportunity to trial senior subjects to ensure that the subject selection for Year 11 & 12 are both relevant to career goals and provide the best opportunity for successful outcomes. At the end of this year of study, students are awarded the Education Queensland, Year 10 Certificate.

Year 11 & 12

Students in year 11 & 12 have the option of studying either the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) Senior Certificate or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

QCAA Senior Certificate

Students in year 11 & 12 study six subjects (either Authority or Authority-registered)which are certified by the QCAA. A system of moderated school based assessment operates to provide students in the senior years of schooling with an Education Profile which consists of the Senior Certificate, an OP statement and a grade on the QCS test (an external cross curriculum test).

The OP (overall position) is used to allocate places in tertiary institutions.

Alternate Pathways

Within the QCAA framework, students who do not wish to study towards tertiary entry can choose a vocational education pathway. Students will receive a Senior Certificate, a grade on the QCS test (if they elect to sit this test) and a selection Rank which can provide access to University and TAFE Diploma Courses.

The Senior Certificate:

  • is issued by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA)

  • is always part of the Student Education Profile

  • is recognised nationally and internationally

  • usually represents two years of senior schooling (Years 11 and 12)

  • shows a student's levels of achievement in Authority and Authority Registered subjects

  • may show results in Recorded subjects such as AMEB and TAFE subjects

  • may show the student's Queensland Core Skills Test (on an A–E scale)—if the student sat the test

  • may also record achievements in accredited vocational education and training

  • is used by employers and tertiary institutions to select students for employment and/or tertiary courses.

The Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is a demanding pre-university course of study that leads to examinations. It is designed for highly motivated secondary school students aged 16 to 19.

The programme has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB diploma holders access to the world’s leading universities. The IBO has shown, over the course of 30 years, that students are well prepared for university work. They are accepted by universities in more than 100 countries.

The programme is a comprehensive two-year international curriculum.

Philosophy

Mountain Creek State High School’s senior school curriculum incorporates the following principles:

The curriculum provides a range of pathways suited to differing needs and interests.

  • There is an extensive subject selection together with academic rigour.

  • The curriculum provides opportunities for students to master the skills and knowledge to prepare them for future challenges.

  • The school provides flexibility within the curriculum for young people moving between pathways.

  • Students value learning and understand that learning is a lifelong process.

  • Students are equipped with the skills and mind-set to access further learning.

  • Students develop independent learning skills and assume increasing responsibility for their learning.

  • The school promotes the concept of respectful and purposeful communication between staff, students and parents.

  • The school provides programs to ensure that students are career oriented and can articulate the progress of their education plans.

  • Students have a distinctive, success oriented ethos which enables them to clearly identify their goals for senior schooling.

  • Teachers provide learning experiences that are intellectually challenging and motivating and reflect a variety of pedagogical approaches.

  • The social development and participation of all students is a priority.

  • Information and Communication Technology strategies are used to encourage higher order thinking skills.

Transition from the Junior Secondary to the Senior school

Year 10 is seen as a transition year from middle schooling to senior schooling.  Students move from a core program of study to an elective model which closely reflects the year 11 &1 2 course of study. Students have the opportunity to sample senior school subjects to ensure greater success at year 11 & 12. This transition process is underscored by a policy of ‘no social promotion’ and supported by subject selection predicated on prerequisites. The prerequisites provide a foundation for success with further study.

The introduction of prerequisites supports our ECP program, which encourages students to assess their results against career plans and the prerequisites required for their chosen career. We also encourage students to make a realistic judgement about their progress towards these career goals.

The introduction of prerequisites also supports the concept of ‘making high school count’. Success at prerequisite study is a very good indicator of future success in a particular field of study. Our aim is to ensure that students have the best possible chance of achieving success in the subjects they choose for study in Years 11 & 12.  To this end prerequisites have been included for all year 11 & 12 subjects.

Subject Offerings and Time Allocations

Year 10

  • Students study a maths and an English subject for the full year.

  • Students study 4 semester units of Science (Chemistry, Physics, Multi-strand Science, Biology) or Social Science (History, Geography, Economics) with at least one semester from both areas.

  • Students study 2 elective subjects for the full year.

  • Students participate in 1, 70 minute lesson of core physical education each week

  • Special Needs students have the option of studying 2 semester units of either Science or Social Science and 3 electives reflecting a more practical approach to learning.

Year 11 and 12

  • Students in the Senior School study 6 subjects including an English and a Maths subject.

  • Students following an OP pathway must select 5 Authority subjects with the sixth subject Authority or Authority registered.

  • Student selecting a vocational Education pathway may choose all Authority registered subjects.

  • Students studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma must follow the subject selection guidelines as set out in the IB Handbook.

Assessment and Reporting

Year 10

Summative assessment throughout year 10 provides the results for the year 10 Certificate.
Students receive reports from the school at the end of each term.

Year 11 & 12

QCAA

Students studying the QCAA, Senior Certificate are assesses using criteria based assessment and results are based on summative assessment.  Students receive reports from the school at the end of each term.

IB Diploma

Students work in the IB Diploma examinations is assessed by examiners appointed by the IBO and using common mark schemes. The external assessment may be complemented by internal assessment by schools of other required work, moderated by IBO examiners.

The IB Diploma is awarded based on the results of both the internal and external assessment.

Enhancement and Support Programs

The senior school curriculum is further supplemented with access to accelerated learning through

  • a university Links program currently at Griffith University, QUT and University of the Sunshine Coast.

  • school based traineeships and apprenticeships

  • concurrent study through the School of Distance Education.

Career Education

The focus of Career Education in the senior school is ensuring that students are aware of the pre-requisites and entry requirements for further study or full time work. Career education in the senior school provides a framework for subject selection which will ensure success in achieving tertiary entry or full time work.