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Curriculum Overview: St Monica's College offers a curriculum that is contemporary, global in vision and caters for a multicultural body of students of a wide range of academic ability. The College believes that such a curriculum enables students to take their place in Australian society with strong personal values that foster respect of self, others and the environment, an appropriate sense of responsibility, confidence based on Christ's teachings, sound knowledge, and appropriate vocational skills. The curriculum strives to achieve academic excellence as well as breadth and depth of content and is delivered in a challenging, student centred and engaging manner. The curriculum is structured to foster an appreciation of lifelong learning amongst the College community and there is strong commitment to developing independent, self-directed learners.


Core Curriculum Years 7-10: The Year Seven to Ten curriculum provides students with grounding in core subjects as well as opportunities to explore a wide variety of elective subjects in order to find out what they are good at and what they enjoy, before they specialise in Years Eleven and Twelve. Innovative teaching and learning practices are encouraged.


Religious Education: Religious Education is taught within the curriculum at all levels. Our program is designed to foster an understanding of and respect for the diversity of cultural and religious traditions of students and their families. A Christian environment permeates all aspects of school life. Many varied activities are organised for different year levels. These activities give our students opportunities to participate, show initiative, take leadership roles and develop their spirituality. Liturgical celebrations help students in their understanding, appreciation and integration of their life experiences. The Religious Education curriculum encourages and supports collaboration amongst teachers, students, parents, parish and diocesan personnel. It provides opportunities for prayer and reflection in both explicit and implicit ways and acknowledges that religious growth is a gradual and a lifelong process with important communal dimensions to it.


Pastoral Care: The College has a strong commitment to the pastoral care of students. According to the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) Policy Pastoral Care of Students in Catholic Schools, pastoral care “endeavours to promote and enhance student wellbeing of a personal, social, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual nature. Key elements of student wellbeing are positive self regard, respect for others, positive relationships, responsible behaviours and personal resilience”.

The College acknowledges that “enhanced student wellbeing contributes to improved student learning outcomes”. Therefore, effective pastoral care promotes both the personal and academic development of students. Pastoral care is the responsibility of every staff member but there are also specific programs and curriculum which focus on pastoral care. A pastoral period is included in the curriculum for all students in Years 7 to 9. In this period the Homeroom Teacher works with students to develop positive relationships, provide support and guidance in personal matters and to develop life skills and organisational and study skills. In addition students may participate in a variety of pastoral programs. A team of qualified counsellor/psychologists is also available to students, parents and staff.

Pastoral Curriculum: There is a sequential curriculum for Years 7-9. The Home Room Teacher delivers the curriculum which is supported by actitivites and specific programs at each year level. The focus is on exploration of self worth and social and emotional wellbeing. The classroom environment is characterised by mutual respect and responsibility. The key themes are:

  • Social and emotional learning
  • Resilience
  • Community building
  • Personal wellbeing – drug education and general health
  • Cyber safety
  • Community service
  • Pastoral Programs - Year 8


Stepping Stones: An important part of the College’s pastoral commitment is to help students to develop their social relationships and work together to create a harmonious homeroom experience for all. The name of the program designed specifically for Year 8 students is called Stepping Stones. This program provides a wonderful opportunity for the home room group to go away together, to form bonds of friendship and respect and to enjoy some fun and challenge as a group. The objectives of the program are:

  • To help students to reflect on their personal journey at this stage of their lives and to encourage them to start thinking about the next steps in their journey.
  • To encourage each student to recognise and share their talents and gifts.
  • To assist them to recognise and value the talents and gifts of others.
  • To encourage community building within the home room group.


Rock and Water: Rock and Water aims to assist students in their development to adulthood and to become authentic men and women who are conscious of their own power and responsibility within society and their related tasks. Physical exercises are constantly linked with mental and social skills. The program leads from simple self defence, boundary and communication exercises to a strong notion of self-confidence, self-control and self-reflection. It offers a framework of exercises and ideas about transition into adulthood to assist students to become aware of purpose and motivation in their lives. Topics include: intuition, body language, mental strength, empathic feeling, positive feeling, positive thinking and positive visualising.


Pastoral Programs - Year 9

Uniquely Year 9: The aims of this pastoral program include allowing students to step out of the classroom and the College for a unique learning experience, recognizing their stage of development and their search of their own identity. Helped by this experience, they have the opportunity to look more closely within, to develop a better understanding of themselves and others, to work together to solve problems and respond to challenges, and to grow in awareness of the world and their place in it. Students travel to various sites in the state, in their home room groups, and engage in activities that are designed to challenge them, to provide fun and group bonding and to allow time for personal reflection.


Pastoral Programs - Year 10

On the Edge: Year 10 is a time in the lives of many young people when they feel most acutely the complexities of growing up. Feeling “on the edge” is probably the experience of many adolescents during this period of their lives: on the edge of VCE and “serious” study; on the edge of self-discovery; negotiating the edge between platonic friendships and romantic intimacy, between adolescence and adulthood; walking the edge between individual spirituality and organized religion. It is a time of risk, of choice and decision-making, of questioning one’s identity.

In the unique and special environment of St Monica’s country campus Ostia, students, in gender groups, have the opportunity to explore through a range of activities the following five themes which have been identified as important area of concern to young people in Year 10 – relationships, decision making, emotional development, identity and spirituality.

Note: Other programs are developed as needs emerge or change.

Community Service and Social Justice Activities: All students in each year level are encouraged to participate in a range of community service and social justice activities. Each year level focuses on one or more organisations for the entire year. Students have the opportunity to participate in awareness and fundraising activities, collection of goods, visits to outside events and organisations, and to offer support through practical assistance. An example is the opportunity for Year 11 students to volunteer for the lunch program at Ozanam Community Centre, North Melbourne.


Information and Communication Technologies: All students at the College are provided with a Netbook computer for their own personal use at school and at home. Please refer to the Netbook Program information. Computer technology is also accessible at the College in many other areas including computer laboratories, an eLearning centre – The Beehive, College libraries and in many specialist areas such as media rooms, science laboratories and in the Technology and Visual Arts faculties. Through the use of a high speed state of the art wireless computer network, internet and network resources are accessible across all areas of the campuses. The emphasis is on practices that promote effective learning and teaching and the development of a richer curriculum. Technology is used to create links between the College and the wider community, both at local, national and global levels and to provide conditions conducive to learning, such as real world contexts, connections to outside experts, tools for visualization and analysis, scaffolds for problem solving and opportunities for feedback and reflection. The Teachers' Beehive contains resources to support eLearning and the integration of ICT into learning. Within this site, you will find resources available to assist you in creating digital resources quickly.


Literacy and Numeracy: There is strong commitment to the acquisition of basic generic skills such as information research skills, literacy and numeracy skills and the development of higher order thinking. The enhancement of student literacy and numeracy is a high priority. Literacy is integrally related to learning in all areas of the curriculum and enables all individuals to develop knowledge and understanding. Literacy and Numeracy have been targeted as a major curriculum priorities with all teachers sharing responsibility for developing students' reading, writing, speaking, listening, critical thinking and numerical skills. In addition, students in Year Seven have time tabled Literacy and Numeracy classes. The College has been acknowledged through a State Award for excellence in Numeracy and in 2004, was one of a privileged number of schools across Australia to receive a National Literacy Award for excellence.


Music: Instrumental Music Lesson Enrolment Form

Football Excellence: A Football Excellence Program is offered to selected students before and after school at Years Seven and Eight. In Years Nine and Ten, this program operates within the timetabled curriculum. The Football Excellence Program aims to develop both male and female players to their full potential. Access to the program is by selection trials. The focus of the program is two fold. Firstly, the technical skills of the players are developed after an initial assessment in the areas of technique, speed and endurance. Secondly, aspects of Sports Psychology and realistic goal setting are explored.


Basketball Academy: Additional information on Basketball, is available under “Sport”.


Hockey Institute: The Hockey Institute commenced at St Monica’s College in 2007. The program openly invites students of all ages and abilities, and develops them into knowledgeable, skilful and competent hockey players. Additional information on the Hockey Institute is available under “Sport”.


Curriculum at Years 7 - 10: All students study the same core subjects at Years Seven and Eight. These include English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and Civics, Physical Education, Technology Studies and subjects associated with the Visual and Performing Arts. In Years Seven to Nine, students also study a Language Other Than English. They select a language in Year 7 and then study that language for three years. St Monica's College offers French, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek and Spanish. There is strong commitment to the Performing Arts at St Monica's. A Music Program has been developed at Year Seven so that all students are able to experience the rewards of playing an instrument and of playing with other musicians. Students have the option of being part of the Junior Concert Band, the String or Jazz Ensembles and of accessing instrumental or voice lessons taken by sessional staff. At Years Nine and Ten, the range of available subjects becomes progressively broader. Students study core subjects and elective subjects chosen from a wide range. Options are available for students to request to study selected Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) studies at Year 10. Selection criteria exist for access to these studies at Year 10.

Subjects offered at Years 7 - 10


VCE, VET and VCAL: At Years 11 and 12, students are offered a choice of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), or the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). The College offers an extensive range of VCE studies. In addition, a range of Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses is offered. Facilities such as our industry standard kitchen allow the majority of these certificates to be offered on site at the College. There is also the opportunity for students to become involved in University Extension Programs at Year 12.

Subjects offered at Years VCE, VCAL and VET


Cultural Enrichment in the curriculum: The curriculum provides many opportunities for cultural enrichment - choir, concert and jazz bands as well as other music ensembles, instrumental tuition in brass, percussion, string and woodwind, music theory, voice tuition, school drama and musical productions. These include senior and junior productions as well as a Music, Art, Dance and Drama night and participation in Theatre Sports and Dance Showcases. Students are able to participate in the Principal’s Cup for Song and Piano Competition and to submit entries in the Principal’s Art Prize.


Debating and Public Speaking: Debating and Public Speaking programs are offered at all levels and students participate in both internal debates and those arranged by the Debating Association of Victoria. This inter school debating competition allows students to debate against students from other schools in the region. The College has established debating teams at each year level from Year 7 to Year 12. Debating and public speaking help students to develop many personal and academic skills including how to research issues, think clearly and rationally, be assertive, organised and self-confident, as well as how to communicate effectively. Opportunities are provided for students to develop skills in public speaking and to compete in the annual Principal’s Award for Public Speaking.


Enhancement: A special focus is enhancement of gifted and highly able students. Enhancement opportunities are available through Accelerated Mathematics at Year Nine and Specialised Mathematics at Year Ten which emphasise the application of mathematical concepts and skills. Year 10 students are able to access VCE studies. Students are able to participate in competitions such as GLOBE Shakespeare, Tournament of Minds, and a variety of external academic competitions such as the Australian History, Science and Mathematics Competitions.


Educational Support Faculty: At St Monica's we pride ourselves on supporting all students to reach their full potential. We endeavour to provide an Inclusive curriculum that challenges and empowers students so that the dignity and uniqueness of each student is identified, valued and respected. There are over 28 staff in the Faculty who coordinate and oversee the programs for students experiencing difficulty as well as those who have physical, sensory or medical needs that make accessing the curriculum more difficult. Students requiring support are identified by a combination of entry testing, classroom teacher assessments, observation and diagnostic testing.

Our qualified Educational Support teachers are able to provide educational assessments for students to assist with their placement in our programs and the development of a suitable curriculum for them. Our staff operate in the classroom as support personnel, facilitate small groups of students with similar abilities to address a particular need, offer one-to-one support where suitable, and support teachers in developing suitable activities to address students needs. We oversee the programming needs of highly able students and seek to develop their full potential through curriculum differentiation, enrichment activities and accelerated courses. Our select entry HORIZONS program compacts the four years from 7 – 10 into three years, enabling students to access greater options during and after their VCE. HORIZONS program click here for more information.


After School Homework Program (ASH): The aim of this program is to provide a quiet, well resourced area for students to complete homework with assistance from teachers if required. Staff volunteer their time to supervise the program which takes place in the Pamela Coyne Library on Dalton Road Campus from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm every Monday to Thursday. The Program provides students with access to resources, computers and the Internet as well as opportunities to work independently or in a group. The program is voluntary and students sign on as they arrive. They are free to leave as soon as they have completed their homework and do not have to stay until 4.30 pm.


Envirofriends: Students and staff with a passion for environmental issues meet regularly to plan and implement special projects with a green theme. Litter reduction and recycling, revegetation and water and energy efficiency are some of the key foci. Members of the group aim to act as role models to the wider community, showing that being green is simple to achieve and beneficial to all. The College is working closely with the Whittlesea Council on a project along the Darebin Creek, helping to restore the creek to a healthier state. Participation is voluntary and initial contact is via the Envirofriends Representative on each campus.


Facilities: Facilities such as well equipped Science laboratories, specialist rooms for Media Studies and the Visual and Performing Arts, Computer and language laboratories, kitchens, gymnasium, sports facilities and well equipped libraries, greatly enhance the delivery of the curriculum. The 'Beehive', an Information Technology Computer Centre, provides individual access to computers and the Internet as well as individualised assistance for staff and students, both during class time, lunch times and before and after school. Facilities are available in 'The Beehive' for students to be involved in photo and video editing and access is provided to specialist computer software.


Outdoor Camps: These operate predominantly at Years Seven and Eight. Camps with a special focus, such as snow and ski camps, are offered to Year Ten students. At Year Eleven, a camp is integrated into the curriculum as part of Biology Unit 1 where students investigate a range of marine ecosystems on the Bellarine Peninsula.

St Monica's College, Epping, acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which our school is built. For more information, please click here.