2021 Course Information

Contents (Jump to link):

Letter from the Principal

Dear Students,

This curriculum guide provides you with course information about programs of study for all year levels in 2021. For students currently in Years 7 to 11, you have a chance to make decisions about your subject choices. The wide range of options provided gives you, with your parents and teachers, the ability to steer your program in certain directions next year.

With freedom comes responsibility. Whilst you have the freedom to choose, you also have a responsibility to yourself to choose wisely.

Throughout our lives, we navigate our way to destinations. We set out for places we have not yet been, equipped with key assets: experience, information from trusted advisors and a map which shows us the possible routes we can take.

Whether it be the journey of life or an unfamiliar city, it can be hard to know which road to take because there are so many to choose from. However, knowing which way to turn at the fork ahead is much easier if we know our intended destination! I have heard it said, ‘If you don’t know where you want to go, you will end up somewhere else’.

We can often get to the same destination via many different routes. If we investigate the options in advance, we’re more likely to take the best and easiest way.

While it can seem daunting, the process of subject selection is also exciting because we can imagine what might lie ahead, both for next year and beyond. The fact that you have so many choices reflects that you are on the verge of adulthood; you are being given a chance to chart a course to your future and you decide the destination.

Wise subject choices are made for good reasons: to develop your abilities, to pursue interests, to prepare for future studies, to prepare for intended careers, and so on.

I encourage you to enjoy the process of clarifying your dreams and goals, reflecting on where your strengths lie and weighing up what will best suit you in your future.

We offer a lot of support for you in this process – take advantage of this. Your parents, Tutors, Teachers, Heads of House, Mrs Martin, Mrs Lilford, Mr Blackburn, Mrs Hunt and many others have wisdom which you should tap into. Also pray. Divine inspiration can guide us to a better path.

Life offers us wonderful opportunities. It is up to you to decide where you want to go from here. Best wishes with your choices.

Mr Peter Houlahan


Mission Statement

Marist-Sion College, Warragul, is a Catholic co-educational secondary school, inspired by the traditions of the Marist Brothers and the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion.

Our mission is to provide an innovative education which integrates faith, learning and life in a welcoming community.

Values and Vision

Our vision is that all students will:

· be invited to put faith into action

· value learning for life and;

· flourish as people.

Commitment to Child Safety

Marist-Sion College is committed to fostering the dignity, self-esteem and integrity of children and young people, and providing them with a safe, supportive and enriching environment in which they can develop spiritually, physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

College Structure

Leadership Team

Principal | Mr Peter Houlahan

Deputy Principal - Learning | Mrs Narelle Hunt

Deputy Principal - Pastoral Care | Mrs Janelle Burgess

Director of Catholic Identity and Mission | Mr Peter Woodhouse

Director of School Administration | Mr André Ockerse

Director of Staff Development | Mr James Mazzolini

Business Manager | Mr Brett McKellar

Curriculum Leaders

Years 7 to 10 Victorian Curriculum Leader | Mrs Michelle Lilford

Years 11 and 12 VCE Curriculum Leader | Mr Jason Blackburn

Student Services

Education Support Coordinator | Mr Peter Coghlan

eLearning Coordinator | Mr Drew Thomas

Psychologist | Mrs Joanna John

Psychologist | Mr Ryan Peace

School Counsellor | Mrs Melanie Bradley

Student Support Officer - Youth Worker | Mr David Hobbs

College Chaplain | Deacon Mark Kelly

Sustainability Coordinator | Mr Andrew Grant

Head of Learning Centre | Mrs Lynda Farina

Careers and Pathways Coordinator | Mrs Elly Martin

Applied Learning Leader | Mr Ben Cunningham

Learning Area Leaders

Computing | Mr Drew Thomas

English | Mr Jacob Sharp

Health | Ms Gabrielle Catania

Humanities | Ms Lesley O’Reilly

Languages Other than English | Mrs Karyn Munday

Mathematics | Mr Christopher Russell

Performing Arts | Mrs Jill Lawrence

Religious Education | Mrs RoseMarie Black

Science | Ms Nicole Vanatta

Technology | Mr Luke Dicker

Visual Arts | Mrs Allison Cameron

Heads of House

Champagnat | Mrs Helen Davine

Jericho | Mr Jacques Augustin

Joseph | Mr John Heatley

Loreto | Mrs Catherine Mills

Lourdes | Mrs Christine Haasz

MacKillop | Mr Anthony Keogh

Marcellin | Mr Matthew van der Velden

Sion | Mrs Mandy Moore

General Information

An Inclusive Education

As part of our Marist-Sion College vision, we ‘affirm the uniqueness of every human being’. Students have varying cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs according to their different capacities, qualities and aptitudes. The College takes account of this in dedicating itself to the education of each student in a Christian environment. The comprehensive and systematic curriculum provides for these varying needs. The range of options offered allows each student to pursue an educational course, which will more than adequately prepare them for their lives after secondary school. Our futures orientated curriculum focuses on giving students the capacity for lifelong learning as well as a thorough grounding in foundation knowledge and skills, and the capacity to be adaptable and flexible in a changing world.

Active Learning

The Curriculum is developed in response to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) VCE, VCAL and Victorian Curriculum guidelines and the school’s Active Learning Framework. We endeavour to teach students how to actively engage in the learning process and explicitly model techniques to develop persistence, self-motivation, critical thinking and initiative. Whilst aligning our curriculum to develop the foundational skills (core knowledge, understanding, skills and general capabilities) prioritised by the VCAA. The VCAA sets out a single, coherent and comprehensive set of content descriptions and associated achievement standards to enable teachers to plan, monitor, assess and report on the learning achievement of every student.


Students in Years 7 to 12 are expected to attend all of their timetabled classes. All absences must be explained. Students with unexplained absences or an excessive number of explained absences will be monitored to determine whether they can be considered to have reached a satisfactory standard and be eligible for promotion.

SIMON – Learning Management System

Students and teachers have 24/7 access to the SIMON Learning Management System. This system provides students the ability to access class resources and tasks, and assessment tasks, send emails to their teachers and receive feedback and grades for their assignments. Parents also have access to this information through the Parent Access Module (PAM). PAM also provides parent access to their students’ profile, which includes the timetable, attendance data, commendations, learning area tasks and feedback, and copies of progress and semester reports.


Homework is essential for steady progress in the self-discipline that brings success in most areas of learning. Students need quiet time set aside to review lessons, practise skills, and work on projects or assignments. Where specific homework tasks are not set, this time should be spent on ongoing revision, study for tests or sustained reading for interest and pleasure. Parents are encouraged to provide a time and place away from television, mobile phones and other distractions for students to complete homework tasks. The College recommends that the following amount of time on homework will meet most students' needs.

Year 7 | 5 - 6 hours per week

Year 8 | 6 - 7 hours per week

Year 9 | 7 - 8 hours per week

Year 10 | 10 hours per week

Year 11 | 12 - 15 hours per week

Year 12 | 15 hours per week

The Louise Humann Centre is open before school every day of the week, during class times for classes and during break times for all students. From Monday to Thursday, the Library is open to 6pm to provide a space for students to work on their studies or to complete homework. Teachers and Learning Support Officers are available to provide assistance and support for all students.

Assessment and Reporting

Assessment of a student's academic progress reflects the aims and objectives of the College and is carried out on a regular basis, using a variety of assessment methods. The College has three Feedback Cycles in Year 7 – 12. For VCE students, assessment of a student's academic progress is carried out on a regular basis, using assessment methods as prescribed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority for each VCE unit.

At the end of each Assessment Cycle, individual feedback is uploaded into SIMON for the student. This feedback will outline what the student has demonstrated effectively and what the student could do to improve their response to the task. This feedback will be available to parents via the Parent Access Module (PAM). This model provides parents with regular, task specific feedback regarding their students progress. A benefit of this ongoing access to feedback is the removal of written subject specific comments from the end of term Progressive Reports and end of semester Summative Reports.

Progress Reports

At the end of Term 1 and Term 3 Parents receive a Progress Report on student progress prepared by each subject Teacher. Five work habits will be indicated: organisational strategies; participation, work and effort in class tasks; independent work; initiative to improve learning; and personal and social classroom behaviours. This type of Report provides parents with information on student progress at a point during the Semester when the student can effectively act upon a teacher’s advice about areas for improvement and future learning. These Reports will be followed by Parent/Teacher/Student interviews at the start of Term 2. A second opportunity for interviews occurs at the end of Term 3. Parents may make an appointment with all of their son/daughter's teachers when interview evenings are conducted. The interviews enable parents to meet the teachers and to gain an overview of their son /daughter’s performance. Parents are also invited to make contact with the College at any time when they have a particular concern about their son or daughter. In some instances, the College may initiate this contact if concerns arise. Throughout each Term, written feedback detailing what the student has achieved in an assessment task and areas the student can improve on will be regularly uploaded into the Parent Access Module (PAM) so parents can monitor how their student is progressing.

Semester Reports

At the end of Semester 1 and Semester 2, parents receive Final Semester Reports prepared by each subject teacher. Each subject report includes a continuum of five work habits as above. For students in Years 7 – 10, there will be a graph indicating reporting against the Victorian Curriculum Standards using ratings measured against level indicators and final grades for all individual Assessment Tasks. There are no detailed subject teacher comments at this time as they are included with the Feedback Cycles.

Promotions Statement

The College aims to help all students to succeed in their studies as we prepare students for life beyond school. To help students to become ‘lifelong learners, dedicated citizens’ and ready for employment, we promote a culture of diligence while encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their own learning. In accordance with Marist and Sionian values, students are expected to work in order to earn promotion to the subsequent year level.

Monitoring of student achievement and engagement occurs throughout the school year, to identify students at risk of unsatisfactory academic achievement. After a student is identified as being at risk, parents are informed and a structured process of support to help him/her successfully complete their studies is initiated. If a student does not satisfy the Promotion Requirements, he/she may be required to repeat some or all of the subjects at the year level in which he/she has not demonstrated success.

Policy Guidelines

  • Each student’s successful achievement of the learning outcomes in each unit of study is expected.

  • Students at risk of non promotion will be supported and regularly monitored.

  • Promotion decisions are based on what is best for the student considering all relevant factors. A students promotion is based on their academic achievement in the context of their psychological and social development.

  • Promotion must be earnt. If a student’s academic performance is below standard, due to a poor attitude to learning, lack of effort and application, the student may not normally be promoted to the next year level.

Typical Promotion Requirements

Entry to Year 12 (Units 3 and 4)

To be promoted to Year 12 a student should satisfactorily complete at least 17 out of 20 units studied at Year 10 or 11, including at least three units of Mathematics and English. Students would normally be expected to achieve end of semester unit results of Satisfactory Completion in Year 11.

Entry to Year 11 (Units 1 and 2)

To be promoted to Year 11 a student should satisfactorily complete at least 17 out of 20 units studied at Year 10, including at least three units of Mathematics and English. Students would normally be expected to achieve end of semester unit results of At Expected Level.

Entry to Year 10

To be promoted to Year 10 a student should satisfactorily complete at least 17 out of 20 units studied at Year 9, including at least three units of Mathematics and English. Students would normally be expected to achieve end of semester unit results of At Expected Level.

Entry to Year 9

To be promoted to Year 9 a student should satisfactorily complete at least 17 out of 20 units studied at Year 8, including at least three units of Mathematics and English. Students would normally be expected to achieve end of semester unit results of At Expected Level.

Entry to Year 8

To be promoted to Year 8 a student should satisfactorily complete at least 17 out of 20 units studied at Year 7, including at least three units of Mathematics and English. Students would normally be expected to achieve end of semester unit results of At Expected Level.

Special Consideration

Promotion decisions are not made purely on final results in a given unit. In cases where a student has special circumstances resulting from factors such as extended absence, illness, involvement in a special education program, promotion may still be considered, with negotiatation from the students’ school support team.

Student Services

The College provides a range of student services. Further details are provided on the College Website and other publications.

  • Library and Information Services

  • Pastoral Care and Welfare

  • Special Needs Education

  • Student Counselling

  • Student Leadership

  • Careers and Pathways

  • Curricular and Co-curricular Programs

  • Academic Enrichment Program (Together We Inspire)

Library – Information Literacy and Wide Reading Program

Wide Reading Program

We believe reading is an essential life skill and through the College Library we integrate a Reading Program into one English lesson per cycle in Years 7 to 9. In these classes a Teacher Librarian works closely with the students to promote and encourage reading so that students of all abilities are given the opportunity to develop enduring reading habits and discover the joy of reading.

In these classes, students are: exposed to a wide range of literature to encourage a love of reading, taught the value of good reading skills so that they can become independent readers and learners, encouraged to read a variety of genres to broaden their interests, introduced to different forms of information that are available to them and taught the skills to improve their reading comprehension. In the Library Wide Reading Program, we strive to promote and develop a strong reading culture throughout the College.

SURF (Sustained Uninterrupted Reading for Fun)

SURF is also for students in Years 7 to 9 as a means of fostering a love of reading, improving literacy skills and creating a ‘reading culture’. Students are asked to take a novel of their choice to their Lesson 5 class every day, Monday to Friday, and for the first few minutes of the lesson, the students and their classroom teacher read silently in an undisturbed and mindful environment. If students do not have a self-selected book to read, they are asked to respect the reading climate of the classroom and read the College information in their student planner. Students and staff in every subject, except Materials Technology and practical Physical Education classes, are expected to participate.

The aim of the SURF program is to:

  • Foster an interest in reading as a leisure activity.

  • Improve students’ reading skills and increase concentration.

  • Demonstrate the importance of reading by making it a priority.

  • Improve the students’ vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency in speech and writing.

  • Emphasise the importance of reading in all subjects – it is not just an English skill.

  • Give students practice in sustained reading.

  • Enable students to see teachers in all subjects as role models for reading.

The Information Literacy Program

By integrating traditional and modern literacies, along with 21st century skills across the curriculum, the Library aims to provide students with education that will prepare them for life after school and a lifetime of learning. Our focus is to create competent, independent and resilient learners who develop high-level metacognition skills to be able to transfer technology and research skills across all disciplines. In the ever-increasing information landscape, students need to be discerning users of information and develop strategies for researching and attaining higher levels of understanding beyond the superficial.

From Year 7, students are introduced to a wide range of resources, both digital and physical, and technologies that the College Library provides both in the Library and through the Library Resources page via SIMON. To assist with the learning process and improve students’ deeper understanding, they are introduced to the six step learning process (Defining, Locating, Selecting, Organising, Presenting and Evaluating) in subjects across the curriculum.

In the Library Critical and Creative Thinking Program, we strive to prepare students for VCE studies. We design learning experiences to develop Critical and Creative Thinking Processes, an important element of the Victorian Curriculum, while enhancing student enjoyment of their studies and assisting to improve outcomes.

Integrating Information Literacy and Digital Technologies

The Integration of Interdisciplinary Learning into the Curriculum

Interdisciplinary Learning relates to a range of knowledge, skills and behaviours which cross-disciplinary boundaries and are essential to ensuring students are prepared as active learners and problem solvers for success at school and beyond. Its areas of focus include ways of thinking, communicating, conceiving and realising ideas and information. The College aims to develop students’ growth in the use of technology, in becoming effective communicators who, as individuals, view learning as a life-long process.

Thinking processes, skills, behaviours and awareness of one’s own thinking are essential for functioning in society both within and beyond school. With critical and creative thinking skills crossing all areas of curriculum students develop the ability to process information, reason, problem solve and reflect on the learning opportunities presented.

Communication is central to the capacity to demonstrate and convey what one has learned in different contexts and to different people. Students learn to understand that language and discourse differ in different disciplines and that there is a need to learn the different literacies involved in each.

Information and Communication Technologies are now extraordinarily broad ranging and competency in their use is increasingly important. At Marist-Sion College, all students use computers in their subjects, in different ways and at different times. Students will be given instruction in using this technology for research, presentation and information sharing and design purposes. This instruction will be integrated into the study in Learning Areas.

Students will develop skills in the use of different media, the College’s Intranet and the Internet for research purposes. They will also learn how to select appropriate resources and to discriminate between the resources available. Students will develop skills in word processing, file management for the storage and retrieval of information, the use of spreadsheets for the storage and manipulation of data and the use of presentation software for multimedia arrangements of their own work. Students will make use of web applications such as blogs, wikis and podcasts. Those who are already proficient in computer usage will be able to develop their computer literacy skills and progress to higher levels of application.

Laptop Program

Marist-Sion College has embraced 1:1 technology through the implementation of the student laptop program. The program aims to prepare students for learning in the 21st century and to live and work in a digital world. Technology provides meaningful learning experiences in more effective and contemporary ways through the integration of Information Communication Technology. The College provides all students in Years 7 to 12 with Windows based laptops and access to the College Network, Learning Management System, digital textbooks, Internet and IT support.

21st Century technology provides opportunities for students to learn collaboratively with other students in our local classroom and globally in classrooms around the world. The laptops allow students to organise their electronic resources and present them professionally with industry standard software applications and effectively research and analyse information in a range of subjects.

Enrichment Opportunities

The College aims to develop within each student a love of learning, an enquiring mind and the desire to strive for their personal best. Enrichment opportunities are available across all Colour areas of the curriculum/extra-curricular to extend or enrich student learning.

The Enrichment Program is designed to cater specifically to the needs of students with varied gifts and talents. There are many exciting opportunities available to our students. The Program provides challenge for more able students who have particular interests and talents, offering tasks and activities which promote higher order thinking, skill development, problem solving and independent learning. There are exciting extra-curricular activities in the program – some of which are open to all, others are available to selected students by invitation.

The Merit System

There will be Endeavour, Encouragement and Excellence Merits available across all Colour areas.

  • Encouragement – Awarded to students across all year levels who have worked consistently and shown determination and/or improvement in a Colour Area.

  • Endeavour – Awarded to students who have worked to a higher level and completed work or performed to a commendable standard.

  • Excellence – Awarded for work or participation in a Colour Area to the highest possible standard. Students can obtain these through completing additional work on a project, participation in production (main character), or competing in finals for SSV etc.

Merits should only be awarded to students that are up to date with assessment tasks.

Passport of Excellence

In the Enrichment Program, all students can work to achieve the award of a Merit, which is credited towards a Passport. There are 4 ways for a student to achieve a Passport:

Bronze Passport

A minimum of 9 Merits across 4 of the Colour Areas.

Silver Passport

A minimum of 18 Merits across 5 of the Colour Areas.

Gold Passport

A minimum of 27 Merits across all 6 Colour Areas.

Platinum Passport

A minimum of at least 1 Excellence Merit in each of the 6 Colour Areas.

The reward of receiving a Passport of Excellence (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum)

Years 7 to 10

Students who receive either a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Passport by the end of Term 1 of Year 10, and have consistently received Merits each year, may be eligible to receive an invitation to attend the Canberra Enrichment Tour.

Year 11 and 12

Students who receive either a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Passport by the end of Term 3 of Year 12 and have consistently received Merits each year, will be eligible to be nominated for Special Awards presented at the Annual Presentation Evening.

Careers and Pathways

The College Careers Office (located in the Jericho Centre) incorporates a range of resources and information relating to careers and pathways. Careers staff located in this area can assist with careers, pathways, school programs, subject choices and applied learning information.

Students at all levels are encouraged to consider careers and pathways options. Today, these options are numerous and dynamic in nature, and as such, students are likely to require ongoing support and guidance to enable informed and adaptable decision making.

Marist-Sion College Careers and Pathways Assistance:

  • Individual appointments (parents welcome)

  • Placement and job opportunities

  • Job seeker advice

  • MSCW programs and advice

  • VET in schools

  • Tertiary application process, scholarships and accommodation options

  • University options and courses

  • Regular SIMON / PAM careers notices

  • TAFE options and courses

  • Subject selection counselling

  • Monthly Careers Newsletter

  • Qualification and pathways information

  • GAP options

  • Helpful career resources and publications

  • Key dates and open days

  • Advice and assistance navigating key online careers and pathways resources

  • Availability at College information events and Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews.

Marist-Sion College Careers and Pathways Programs:

  • Year 12 VTAC Information Session

  • Year 12 VCE and Careers Expo

  • Year 11 Tertiary Information Service

  • Federation University Experience Days

  • Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) for Applied Learning students

  • Access to VET, including in the VCE

  • Year 10 Work Experience

  • Inspiring Young People activities

  • STEM Sisters Program

  • Year 9 Morrisby profiling

  • Trade Pathways Program and Special Trade Pathways Program

  • Year 9 Pathways Excursion and Careers Day, incorporating the Job Skills Expo

  • National Careers Week activities

  • Range of careers focused excursions

  • Access to Responsible Service of Alcohol training

  • Institution and guest speakers

  • Reflection and goal setting with careers-focused questions included.

As students start thinking about their senior and post-secondary school options, more specific career activities, investigation, conversations and decision-making commence. Year 9 and 10 students can expect to have some exposure to careers, pathways, subject decision making, job seeking and work-related content via Careers Days and scheduled year level sessions. Most students will also have the opportunity to participate in careers-based excursions, extracurricular activities and compulsory programs, like Work Experience or Structured Workplace Learning. Where appropriate, careers and pathways is also integrated into some studies at Year 9 and Year 10.

At the senior level of secondary school studies, students become more informed about post-secondary school options. Year 11 and 12 careers and pathways information is typically communicated using the Year Level Program (YLP) and, where possible, key events.