Senior College

Senior College2019-11-26T12:50:28+10:00

The Senior College

Senior students at St Mary’s College are able to choose between a Tertiary Entrance Pathway, a Non-Tertiary Entrance Pathway or a Vocational Education pathway (including TAFE/School Based Apprenticeships) or a combination of both. Students can choose from Authority Subjects (used to calculate an Overall Position at the conclusion of their Year 12) , Authority–Registered Subjects and Study Area Specification (SAS) Subjects and Vocational Education and Training Certificate courses, which provide students with competencies in a course of qualification.

All students achieve either The Queensland Certificate of Education or the Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement at the conclusion of Year 12.

St Mary’s College offers an extensive range of subjects and quality teachers in each of the alternative pathways that are available.

By the conclusion of their Year 12 studies students will have experienced units of study in depth, achieved results commensurate with their abilities, studied units of work relevant to their future aspirations and developed positive student-teacher relationships.

Current Subject Offerings

Senior Authority Subjects
  • Visual Art
  • Accounting
  • Biological Science
  • Chemistry
  • Drama
  • English
  • Geography
  • Graphics
  • Information Processing & Technology (IPT)
  • Information Technology Systems (ITS)
  • Japanese
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematics A
  • Mathematics B
  • Mathematics C
  • Modern History
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Study of Religion (SOR)
Senior Authority-Registered Subjects
  • Building & Construction Studies (BCS)
  • Certificate I in Engineering
  • Certificate I in Furnishing
  • English Communication
  • Information Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Industrial Graphics Studies (IGS)
  • Certificate III in Fitness
  • Industrial Technology Studies (ITS)
  • Pre-Vocational Mathematics
  • Recreational Studies
  • Religion & Ethics
  • Visual Arts Studies
  • Certificate II in Information, Digital Media & Technology

St Mary’s College Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Preparation Program

In addition to accomplishing high grades in each subject, the best way to enhance our student’s Overall Positions (OPs) is for the cohort to achieve a high QCS mean. At St Mary’s College, we are committed to our OP eligible students and invest heavily in ensuring they are well prepared for the QCS test.

In Class Preparation

The best preparation for the QCS test occurs in class. The QCS test assesses the Common Curriculum Elements and these are taught and assessed every day, in every class. The best preparation for the QCS test occurs by actively engaging in learning in every subject area, every lesson. It includes attempting all set tasks in class, engaging in learning at home and reading widely to ensure a good general knowledge of current events, politics and economics.

Self–Directed and Small Group Independent Preparation

Self-directed preparation individually or with a group of friends is also very beneficial for students. The College has numerous past papers are available for students on Canvas. Marking schemes and model responses are also available from the Retrospectives, published on the QCAA website.

QCS Preparation
Year 11 Preparation

In Year 11, all OP eligible students undertake QCS preparation for one lesson per week during Term 4. During this time students will engage with a range of problem-solving strategies, as well as time-management skills and exam techniques to ensure they are well prepared. Students will also undertake an intensive, interactive, three-day workshop. Each day of the workshop focusses on exposure to, strategies for, and practice of each of the three QCS test types – Writing Task, Short Response and Multiple Choice.

Year 12 Preparation

In Year 12, students undertake a regimented and multifaceted approach to QCS preparation.

QCS Lessons

Students undertake one lesson per week. These lessons are designed to meet the cohorts needs, as identified in practice QCS tests and other standardised tests. Term 1, 2 and 3 focus on the Writing Task, Short Response and Multiple-Choice tests, respectively.

Extension Tutorials

One method to ensure the cohort achieves a high QCS mean is to offer students opportunities to refine their already-developed QCS skills. Extension Tutorials run once a week, after school during Terms 2 and 3. They offer additional practice to students who are committed to improving the cohort’s QCS mean.

Term Three Intensive Preparation

In place of sport during Term Three, all Year 12 OP-Eligible students will partake in a final intensive burst of Queensland Core Skills Test preparation. The sessions aim to hone students’ skills in the areas that will be assessed and to revise key ideas.

The topics include:

  • Numeracy – speed, volume, density, averages
  • Numeracy – Rounding, Compass usage, Variables, Power notation
  • Writing Task – Planning for your chosen genre. – Using linking sentences, vocabulary and motifs to reference stimulus and ensure responsiveness.
  • Writing Task – Literacy – Recap of spelling rules, full stops, capitals, apostrophes, commas.
  • Writing Task – How to proofread and edit your work- using the last 20 minutes wisely.
  • Visual Literacy – Components of image analysis
  • Visual Literacy – Writing a paragraph/ extended response.
  • Visual Literacy – Symbolism in images.
  • Literacy – Analysis of figurative language and poetic devices
  • Visual Literacy – Writing about aesthetic features.
Whole Test Practices

All Year 12 students will undertake two full practices of the QCS test in Year 12 before they sit the test in September. These occur in Term 1 and 2. These tests are professionally marked and students are given quality, detailed feedback (both written and verbal) on their performance. Their performance on these tests is also discussed with a member of the College Leadership Team during Academic Interview in Term 1 and Term 3.

Vocational Education


In Years 10, 11 and 12, students can apply to undertake a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBA) allowing them to work for an employer and undertake training towards a recognised qualification, while completing their secondary school studies. SBAs can offer great benefits to many students and help them to explore career options.

St Mary’s College uses the services of the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office SBA Program to facilitate opportunities for SBAs. The Senior Project Officer of the Catholic Education SBA Program organises, negotiates and monitors SBAs on behalf of St Mary’s College. The Director of Senior Pathways works closely with the SBA Program Officer to advise students on various VET pathways and monitor students’ progress and welfare.

SBA placements have spanned a breadth of industries including the automotive, baker chef, carpentry, commercial cookery, engineering, retail, hair dressing, business, electrical, information technology and plumbing sectors.

Generally, students are required to attend work for a minimum of 50 days (or an equal amount of hours) of paid employment during each 12 month period. When deciding on workday/s, the student’s school timetable will need to be discussed with the Director of Senior Pathways.

Vocational Education

If you are interested in pursuing an SBA, please see Ms Hannam, the Director of Senior Pathways, to discuss and complete an Expression of Interest form.

SBA vacancies are advertised each week in the newsletter. If you wish to apply for a vacancy, please ensure your resume is updated, you have written an appropriate cover letter, and you follow the application directions in the newsletter. For help with constructing resumes and cover letters, please contact the Career Counsellors, Mrs Dickenson or Ms Stanford

Vocational Education Qualification at TAFE

In Years 10, 11 and 12 additional vocational education qualifications may be studied by accessing the TAFE at school program. In most circumstances, students can access these qualifications during school hours. The students’ school timetable will need to be amended and discussed with the Assistant Principal Curriculum and the Director of Senior Pathways. St Mary’s College students have studied the following qualifications at TAFE: Information Technology, Hospitality, Retail, Creative Media Studies, Engineering and Electrotechnology.

VET subjects within the school curriculum

The school utilises a number of external Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to provide curriculum materials so that our students can complete a range of Certificate Courses as part of their senior subject choices. These subjects are taught by our qualified teaching staff and are a great option for students wanting a VET qualification without impacting on their school timetable. To see the full range of subjects available for senior study, including the VET in School Certificate Courses, please visit the (refer to page and link on Website).

Assessment Dates

The below PDF document show the Assessment Calendar for Senior students. Whilst every effort is made to ensure these dates are correct, some variance in due dates may occur. Any changes due to unforeseen circumstances will be updated on Canvas and Parent Portal. Exam block assessments are input on the Week Beginning, rather than on the day of the exam.

If you have any problems with your Logon details, please contact the College via email

Year 10 Assessment Dates – Term 4 – 2019
Year 11 Assessment Dates – Term 4 – 2019
Year 12 Assessment Dates – Term 4 – 2019

Assessment Policy

Click to download the Assessment Policy


Click to download the Year 10 booklist
Click to download the Year 11 booklist
Click to download the Year 12 booklist


Handbooks contain all the subjects and courses on offer at St Mary’s College.

Click to download the 2020 Year 10 Curriculum Handbook
Click to download the 2020 Year 11 Curriculum Handbook

Information Evening

Click to download the 2019 Senior Parent Information Evening

Subject Selection Night

Click to download the Year 9 into 10 Subject Selection Night Information
Click to download the Year 10 into 11 Subject Selection Night Information