The range of options available in the senior secondary years of schooling is wide and continues to expand. The majority of students go on to complete the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), however, there are a number of pathways available for students to achieve a senior secondary qualification.

These pathways make it possible for a variety of student needs to be met within the school environment.

At Loreto College, we seek to provide as many of these senior secondary pathways as possible so that students are able to make the choice which suits them best and will allow them to achieve their own personal goals.

While many of our students will follow the pathway into a VCE program, some will include a Vocational Education and Training (VET) component in their studies. Another option open to students whose needs may not be met by VCE and VET studies is the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

Senior Pathways Information Book

This handbook has been prepared to give you as much information as possible on the VCE, VCAL and VET programs available at Loreto College. You will find information about the many units offered in the booklet below and the staff who can assist further with specific subject areas.

1. VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education)

VCE provides students with a post-compulsory certificate which allows students to access diverse pathways beyond school and attests to their readiness to enter post-school studies. It is awarded to students who satisfactorily complete a program of studies as described by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). This program, for a full-time student at Loreto College, will consist of 22 units taken over four semesters or two years. At the end of Year 12, students would normally receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), which can be used for university and/or Tertiary and Further Education (TAFE) entrance.

VCE Subjects List
  • Agricultural & Horticultural Science
  • Accounting
  • Art
  • Australian & Global Politics
  • Biology
  • Business Management
  • Chemistry
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • English
  • English Language
  • Food Studies
  • Health & Human Development
  • History
  • Information Technology 
  • Legal Studies
  • Languages - French
  • Languages - Japanese
  • Literature 
  • Mathematics
    • General (Unit 1/2) & Further (Unit 3/4) Mathematics
    • Mathematical Methods
    • Specialist Maths 
  • Media
  • Music Performance
  • Physical Education
  • Product Design & Technology
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Religion & Society
  • Sociology
  • Studio Arts
  • Theatre Studies 
  • Visual Communication & Design

To learn more about any of these subjects, please visit the Academic Program page.

Victorian Curriculum Assessment Requirements:

For the award of the VCE, students must satisfactorily complete a total of no fewer than 16 units over the two years of VCE study.

These satisfactorily completed units must include:

  • Three units of the common study of English (1,2,3 and 4) or English Language or Literature
  • Three sequences of Units 3 & 4 studies other than English

Year 11 VCE Core Subject Structure

  • Unit 1 & 2 English (or English equivalent) plus five other Unit 1 & 2 subjects.
  • Religious Education
Studying a Unit 3 & 4 VCE Unit in Year 11

There is also the option for Year 11 students to choose, upon application and approval, to study a VCE Unit 3 & 4 subject in Year 11. This would mean they would do Unit 1 & 2 English (or English equivalent) plus four other Unit 1 & 2 subjects, plus their chosen Unit 3 & 4 subject, plus Religious Education.  

The particular VCE Units 3 & 4 available to Year 11 students varies from year to year as this is dependent on the structure of the VCE timetable and the number of places available in these classes.

Studying a VCE Units 3 & 4 subject in Year 11 is not for every student and we encourage students and parents to discuss this option carefully with their daughter’s Mentor Teacher and her Subject Teachers.

Year 12 VCE Core Subject Structure

  • Unit 3 & 4 English (or English equivalent) plus four other Unit 3 & 4 subjects.
  • Religious Education (unless chosen as a Unit 3 & 4 elective)

2. VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning)

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a senior secondary certificate of education. VCAL is an equivalent certificate to VCE for students in Year 11 and 12. It is designed for students who do not necessarily need an ATAR for university admission. Students who choose a VCAL pathway are not excluded from university but will need to take an alternate pathway.

The focus of the VCAL is work readiness and employability skills and is designed to develop and extend pathways for young people. They may have plans to work, gain an apprenticeship or study at the Certificate or Diploma level before going on to higher education.

There are three levels of VCAL: Foundation, Intermediate and Senior. Selection of the correct entry level will be based on each student's individual learning needs. All students new to the program will be interviewed prior to entry.

The VCAL program is designed around four compulsory strands:

  • Literacy: Literacy skills reading and writing units are designed to develop student knowledge, skills and attributes relevant to reading and writing, and their practical application in the contexts of everyday life, family, employment, further learning and community.
  • Numeracy: Numeracy skills and processes, financial literacy, planning and organisation, measurement, representation and design.
  • Work Related Skills: OH&S, employability skills, knowledge and attributes valued in the community and work environments as preparation for employment.
  • Structured Work Place Learning: Students attend a variety of work places (one day per week) connected to their chosen VET course.

VET Program (External)

All students must enrol in one of the following external courses: VET Course/School Based Apprenticeship/Traineeship. The successful completion of a VET program is a mandatory requirement of the VCAL Certificate.

VET Subjects Offered by Other Providers (may vary)
  • Certificate II (partial) in Agriculture
  • Certificate II in Animal Studies
  • Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • Certificate II (partial) in Building and Construction (Bricklaying)
  • Certificate II (partial) in Building and Construction (Painting & Decorating)
  • Certificate II in Business
  • Certificate II in Community Services
  • Certificate II in Dance
  • Certificate II in Electro technology (Career Start)
  • Certificate II in Engineering Studies – Fabrication
  • Certificate II in Engineering Studies - Technical
  • Certificate II in Equine Studies
  • Certificate III in Events
  • Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
  • Certificate II in Kitchen Operations (Hospitality)
  • Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • Certificate III in Laboratory Skills
  • Certificate III in Music Industry (Audio Focus)
  • Certificate III in Music Industry (Sound Production)
  • Certificate II (partial) in Plumbing (pre-apprenticeship)
  • Certificate III in Printing and Graphic Arts (General)
  • Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics
  • Certificate II in Retail Services
  • Certificate II in Salon Assistant
  • Certificate III in Screen and Media
VET Subjects Offered at Loreto College
  • Certificate II in Creative Industries
  • Certificate III in Screen & Media

VET Program within VCAL (Internal)

VET in schools programs provides opportunities for students to explore and gain real-life skills to enhance employment opportunities, whilst still undertaking full-time study in their own school.

Certificate II in Business Management (Year 11)

VET Certificate II in Business BSB20115 The Certificate II in Business allows students to gain a variety of skills and knowledge needed to undertake administrative roles in a business environment.This course is designed for students looking to move into a business administration position in the future and caters for a range of different students. The course is incorporated into the Loreto VCAL program.

Certificate II in Active Volunteering (Year 12)

VET Certificate II in Active Volunteering requires students to participate in a community service setting and complete the following theoretical units:

    • Participate in WH&S
    • Be an effective volunteer
    • Work with diverse people
    • Communicate in the workplace
    • Be the first point of contact
    • Provide first aid
VET Hospitality Taster (Year 11 & 12)

Students will undertake 90 hours of VET Hospitality which will provide them with another industry-specific credit point which forms part of the VCAL Certificate. Students study a range of units connected to the Hospitality Industry

  • VCAL Coffee Van
    All VCAL students help run a student-led micro business which is the “Hunter Coffee Van”. Each student will complete a barista certificate through IVET.

VCAL RE Program

Students investigate how they live in an interconnected world, inquire how they can respect and actively contribute to an act of justice for all creation. They explore our understanding of ‘the poor and the vulnerable’ in our world and through activity look at their social responsibility as students at a Catholic school and also as young adults in our society. Exploration of whom we serve, how do we serve others and how do I welcome others in our society.

Students investigate how Christians value the sacredness of human life created in the image and continuing to grow in likeness of God. They explore how they are valued and loved, and how they can best use their gifts in VCAL as they progress to their post-school world. They explore other people’s lives and also their own. Students have the opportunity to bring their understandings to a group project that will identify themselves as an integral element of the VCAL community.

3. VET

As part of your senior schooling, you are now able to study courses that not only contribute towards your VCE, VCAL and ATAR (with certain restrictions), but also give you an industry recognised qualification when you complete that course. The courses are called Vocational Education Training Courses (VET) and can be studied at school or through another Registered Training Organisation such as VETIS (VET in School through a TAFE facility). These courses can also involve undertaking “Structured Workplace Learning” where you will take part in a work placement related to your course industry area.

By completing a VET course, not only do they contribute towards your VCE/VCAL (and some will count towards your ATAR depending upon the course of study), but you will also gain a Nationally recognised industry qualification or partial completion. This means that if you choose to go to TAFE when you leave school, and continue your study in that same area, you will be deemed to have completed part of that TAFE course already. Employers see that qualification as being very valuable and it can really help you with getting a job.

VET Subjects List (hosted by other providers in the Highlands LLEN VET Cluster - may vary)
  • Certificate II (partial) in Agriculture
  • Certificate II in Animal Studies
  • Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • Certificate II (partial) in Building and Construction (Bricklaying)
  • Certificate II (partial) in Building and Construction (Painting & Decorating)
  • Certificate II in Business
  • Certificate II in Community Services
  • Certificate II in Dance
  • Certificate II in Electro technology (Career Start)
  • Certificate II in Engineering Studies – Fabrication
  • Certificate II in Engineering Studies - Technical
  • Certificate II in Equine Studies
  • Certificate III in Events
  • Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
  • Certificate II in Kitchen Operations (Hospitality)
  • Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • Certificate III in Laboratory Skills
  • Certificate III in Music Industry (Audio Focus)
  • Certificate III in Music Industry (Sound Production)
  • Certificate II (partial) in Plumbing (pre-apprenticeship)
  • Certificate III in Printing and Graphic Arts (General)
  • Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics
  • Certificate II in Retail Services
  • Certificate II in Salon Assistant
  • Certificate III in Screen and Media
VET Subjects Offered at Loreto College
  • Certificate II in Creative Industries
  • Certificate III in Screen & Media

Subject Selection Process

Students will be asked to select their course of study over their two senior years. Students need to list the units they wish to study each year. They will need to consult their current teachers for advice on their subject selection.

It is hoped that all students will make the most of the opportunities offered to them both in preparation for their senior years and in the challenge this will no doubt hold. Student choice is the central element of our planning for subject offerings. Not all subjects can be offered in any one year.

Students are required to enter subject preferences online.

Parent and student information sessions will be held throughout July. In August all students in Years 9-11 will receive an email via their school email account providing them with a web preferences link, an individual student access code and password. Please check emails, PAM or the App for details on subject preference due dates.

Information Evenings

Information evening for Year 10, 11 and 12 are held during July each year. Please check PAM and the Loreto App for the dates and times for all Year Level Information Evenings