Teaching and Learning at St Thomas More College
Learning and teaching at St Thomas More College will reflect the College’s vision and mission statement. This means the curriculum will cater for all students by providing a range of pathways designed to meet individual needs. The College offers a complete curriculum that responds to the demands of contemporary learners, community and social pressures, and the changing and challenging educational landscape in Queensland and Australia.
The curriculum structure at St Thomas More College has been developed to suit the particular needs of both the junior (Years 7-9) and senior students (Years 10-12). The junior curriculum will offer students the possibilities of studying core and elective subjects as well as providing the opportunity for both academic extension and foundation courses. The College implemented Phase One Australian Curriculum in Math, Science, English and History.
Curriculum Guidelines and Procedures
Students in Years 8 to 9 study a mix of mandatory and elective subjects. The mandatory subjects are:
Students choose from a range of semester-long elective subjects based on their areas of interest and in preparation for future studies.
Although there are no prerequisites for senior studies there is an assumed understanding of core knowledge and skills. Choices and results in the junior school are a clear indicator of where the students will be successful in senior studies. This highlights the importance of ensuring that students get a good experience in Year 7 and pursue some more focussed studies through to Year 10.
While it is necessary to have a general framework for curriculum in place, it is also essential to respond to the contextual needs of students. The decision has been made to allocate Year 7, 8 and 9 students to specific groups for their mandatory subjects. Six subject groupings will exist across the year level for these mandatory subjects – one Foundation class, four Core classes and one Academic Extension class.
These classes will study the same units of work and will access the same assessment. Students will be compared to the rest of the cohort for that year level. The Core classes will access and complete the body of work prescribed for that unit.
The Academic Extension class will access and complete the body of work prescribed for that unit and will also complete extension activities that focus on extending and refining skills and knowledge. Students in the Academic Extension class will be expected to complete assigned assessment tasks at a sophisticated level.
For students in the Foundation class, the unit will be “pared down”, concentrating, in particular, on those areas leading directly to assessment tasks. The Foundation class will focus on developing skills and knowledge and refining literacy and numeracy skills within the context of the particular unit. Class and assessment work will be heavily scaffolded. Adjustments will be made to allow students respond to assessment tasks in a way that will demonstrate their individual knowledge and skills.
Junior Curriculum Handbook
While the Year 10 Curriculum is drawn from the Australian Curriculum the subjects are organised in order to prepare students for the Senior Phase of Learning.
Developing a learning pathway to suit the needs and the ability of each individual is continued in the senior school at St Thomas More College. The College has dual pathways offering an academic or vocational pathway, with both offering the opportunity to qualify for a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).
Students planning to undertake tertiary study are able to plan a course of between five and seven Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority (QCAA) Authority subjects from those offered at the College. Students must meet all requirements as outlined by the QCAA to be eligible to receive an OP score, used to determine entry into some Queensland tertiary institutions, or to be eligible for a range of other tertiary studies options.
Students who want a vocational focus in senior will find a well-structured vocational pathway at St Thomas More College. We offer a range of accredited certificate courses that are delivered at the College or in conjunction with local TAFE Colleges. Students who choose to undertake traineeships or apprenticeships within their studies may apply to have a reduced workload to incorporate work-related training as part of their course.
2016-2017 Senior Curriculum Handbook