Enrichment and Enhancement

Mazenod College offers an enhancement program from Years 7 to 9 in areas such as humanities, music, mathematics, English, robotics, and information technology.

In Years 10 and 11 students can further enhance their VCE studies by applying to undertake a VCE subject 12 months ahead of schedule. Selection into subjects such as VCE history, biology, information technology and business management would be determined by strong academic results. Finally, as part of an enhancement pathway, a Year 12 student may consider studying and gaining credit in a university subject such as history or mathematics. Monash, Deakin and Melbourne Universities offer these programs. Successful applicants are mentored and supported by a teacher from the college as they complete their course.

Mazenod also offers a dedicated Learning Diversity curriculum and endeavours to provide the best teaching and learning practice for all students.

Programmes at Mazenod College

Year 7

This is seen as an important transition year and the academic demands are well balanced by pastoral concern for the individual students.

In Year 7 students remain mostly in their homeroom groups and have two main teachers (humanities, mathematics and science) as well as specialist teachers for such areas as languages, art, physical education and music. Modelling as far as possible the class structure on that of the primary school, where there are fewer subject teachers, has proved most successful in aiding students with a smooth transition to secondary school.

The curriculum at this level consists of a solid core of religious education, English and mathematics (with a full remediation program offered in the latter two) and science, history, LOTE (languages other than English – Italian , Japanese and Mandarin), Art, Music, Physical Education and Sport.

Commencing in Year 7 and flowing through the college is a program to assist students needing remedial help especially in English and mathematics. Mazenod also offers an opportunity for gifted education with specialist programs, particularly in English, mathematics and the humanities.

The philosophy of Mazenod College is to offer a total education to all its students. In doing so we are responsible for providing a wide range of student activities, catering for all year levels of maturation and interests. Being very conscious of preparing students for the future, we are aware that the curriculum we offer will equip the students with the necessary skills, knowledge and capabilities, thus ensuring success in school and life generally. Every student has the right to achieve success!

Students on integration and with special needs are catered for in several ways, e.g. modifying work required, withdrawal from class on a long or short-term basis, and assistance in the classroom.

Gifted students whose abilities and/or skills are developed beyond their level are given an environment to further challenge them by withdrawal into selected groups and classroom activities, and promoting their involvement in co-curricular activities designed for their enjoyment and challenge.

It is important to stress that all areas of school learning are interdependent upon a competent degree of literacy skills. The English curriculum is a balance of areas: speaking and listening, reading and viewing, and writing. Oral language is central to learning and the development of each personality. It is the chief means of verbal communication and provides a foundation upon which students learn to read and write.

Writing enables students to explore various ways of expressing ideas and meaning. This leads to independence, imagination and critical thinking. Reading builds a student’s knowledge by taking in new information. Literature opens avenues for a new understanding of people’s cultures and a better understanding of themselves.

Mathematics, like English, is relevant to daily living. It is important that students have an understanding and show competence in fundamental skills; are familiar with useful facts and terms, and have a fundamental knowledge of methods and procedures. As well as competency and understanding, the students must be able to apply mathematical ideas, rules, and procedures to practical situations. They must be able to think purposefully and effectively regarding situations which require mathematical skills. Mathematics is a subject to be mastered and hopefully enjoyed! The confidence gained by the students in this area will help to develop their ability to think logically, clearly and creatively in many other situations.

Our aim at Mazenod College is that all students have access and success in educational experiences that are challenging, purposeful and comprehensive, which results in them achieving something of value to themselves and others.

The junior curriculum has been written and designed to cover Year 7 and Year 8 to ensure continuity in the consolidation of a students’ learning.

Years 7 and 8 – Breadth and Consolidation

These are years of consolidation in the basic skills required for ongoing education. The core subjects are religious education, English, mathematics (supplemented by a remedial programme and enrichment program where necessary), science, history & geography and Italian or Japanese. Students are also introduced to a range of skill-based subjects including art, visual communication, three-dimensional art, metal technology, timber technology, food technology, music, drama, outdoor education and physical education.

Years 9 and 10 – Depth and Choice

These are important years, linking the general curriculum designed for years 7-10 with the VCE curriculum of the senior years. At the end of Year 10, students are required to choose subjects for Years 11 and 12. Courses in Year 10 are designed to enrich student awareness of these subjects.

There is a core and elective approach at these levels. The core subjects are religious education, English, mathematics (mainstream and modified), science (an introduction to physics, chemistry and biology), business studies (an introduction to legal studies, economics and accounting with a unit on careers) and integrated studies (an introduction to history and politics). The electives include information technology, art, Italian, Japanese, music, physical education, graphics, drama, food technology, health education, metal technology, furniture and engineering.
Community service careers counselling, and a two-week work experience block is also available to all students in Year 10. The college accesses TAFE short courses for some Year 10 students where this is appropriate.

The VCE is offered in Years 11 and 12. Students are involved in this assessment programme provided by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. The program emphasises satisfactory completion of outcomes, and graded assessment of specific school assessed coursework, related to each subject. Some of these assessments are school-based and other externally set examinations. At Mazenod, religious education and English are compulsory. These combine with other subject choices to form the basis of a 24 unit programme spread over two years – students must satisfactorily complete at least 16 of these units. This ensures a breadth of study in the curriculum and enables students to compare their performances with those of other schools in Victoria.

Year 11

This is an important year for students and Mazenod has been ahead of current thinking in the area of post-compulsory education, providing a range of choices for students, so that their differing educational needs can be satisfied. These courses of study are offered so that students who are suited to either an academic or a more vocational programme can be accommodated.

In addition to the compulsory subjects of religion & society and English, students choose five of the following:
mathematical methods, general mathematics – further, general mathematics – specialist, chemistry, physics, biology, legal studies, drama, economics, accounting, history, music, international politics, literature, Italian, Japanese, art, visual communication & design, physical education, sport and recreation, hospitality, digital media, information technology, furnishing and engineering. English as a second language is offered in Years 11 and 12. For religious education, all students study the VCE units in religion and society and must attempt the external assessment in this subject.

Year 12

Students continue their VCE Studies with more emphasis on a range of externally set tasks and school assessed course work. English is still compulsory and generally, students continue with four of the subjects studied in year 11. These will prepare students for tertiary entrance to university, TAFE colleges or for future employment. The college has long had an excellent record of academic results. The Registered School Board remarked that at Mazenod the “organisation and facilities for Year 12 are excellent in providing the more adult atmosphere required for VCE.”

The religious education afternoons held regularly throughout the year are popular with the students and provide them with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and to develop their spirituality.

Vocational Education and Training in Schools or VETiS programs at Mazenod are VCAA approved. VET in VCE can contribute towards a study score. VETiS programs are also offered externally and can contribute towards an ATAR with either a study score or as a block credit. VETiS is designed to increase options for students in secondary schools by offering a dual qualification. This means a nationally recognised qualification as well as a secondary school completion. It allows students the opportunity to study approved vocational education and training courses while also completing their VCE. Thus a student can achieve both their VCE or VCAL and a nationally recognised TAFE certificate by the end of year 11 or 12. All VET/TAFE certificates at Mazenod College are completed over three years.

Some of the advantages of successfully achieving a VETiS certificate in Senior Secondary Education include:

  • VET training can be applied to an apprenticeship making a student more attractive to employers;
  • Students will have an increased awareness of education and training opportunities;
  • Depending on the certificate, VETiS programs can be counted among your best 4 subjects or as a 5th or 6th subject when calculating your Tertiary Entrance Rank
  • Students can still apply for entry to University courses as well as TAFE courses, training programs or seek to join the work force;
  • Students will have gained practical and interpersonal skills that are transferable to other areas of work.

Mazenod College currently offers VET studies in:

  • Certificate II in Furnishing
  • Certificate III in Interactive Digital Media
  • Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
  • Certificate II in Engineering Studies

Mazenod College has strong relationships with TAFE institutes for the delivery of its programs and to create pathways for our students in relation to further studies. Specifically, Mazenod College has established working partnerships with Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Chisholm Institute of TAFE and Swinburne TAFE.

Upon the successful completion of all the requirements of a particular stream of nationally accredited competencies, the students are awarded a Certificate or Statement of Results from the TAFE Institute.

VETiS allows students to combine regular school subjects with vocational subjects while working towards their secondary school certificate. This means that students can use VETiS to finish school, get an apprenticeship, move into further education, or give support to getting a job. VETiS means that students can get the best of both worlds – theory in the classroom and meaningful hands-on experience.

VCAL image of a boy crafting at wood in school at Mazenod college victoria


The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program at Mazenod College is targeted at early school leavers and available to Year 11 and Year 12 students who wish to further their knowledge and skills in a specific industry so as to gain employment or to further their studies at TAFE.

The program is a ‘school-to-work-transition’ program which seeks to provide engaging learning environments to capture student skills and talents in a variety of industry areas such as hospitality, furnishing, engineering, multimedia and sport and recreation. The program takes place in a school environment established entirely for these young people and involves students applying and developing their skills in their chosen industry area. Purely academic courses give way to a more applied, ‘hands on’ focus which sees the students participate in project work to achieve the outcomes prescribed by the Victorian Education authorities..

Students in the VCAL program remain a part of the year level cohort and continue to participate in the life of the College despite their involvement in an alternative pathway. They are a part of the normal homeroom group, attend College sports carnivals and participate in community service programs in the same way that VCE students do.

Program Content
  • Literacy and Numeracy classes.
  • Personal Development Skills (in conjunction with the College’s Religious Education courses)
  • Work Related Skills units.
  • Students undertake a work placement on one day per week
  • Students attend a TAFE Institute to undertake an industry specific Vocational Education Training (VET) course
  • All VCAL students also participate in an internally managed VET course offered by the College.
Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements for studying VCAL Intermediate at Mazenod College. However, students are required to apply for entry to the program (Entry is not guaranteed as class size and makeup are important factors in running a VCAL course). Students are expected to have a Year 10 pass before undertaking the Intermediate Certificate in VCAL.

Students who have previously completed VCE Units and Certificate modules are able to receive Recognition of Prior Learning for these units and modules.

Entry to Senior VCAL is at the discretion of the Rector and his deputies.