2017 Education

Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum at St Mary MacKillop College is undertaken in an environment where each person is valued and respected as an individual whose personal growth is of paramount importance.

The curriculum provides excellence in education by:

  • Teaching and fostering Christian ideals.
  • Encouraging critical thinking, innovation and challenging of assumptions.
  • Ensuring that learning is relevant, rigorous, inclusive and accessible for all.
  • Developing the skills and desire for individual life-long learning.
  • Empowering students to take responsibility for their decisions.
  • Building students’ self-confidence and self-esteem through success.
  • Enabling students to understand how they learn.
  • Emphasising the development of spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical and creative capacities.

Our staff fulfil the role of teacher, mentor, carer, guide and challenger. They help to motivate students and develop in them a love of learning.

Years 7 to 12

Students coming into St Mary MacKillop College will be given opportunities to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes in a range of learning experiences across such areas as:

  • Religious Education and personal development.
  • Language and communication.
  • Information Technology.
  • Aesthetic and creative studies.
  • Social and cultural studies.
  • Mathematics, Science and Technology.
  • Health and Physical Education.
  • Vocational Education.

Learning Enhancement

While the standard classroom employs progressive and effective techniques to provide for mixed abilities, the College also acknowledges the specific needs of students requiring enhanced learning opportunities.

Skilled teachers and assistants provide specialist support for students requiring help with basic skills and those who need to be challenged beyond the normal requirements of classroom activities.

Appropriate models of curriculum delivery ensure that all of our students enjoy maximum learning opportunities.

Core Subjects

All students in Years 7 to 10 study Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, History, Physical Education and Pastoral Program. This selection ensures students are engaging in a broad educational package in these key years.

In Years 9 and 10 students are able to study English and Mathematics at Level 1, 2 or 3 and choose Science subjects that provide pathways into senior units.

Teaching at MacKillop is diverse, interactive and engaging, targeting student needs. We operate on a principle of inclusion and, to meet the varying needs of students, deliver differentiated curriculum in all subjects. Similarly, assessment takes a variety of forms, allowing students to demonstrate their strengths over each semester. Student progress is reported to parents at the end of each semester.

Electives Range

To foster different skills and talents, MacKillop offers students a wide choice in elective subjects with specialist teachers and facilities. These include Food and Textiles Technology, Information and Communication Technology, Modern Languages, Performing Arts, Technology (industrial), and Visual Arts. In Year 7, students experience each of these electives for a term. From Year 8, students are encouraged to make subject choices that build on their strengths and interests.


In order to assist students with their studies, tutorials are conducted by staff in a range of subject areas on a weekly basis. The libraries at each campus are open until 4.30pm each weekday.

Years 11 - 12

In Years 11 and 12 students can choose from a wide variety of Tertiary (T), Accredited (A), Vocational (V), and Higher Education (H) courses. Studying any of these courses at a Senior level will qualify the student for a Year 12 Certificate. Only T and H courses qualify students for an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

The Vocational Program  

In addition to the Vocational subjects, ASBA (Australian School-based Apprenticeship) Programs are available. Currently, MacKillop students are involved in areas of Automotive, Hairdressing, Hospitality, Retail, Spray Painting/Panel Beating, Community Pharmacy and Aged Care. Students who undertake vocational studies may participate in work placements and may qualify to receive a nationally recognised certificate.

The External Linkages Program

The ANU Secondary College and the Canberra School of Music are external agencies that work in conjunction with MacKillop to enable talented or high performing students to study concurrently with each agency while at school.

Year 12 AST Program

All Year 12 students who are seeking university entrance participate in a weekly program aimed at preparing them for the Australian Scaling Test (AST). This includes workshops related to the Writing Task, Short Answer Response and Multiple Choice Tests.