Overview of Courses

There are eight KLAs mandated by the Board of Studies for all secondary schools in NSW. They are English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and its Environment, Creative Arts, Languages, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education and Technological and Applied Studies.

Links to the NSW Board of Studies syllabuses can be followed from Students study for the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) and Higher School Certificate according to the rules of the Board of Studies.

Special programs run for students with particular needs. Disability Provisions will be sought and applied according to the guidelines of the Board of Studies.

At the beginning of Years 9 and 11, students receive a handbook with details of courses and requirements for that Stage of learning..

Religious Education

Religious Education (RE) is an additional and compulsory KLA for all students in Catholic schools. Students in Years 7-12 are invited into a deeper and more personal relationship with God through their exploration of the sacred Scriptures, their participation in personal and communal prayer, and their living out of Catholic social and moral teaching through works of ministry.

The secondary RE curriculum provides opportunities for young people to act in response to Jesus’ great commandment to love God and love others and thus, follow ‘the way, the truth and the life’.

At Marian Catholic College, our aim is to educate our students in the faith, teachings, history and traditions of the Catholic Church. Religious Education is an integral part of Marian Catholic College and gives the school a richness of meaning and purpose.  Marian Catholic College provides its students with an ongoing education in Christian faith, practice, witness and service in the Catholic tradition.

Students in Stages 4 and 5 (Years 7-10) pursue Catholic Studies, based on the Sharing our Story programme.  Senior students in Stage 6 (Year 11 & 12) are able to pursue Studies of Religion, a 2 unit HSC course, or Sharing our Story.

All students at Marian Catholic College study Religious Education. Students have many activities in which they can participate such as:

  • Retreats for Year 11 & 12
  • Bonding days for Years 7 to 10
  • College masses and liturgies lead by the students
  • Leadership training programmes
  • Charity fundraising
  • Visiting speakers on social justice issues.


In English we aim to develop student competence in language use and encourage positive attitudes towards learning language. The students will cover units of work that include a variety of experiences in the areas of reading, literature, functional language, writing, speaking and listening, media and drama.

In Stage 6 (Year 11 & 12)  English is offered as Standard English, Advanced English and Extension English.  There are many staff members working in this faculty with the help of the special needs teachers and assistants.

There are a number of activities that the students can be invloved in:

  • Lions Youth of the Yearstudents at Marian College
  • Rostrum Voice of Youth
  • Apex public speaking
  • Tri School debate
  • Commonwealth Bank Open Debating Competition
  • English study days
  • English International Competitions
  • Poetry and Writing Competitions.

The English department encourages public speaking by providing many opportunities to improve public speaking skills through various competitions throughout the year for novice and experienced orators. The Leeton Eisteddford is a great introduction for the novice allowing opportunities for students to participate in prepared readings and bible recitals to the more rigorous sections of impromptu speaking and recitals. The Rostrum Public Speaking also allows junior and senior students to test their public speaking skills at regional ,state and even national levels.  Students can also enter the Apex Australian competition which is also a speaking competition across NSW and ACT which can also lead to state and national finals.  Public speaking is an excellent skill and all students are encouraged to have a go.


Mathematics is studied in the junior years: Stage 4 ( Year 7 & 8) and Stage 5 (Year 9 & 10).

In Stage 6 (Year 11 &12) the following Preliminary and HSC courses are offered:  General Mathematics, Advanced Mathematics and Extension Mathematics.

The Mathematics department provides many and varied activities which the students can be involved in which include:

  • Mathematics Australasian Assessment ( 7-12)
  • Westpac Mathematics Competition (7-12)
  • Mathematics Challenge for gifted and talented students (7-10)
  • Investigating Mathematics (7-12)
  • Maths week
  • Numeracy and Literacy week
  • Pi Day
  • Have Sum Fun on Line competition

The Mathematics Department encourages all students to participate in the many and varied activities provided throughout the year. Each child is expected to have either a scientific or graphic calculator. Students are supplied with a textbook CD which makes it easy to access homework without having to carry large textbooks. The material on the CD is extremely useful and encourges self direction and self responsibility for success.


In Science students are introduced to a range of learning experiences. Students develop an understanding of Science through ‘hands-on’ practical work whenever possible, and this provides them with a concrete basis upon which to develop scientific concepts and knowledge. The course also incorporates problem solving, communicating, interpreting, observing and developing scientific research skills.

Students are required to work in practical situations for many of the topics, developing skills in safety, making models, handling apparatus and completing projects. Learning activities include laboratory work, practical reports, class discussions, textbook work, audiovisual worksheets and investigative reports.

The Science courses offered at Marian Catholic College helps students to become critical thinkers by encouraging them to use evidence to evaluate the use of Science in society and its application in their daily lives.

Science at Marian Catholic College is studied in Stage 4 (Year 7 & 8) and Stage 5 (Year 9 & 10).

In Stage 6 (Year 11 & 12) courses that are offered include:

  • Senior Science
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics

The Science area has well designed and well equipped laboratories, with a team of dedicated staff working in the Science department.

Students have the opportunity to participate in many activities which include:

  • Siemens Science School
  • BHP Billiton Science Awards
  • Engineering for Girls Summer School
  • National Youth Science Forum
  • Australian Science Competition
  • Australian National Chemistry Quiz
  • CSIRO workshops
  • Questacon shows
  • Australian Reptile Park workshops
  • Celebrating Science Week
  • Field trips for Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Human Society & Its Environment

At Marian Catholic College, the Human Society and its Environment faculty endeavours to cater to a wide range of students who’s needs, learning styles and abilities differ. We are committed to making our subject area relevant to our ever changing world. Our focus is not only on developing a commitment to lifelong learning in relation to our field but also to enhance students’ literacy, numeracy and technological developments.

students at Marian CollegeCourses offered are as follows:

Years 7 and 8
Mandatory Geography and History

Years 9 and 10
Mandatory Geography and History
Elective History
Elective Geography

Years 11 and 12
Ancient History
Business Studies
Legal Studies
Society and Culture
Extension Ancient History

Students have the opportunity be be involved in activities such as:

  • Model United Nations Assembly,
  • NSW Law Society Mock Trial,
  • Law Week,
  • National Geographic Geography Competition,
  • History Teachers Association History Competition,
  • Planet Ark National Plant a Tree Day,
  • Youth Parliment,
  • Australian Stock Exchange Sharemarket Competition,
  • Mastermind Challenge,
  • United Nations Youth Association Conference,
  • Young Achievers and
  • ABW Business Program Prospects.

Personal Development,
Health & Physical Education

See AlsoSchool and Representative Sport

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) contributes significantly to the cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of students.  It provides opportunities for students to learn about, and practise ways of, adapting and maintaining a healthy, productive and active life.  It also involves students learning through movement experiences that are both challenging and enjoyable, and improving their capacity to move with skill and confidence in a variety of contexts.  It promotes the value of physical activity in their lives.

PDHPE is studied in the junior years in Stage 4 (Year 7 & 8) and Stage 5 (Year 9 & 10).

In Stage 5 (Year 9 & 10) students are able to choose the elective Physical Activity and Sport Studies (PASS).

In Stage 6 (Year 11 & 12) students can choose the 2 unit HSC course Personal Development and Health.

At Marian Catholic College, sport is organised within the constraints of other College activities to involve as many students as possible. All students are encouraged to participate in the College’s Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country carnival, and sport and PDHPE lessons are used to prepare for them.  Representative sport and extra-curricular sport, as well as other activities outside of school time, offer students chances to further their own interests and talents, and elite athletes to progress to state or national level.

The College is involved in the following sports at Diocesan, NSW Combined
Catholic Colleges and NSW All Schools levels:

  • Swimmingsport
  • Athletics
  • Cross Country
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Touch Football
  • Soccer
  • Australian Rules Football
  • Netball
  • Tennis
  • Cricket

Students also have the opportunity to participate in:

  • Cochrane and Riverina Cup-Rugby League
  • Bill Turner Cup- Soccer
  • Cudmore Shield-Cricket
  • Tri-Sport Competition between local high schools.

Technology & Applied Studies

The Technology and Applied Studies Department is concerned with providing opportunities for students to work with various technologies such as Food, Textiles, Timber,  Metal and Computing, which includes creating various projects using the design process.

Students are required to complete the mandatory Technology course in Stage 4 (Year 7 & 8).  Students in Stage 5 (Year 9 & 10) are able to choose an area of specialisation which include:

  • Information and Software Technology
  • Food Technology
  • Industrial Technology -Timber
  • Industrial Technology – Metal
  • Textiles Technology

Students in Stage 6 (Year 11 & 12) are able to choose an area of specialisation which include:

  • Design and Technology
  • Information Processes and Technology

Students are able to participate in many activities which include:

  • Design project exhibitions
  • Local excursions
  • Design and technology HSC Major Works exhibitions.

Creative Arts

The Creative Arts area is dynamic and robust, offering courses in Music, Drama, Dance and Visual Arts.

Our curriculum program is devised to nurture a student’s understanding, knowledge, awareness and appreciation for the Creative Arts. We encourage students to explore, understand and effectively communicate ideas, feelings, spirituality and values through drama, dance, music and the visual arts.

The College is fortunate in having its own multi-purpose performance and workshop space. The Drama Studio seats approximately 100, has an extensive lighting rig and sound system, and is used for a variety of stage configurations from classic proscenium arch to outdoor open air theatre. This is a terrific space for watching live performances from student contemporary rock bands, to Hip Hop dancers to Shakespearian sword fights and insults!   Creative Arts at Marian Catholic College is a highly valuable and intrinsic part of a student’s development. Our teachers are highly trained and a number of them are practicing artists within the community.

We seek to contribute to the understanding and enjoyment of the Creative Arts by providing students with a range of extra curriculum activities such as:

  • artCommunity work
  • Exhibitions
  • Excursions
  • Creative Arts and Performance Competitions e.g. Bell Shakespeare Scholarship
  • Performance nights
  • Spectacular College Musicals
  • Eisteddfords
  • Guest lecturers
  • Instrumental tutors
  • Student workshops
  • Attendance at professional performances
  • Involvement in choir, drama and art for College Liturgies and College functions.

Languages Other Than English (LOTE)

The study of Italian at Marian Catholic College reflects the large percentage of  background speakers in our community.  It provides a rich learning experience and enables students to embrace the opportunities and challenges of a global community

The Italian language is widely spoken in Australia and many opportunities exist to hear and use the language in real life situations, the Italian community in Griffith is well established and continues to make major contributions to contemporary Australian society in the areas of culture, industry, trade and agriculture.

For students with an Italian background,  the study of Italian consolidates and reinforces language skills needed to maintain links with the Italian speaking community. It provides them with opportunites to experience and deepen their understanding of the traditions and culture of their heritage.

The study of Italian provides students with opportunities for employment in the areas of commerce, tourism, hospitality and international relations


  • Mandatory study in  Year 8
  • Elective subject Year 9 and Year 10
  • Italian Beginners and Italian Continuers in Year 11 and Year 12

Students have the opportunity to participate in activities such as:

  • National Language Certificates (Beginners, Certificate II and Certificate III
  • Excursions to Italian businesses and places of cultural significance
  • Overnight excursions Italian film festival (Sydney)
  • Overseas study trip to Italy and visits to Italian Schools

VET- Vocational Education & Training

As part of your HSC, you are now able to study courses that not only contribute towards your HSC and ATAR (with certain restrictions), but also give you an industry recognised qualification when you complete that course.

The courses are called Vocational Courses and can be studied at school or through TAFE through an external training provider (such as TAFE).

These Vocational courses form part of the Australian Qualifications Framework. This is the national standard of training and means that a qualification you receive here, is recognised anywhere in Australia. The courses are also “Competency Based” – this means that you move through the course and achieve the relevant qualification by demonstrating that you have the knowledge and can perform the skills required for that qualification. So, the faster you can learn and demonstrate these, the quicker you can complete the qualification.

There are a number of courses that can be delivered by school or TAFE that are known as “Industry Curriculum Framework” courses. As well as counting towards your HSC, they can count towards your ATAR (if you choose to sit for the optional HSC exam) and also give you an industry recognised qualification (usually at Certificate I or Certificate II level).

The VET courses offered by Marian Catholic College are Certificate II in Business, Certificate II in Hospitality and Certificate III in Information & Digital Technology. Come and see your VET coordinator for further information.

There are framework courses available in:

# Automotive
# Business Services
# Construction
# Electrotechnology
# Entertainment Industry
# Financial Services (through TAFE)
# Hospitality
# Human Services
# Information and Digital Technology
# Metal and Engineering
# Primary Industries
# Retail Services
# Tourism, Travel and Events

These courses involve undertaking a compulsory work placement (35 hours per year) in the relevant industry to your course and are delivered either at school or TAFE.

Externally Delivered VET Courses (EVET):

There are also a large range of Endorsed VET Courses that count towards your HSC, but not your ATAR and still give you an industry qualification when you complete the course. These are normally delivered by TAFE and in some cases, Private Training Providers and schools. Some of these framework courses include:

– Animal Studies
– Aviation
– Beauty
– Community Services
– Hairdressing
– Horse Industry
– Maritime Operations
– Media
– Music Industry
– Property Services
– Telecommunications
– Warehousing
…. and many more ……..

See your VET coordinator if you are interested in studying any of these courses.

The fantastic thing about all these courses is that not only do they contribute towards your HSC (and some will count towards your ATAR depending upon your pattern of study), but you will also gain an nationally recognised industry qualification. 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 (you did it while still at school!).

Not only that, but employers see that qualification as being very valuable and it can really help you with getting a job.

School Based Traineeships and Apprenticeships:

The VET courses can also form part of a School Based Traineeship or Apprenticeship. School Based Apprenticeships allow senior high school students to commence an apprenticeship while at school. While studying for their HSC, school based apprentices work part-time and undertake the first stage of their formal or off-the-job apprenticeship training. Both the on-the-job apprenticeship training undertaken by school based apprentices can contribute to their HSC.

For answers to all your questions on School Based Traineeships and Apprenticeships, click here.