Carrum Downs Secondary College

Teaching + Learning

Best Performance, Extension and Enrichment

At Carrum Downs Secondary College we provide students with balanced and flexible learning program in line with the Victorian Curriculum that allows them to foster talents and interests and tailor their learning program towards pursuing open ended range of potential career pathways.

English and Maths

At Carrum Downs Secondary College our vision to nurture the growth of every student, and one of the ways we do this is through our Targeted Approach to English and Mathematics.

This program which was piloted with Year 7 in 2019 and expanded to year 8 and 9 in 2020, delivers every student a learning program that is aimed at their point of need. As part of this program, all students are placed in fluid groups based on the results of our ongoing assessment program. We understand that learning is a constantly evolving process, and the term fluid means that student groupings can change as they progress through the curriculum and their learning needs change.

Our teachers work collaboratively to monitor assessment data and plan student learning programs. This structure allows us to extend and challenge students who are demonstrating an advanced understanding of the curriculum, whilst also enabling us to target extra resources for students with higher learning needs, such as an extra teacher, tutors and student supports in the classroom.   


STEAM stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. This subject that runs in Year 7, as well as an elective in Year 9, will complement our new STEAM centre that is currently being built.

Students work creatively and collaboratively to develop the multidisciplinary skills necessary to research, design, produce, and communicate solutions to real world problems in community and global contexts.

Pastoral Care

Carrum Downs Secondary College is acknowledged for the quality of relationships between all school community members. A large part of this relationship building is established and developed through the College’s Pastoral Care Program, which is delivered during a weekly 60-minute timetabled lesson.

Throughout our Pastoral Care program students will be involved in activities linking to their wellbeing and future careers. As a College we have a partnership with The Resilience Project which encourages students to focus on gratitude, empathy and mindfulness as a basis for increasing their resilience in every day life.

Activities and learning to assist in mental health benefits will occur during class time and can be applied daily. The curriculum has been specifically designed to develop pro-social skills, careers and pathways understandings and personal wellbeing.

The Pastoral Care Teacher is also a guide, advocate and mentor for students. They work with their group to ensure that all students experience a friendly, safe, supportive and orderly environment in which learning takes place.

Specialist Subjects


In Year 7 and 8, students cover three main discipline areas:

  • Art: Students plan and make their art works in response to exploration of techniques, technologies and processes used in the work of other artists. They demonstrate the use of materials, techniques, processes, visual conventions and technologies to express ideas and convey meaning in their artworks
  • Drama: Students devise, interpret and perform drama. They apply different performance styles and conventions to convey status, relationships and intentions. They use performance skills, stagecraft and design elements to shape and focus relationships with an audience.
  • Visual Communication: students identify and describe how designers use visual communication practices and apply this knowledge in the development of their own visual communication practices. Students select and use appropriate conventions, design elements and design principles to create visual communications.

In Year 9 & 10, students can then choose to specialise in areas of interest from a range of electives, which may include; Art, Dance, Drama, Music, Media, Photography and Visual Communication.

Design Technology

In Year 7 and 8 students cover three main discipline areas:

  • Digital Technology enables students to become confident and creative developers of digital solutions. The curriculum has been designed to provide practical opportunities for students to explore the capacity of information systems to systematically and innovatively transform data into digital solutions through the application of computing skills.
  • Design Technology integrates the traditionally isolated subjects of wood, metal, plastics and electronics into a relevant curriculum for the 21st Century, which also includes Computer Aided Design and graphical skills. The full use of the Design Process is central to the students’ understanding of how all the elements fit together.
  • Food Technology introduces the basic concepts of cooking and preparing economical and tasty dishes that can be produced at home. In Year 9 we explore food in an international setting where the students learn about different cultures and traditions as well as basic nutritional principles.

In Year 9 and 10, students can then choose to specialise in areas of interest from a range of electives, which may include; Design Technology Materials, Robotics, Computing and Food Technology, Design Technology Material, Design Technology Electronics, Multimedia, Food Technology and Hospitality.

Senior School Program

Carrum Downs Secondary College Senior School (years 10-12) caters for VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education), VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning), VET (Vocational Education and Training), SBAT (School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships) and further employment or educational options. Examples of school based programs that are currently run in the college are Certificate II in Horticulture, Kitchen Operations and Hospitality.

The Senior School curriculum is designed to allow students

  • breadth and depth in their study
  • the opportunity to pursue interests and develop talent
  • flexibility in choice of courses
  • to design a course that follows their Pathway Plan

Each student has an individual Pathway Plan that will continue to develop through their years at the school. All students from Year 7 complete a Managed Individual Pathways Plan which assist students to best direct them through senior years of schooling and the vast range of opportunities provided. Our experienced Pathways Team are an invaluable resource for all students.

Music and Extra Curricular

There are many opportunities to get involved in the Music and Performance Program at CDSC:

  • Variety Shows
  • Concert Band
  • Stage/School Production Band
  • Ensembles
  • Year 7 Training Band (beginner instrumental level for students)
  • Choral/Voice groups

In term 1 Year 7 students have a trial of all instruments. The school production occurs annually and is a great way for students to make new friends and participate in Dance, Drama, Music, Sound, Lighting and Costumes.

There are many activities that students can participate in at CDSC:

  • Swimming Sports
  • Athletics Carnival
  • Fun Run
  • Music Trivia
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Writing Competition
  • Online quizzes
  • Creative Writing Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Dungeons and Dragons Club
  • Anime Club
  • Drama Club


Your child’s learning and progress will be reported on throughout the year on Compass. By logging onto Compass, you will be able to view your child’s Common Assessment Tasks (CATs) for each subject, the criteria for grading and the achieved results. Students will receive feedback that will enable them to identify areas of strength, areas that require improvement, and recommendations that can assist their future learning. The process is in line with Victorian Curriculum, which is structured as a single developmental learning continuum and is organised by levels, not years of schooling.  At the end of each semester, a summary of your child’s CAT results will be complied into a formal report, which will provide an overview of the progress your child has made along this learning continuum. Your child’s report will also be available on Compass.

In addition to reporting, Student Conferences (Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews) will be conducted in Term 1 and 3, by appointment. Students will be involved in the process by presenting samples of their work and being an active participant in the discussion and development of learning goals.