Carrum Downs Secondary College

Learning and Pathways

At Carrum Downs Secondary College we are passionate that every student grows. We aim to enhance the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development of all students, and we strive to create and maintain a positive, caring and safe learning environment in which all students are provided with the opportunity to achieve success.  We provide students with a balanced and flexible learning program in line with the Victorian Curriculum, which allows students to foster talents and interests, and tailor their learning program towards pursuing a range of potential career pathways. 


Our curriculum structure is organised into 6 learning areas: English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Health & Physical Education and Arts & Technology. Teachers at Carrum Downs Secondary College are allocated into a learning area based on their teaching allotment, and teachers work in teams to deliver our curriculum and plan collaboratively to ensure that we are meeting the needs for every student.

Breadth Stage
Years 7 and 8

Year 7 and 8 students undertake a full year of core subjects including English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Health & Physical Education, STEAM and Pastoral Care. 


Students will also complete a range of specialist Arts & Technology subjects during Year 7 and 8, including Art, Visual Communication Design, Drama, Digital Technology, Design Technology and Food Studies. Additionally, students will study Japanese in year 8.

Pathways Stage
Years 9 and 10

Year 9 and 10 students will undertake a full year of core subjects including English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Health & Physical Education and Pastoral Care. It is a very exciting opportunity for students to further explore their interests and passions by selecting from a range of elective subjects. 

It is the goal of Carrum Downs Secondary College that all students have a successful pathway to university, TAFE or full-time employment.  It is essential that students transitioning to the senior years plan carefully and make informed decisions that enable them to fulfil both academic and personal goals. 

All students will engage in careers focused assemblies, course counselling and Pastoral Care activities to assist.

In year 10, students have the following alternative options:   

  • VCE Accelerated Learning (undertaking a Year 11 VCE subject) – an option for students intending to pursue a VCE General Pathway.
  • Advanced Study in English and Mathematics – an option for students who are already achieving strong results and who are looking for that extra challenge when it comes to their core studies.
  • Applied Learning Pathway – an option for students intending to pursue a VCE Vocational Major Pathway.

Senior Stage
Years 11 and 12

All students complete the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). Students at Carrum Downs Secondary College have the choice of 2 streams to complete their senior qualification – VCE General or VCE Vocational Major.  Both streams will give students a Year 12 VCE completion certificate. They differ in terms of the program structure and goals catering to each student’s desired pathway.


The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a 2-year academic program offering a broad selection of subjects that provide pathways to further study at University, Technical and Further Education (TAFE), Apprenticeships, Traineeships and employment.  The VCE Certificate covers both Years 11 and 12 and involves four semesters of work completing one unit per semester. Over these four semesters students will undertake a total of 22 units. 


The VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM) is a 2-year program offering students the opportunity to develop both academic and practical skills. The certificate provides core subjects that build on the knowledge and attributes supporting students to make informed choices about education and employment pathways. It opens pathways to Technical and Further Education (TAFE), Apprenticeships, Traineeships, and employment.



As part of the VCE, a Vocational Education and Training (VET) subject can be chosen. This means that the student will be undertaking training in a specific vocational area, for instance hospitality, agriculture, information technology or engineering. As part of a VCE Vocational Major program it is compulsory to elect a VET subject.  A VET program contributes to the VCE or VCE VM in the same way that other studies contribute, however only scored VET programs with exams contribute towards an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) score.  It is important to be aware that VET is currently only offered to Year 11 and 12 students, and students undertaking the Year 10 Applied Learning Pathway at Carrum Downs Secondary College.


Another way for vocational training to contribute towards the VCE is through a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT). This is a part-time apprenticeship/Traineeship program where the student’s timetable is tailored to ensure that there is a suitable mix of necessary core subjects, as well as an ability to accommodate the employment requirements of the SBAT. These opportunities are only available in certain vocations and students will need to meet certain attendance and academic requirements to be considered. Students can apply in Year 10, 11 and 12 at Carrum Downs Secondary College.

Pastoral Care

Year 7 to Year 12 students undertake Pastoral Care for one period per week at Carrum Downs Secondary College. Our Pastoral Care curriculum focuses on respectful relationships, resilience and building positive connections.


STEAM is an exciting new program at Carrum Downs Secondary College. STEAM is for students to 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. Our STEAM centre will be built towards the end of 2023! Students in Year 7 and 8 will undertake STEAM, and students in Year 9 and 10 may select STEAM as an elective.


There are many opportunities for Year 7 to Year 12 students to get involved in the Music and Performance Program at Carrum Downs Secondary College, including the school production, variety shows, concert band, stage/school production band, ensembles, choral/voice groups, and the year 7 training band for beginners.

Year 9-12 Electives and VCE Subjects

To view our electives and VCE subjects offered at Carrum Downs Secondary College, please see our Course Guides. Please contact the College to reconfirm if a particular elective or VCE subject is running in your year of enrolment, as this is subject to change due to student interest.