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Senior secondary


Welcome to the Senior Phase of Learning, this encompasses Year 10, 11 and 12.

Introducing Queensland's new senior assessment system (refer to related links QCAA parent/carer information document)


The Queensland Government has announced a steady and considered transition to revitalised senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems. Designed to meet the needs of current and future students, the features of these systems will be:

• a model that uses school-based assessment and common external assessment

• a move away from the Overall Position (OP) rank to an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

When will the new system start?

The new senior assessment system will start with students entering Year 11 in 2018. These are the current Year 10 students. The first students to receive an ATAR instead of an OP will graduate from Year 12 in 2019.

What will be different about the new tertiary entrance system?


The ATAR is a finer-grained rank order of students than the OP. It's a number between 0.00 and 99.95 with increments of 0.05, whereas the OP consists of 25 bands. The ATAR is commonly used in other states and territories.


A student's OP is calculated by comparing their results in Authority subjects studied at school with those of other OP-eligible students. Subject results are scaled using Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Test results. The final QCS Test will be held in 2018.

ATARs will also be calculated by comparing student results, but instead of the QCS Test, there will be a process of inter-subject scaling.

Scaling is necessary so that student results in different types of subjects can be compared. The method of inter-subject scaling to be used is still to be finalised by the Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce.

The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) will be responsible for calculating students' ATARs.

What certificates will students receive in the new system at the end of Year 12?


The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) will remain as Queensland's senior school qualification. Students who are eligible will continue to be awarded one at the end of Year 12. Students will also still receive a Senior Statement. It shows all studies and the results achieved that may contribute to the award of a QCE.

Current senior assessment OP system:

University bound students

Students who wish to apply through QTAC for a University place will complete Authority subjects at the school and aim for an OP.  

School-Based Traineeships/ Apprenticeships (SAT)


A SAT involves a student (15 yrs. and over) completing a Traineeship (Certificate II or III) or start a School-Based Apprenticeship (Certificate III/ IV) while at school. The student goes to work one day a week and completes 5 subjects while at school. The students' timetable is adjusted to accommodate the day at work; this is achieved in consultation with the Guidance Officer.


To find a SAT can involve:

• Checking school emails and  the notice board in the main office for vacancies that come into the school from Group Training Companies. 
• Cold canvassing for an employer willing to take on a SAT, work experience can help here as well.
TAFE Schools program
Students in Year 11 and 12 can undertake TAFE courses while at school. Students complete 5 school subjects; go to TAFE one day a week and school for four days. These courses cover many different areas and include Cert II, III and Diploma level.
Vocational Education & Training (VET)
Subjects offered by the school which have nationally recognised Certificate outcomes include:

Year 10
Certificate I Manufacturing Pathways

Cert I Business

Year 11 & 12

Cert II Hospitality

Cert II Active Volunteering

Cert II Automotive Vocational Preparation

Certificate II Furniture Making

Certificate II Engineering

Certificate II Visual Arts

Certificate II Business Cert III Business

Cert III Sport and Recreation

Diploma of Business

Cert II Information, Digital Media and Technology

Work Placement

All students who select to undertake a Vocational Education (VET) subject in the Senior Phase of learning (Year 11 and 12) are required to participate in Work Experience. Work Experience is an essential part of completing a Certificate level course. Within the subject, students learn the theory side to a Certificate course while learning the practical components at the workplace. It is recommended students complete 10 days, while students undertaking Cert II in Hospitality must complete 15 days' work experience as this is a compulsory part of the Certificate.  

Year 10, 11 and 12 Lifeskills

Year 10 and 11 students complete a Short Course in Career Development (1 point towards the QCE) plus in Year 11 Lifeskills, students are working towards Certificate I in Information, Digital Media and Technology, 2 points towards the QCE. Students work through a program focusing on career pathways, health and wellbeing, sexual health and drug and alcohol education.

Year 12 Lifeskills

All Year 12 students will complete Term 1 QCS Test preparation. Students sitting the QCS Test continue with QCS Test preparation in Term 2 and 3. Vocational Education students participate in a futures program including the World of work, Financial, management etc. 

The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)

To achieve a QCE, students must meet the Literacy and Numeracy standard and achieve 20 credit points from achieving a Sound Achievement or better in their chosen subjects. Students who do not achieve a QCE will be awarded a Senior Statement.

The aim for students in the Senior Phase of Learning is to achieve to the best of their ability, to gain employment in their chosen field, whether that includes University, TAFE, and Traineeships, Apprenticeships or Full time/part time employment and to lead successful lives.

Common Curriculum Elements (CCE's)

Common Curriculum Elements (CCE's) are the 49 common curriculum elements of the Queensland senior curriculum.