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Senior Secondary


The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is made up of a series of ‘studies’ (rather than subjects) each of which is divided into semester-long ‘units’.  Generally, Year 11 students will complete Units 1 and/or 2 of their chosen studies whereas Year 12 students will complete Units 3 and 4 (which must be studied as a sequence). It is, however, possible for Year 10 and 12 students to undertake Unit 1 and/or 2 of VCE studies and for some Year 11 students to undertake Unit 3 & 4 sequences.  Each study is conducted according to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s (VCAA) accredited ‘Study Design’, relevant details of which are passed on to students by their teachers.  Each student’s own VCE programme will be individually developed to best suit their career pathways and personal interests in such a way as to maximise their performance in each study.  However, it must be understood that although essential pathway studies will be provided for VCE students, the availability of some studies may be subject to timetable constraints and enrolment numbers.

Year 11 students will be expected to take 12 units of study, (the equivalent of 6 subjects), of which either English/EAL or Literature Units 1 & 2 are compulsory.  Year 12 students will generally take 10 units of study, (the equivalent of 5 subjects), of which either English/EAL or Literature Units 3 & 4 are compulsory.  Within these programmes of study, it is a VCAA requirement that satisfactorily completed units must include:

  • At least 16 units including at least 3 units of from the English group, including a Unit 3&4 sequence
  • At least three sequences of Units 3 and 4 studies other than English


The workload of all VCE units is prescribed by VCAA but organised and administered by class teachers.  Each VCE Unit includes two to four Outcomes.  These are achieved on the basis of the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on the unit’s assessment tasks.  Therefore, satisfactory completion of any unit is determined by teachers at Waverley Christian College based on guidelines provided by the VCAA.

It is the intention of the College that every student be given every opportunity to satisfactorily complete all work by the due date.  Class teachers will work with students to ensure that due dates are mapped out fairly and that completion of work is occurring according to schedule.  No student should be surprised by any due date.


Each student undertaking VCE studies will be issued with a VCE Statement of Results from VCAA at the end of the year in addition to semester reports from Waverley Christian College.

The VCAA Statement of Results indicates:

  • That a student has satisfactorily completed a particular unit in which case an “S” shall be reported, or,
  • That a student has not satisfactorily completed a particular unit in which case an “N” shall be reported

All Unit 1 & 2 studies offered at Waverley Christian College involve assessment tasks which are based upon the Outcomes prescribed for those units. These assessment tasks are set, monitored and graded by the teachers of each unit and will, only be reported on the Waverley Christian College semester report.

This report will indicate:

  • The study and unit undertaken
  • An overall unit result (an “S” or an “N” indicating that a student has either satisfactorily completed or has not satisfactorily completed the unit.  N.B. an “N’ will indicate that the work was not satisfactorily completed)
  • A letter grade from A+ to UG for each assessment task, for school assessment purposes only (since these assessement tasks are not reported to VCAA for credit towards VCE)


  • NA NOT ASSESSED: This symbol indicates that the student has not handed in any work to be assessed

This marking system is used because it resembles the Unit 3 & 4 assessment which is credited towards the VCE using the same letter grades but differing percentage ranges which must then be used to determine an overall study score for each Unit 3 & 4 sequence studied.

Unit 3 & 4 studies are based upon school assessed coursework (SACs) and either one or two examinations.  This structure is designed to allow a significant amount of work to be completed during class time.  All scores given by the College are moderated statistically by VCAA using the results of the externally set and marked examination.  Students’ overall achievement is reported as a study score between 0 and 50 provided that both units are satisfactorily completed.

From a student’s VCE results, the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) will calculate an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for all students who apply as the basis of entry into Victorian universities and some TAFE colleges. 

The ATAR places each VCE student on a percentile rank and is calculated using the study scores of the student’s best four studies (primary four), one of which must be from the English group. If completed, the student’s 5th and 6th subjects will attribute 10% toward the ATAR calculation. (N.B. certain subject combinations may be excluded for ATAR calculations). 

A rank of 75.50 would mean that the student achieved an overall result equal to or better than 75.5% of all students in their cohort for that year. 

Some VET Units 3 & 4 have their own study score and contribute towards the ATAR calculation.  Other VET subjects contribute as a 5th or 6th subject, giving an increment worth 10% of the average of the student’s primary four subjects.

(NB. “N” or “J” results in Unit 3 or 4 results in a zero study score for that study).


What is the VCAL?

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands-on alternative to the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). The VCAL gives you practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work. Like the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), VCAL is an accredited secondary certificate.

Students who do the VCAL are likely to be interested in going on to training at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes, doing an apprenticeship, or getting a job after completing school. The VCAL’s flexibility enables you to undertake a study program that suits your interests and learning needs. Accredited modules and units are selected from the following four compulsory strands:

  • Literacy and Numeracy Skills
  • Industry Specific Skills
  • Work Related Skills
  • Personal Development Skills.

If you successfully complete your VCAL, you will receive a certificate and a Statement of Results that details the areas of study you have completed.

Why would I choose to do the VCAL?

Just like the VCE, the VCAL is an accredited senior secondary school certificate usually undertaken in Years 11 and 12. The VCAL is based on hands-on learning, also referred to as ‘applied learning’. If you choose to do the VCAL, you will gain practical experience and employability skills, as well as the skills you will need to go onto further training in the workplace or at a TAFE institute.

When can I do the VCAL?

At Waverley Christian College, you will complete your VCAL program in Year 11 or Year 12 of secondary school.

What are the VCAL levels?

The VCAL has three levels – Foundation, Intermediate and Senior. At Waverley Christian College we offer the VCAL at Intermediate and Senior levels only. The Foundation level offers only a very low level of basic skills and is not offered at Waverley Christian College.

How long will the VCAL take me to complete?

You may be able to complete the VCAL in one year if you commenced it in Year 11 or 12, depending on how your program is structured. For example, a student commencing Intermediate level in Year 11 can complete a VCAL Intermediate certificate in one year. However, for entry to TAFE, most students would require a Senior level VCAL and would therefore complete that in one year in Year 12. As such the student would receive a VCAL Intermediate and a VCAL Senior certificate.

What do I get after successfully completing the VCAL?

If you successfully complete your VCAL program you will receive a VCAL certificate for either Intermediate or Senior level, depending on the VCAL level you complete. You will also get a Statement of Results from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), listing all completed VCAL, VCE and VCE Vocational Education and Training (VET) units, and a Statement of Attainment from the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for VET or Further Education (FE) training you have completed.

What do I study?

With the help of the VCAL Coordinator and the Careers Advisor we will help you to develop a VCAL program that suits your particular learning needs and interests. You have the choice of selecting units and modules from each of the following four compulsory VCAL strands.

Strand 1 – Literacy and Numeracy Skills

Your VCAL program must include literacy and numeracy subjects. At Waverley Christian College, VCAL Literacy & Numeracy skills are covered in VCAL specific courses. However, some students may cover these strands in specific VCE studies.

Strand 2 – Industry Specific Skills

Your VCAL Intermediate or Senior program must include industry specific units from VET certificates. However, you are not required to focus on, or complete, any single VET certificate. For example, you can choose to undertake various modules or units of competence from a range of VET certificates to meet the VCAL requirements, and gain experience in a range of vocational areas. The range of VET options is extensive and includes automotive, engineering, building and construction, hospitality, retail, multimedia, information technology, agriculture, horticulture and hair and beauty.

Strand 3 – Work Related Skills

In order to develop employability skills, VCAL gives you the choice of undertaking a structured workplace learning placement or a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship and/or part-time work. You can also study units and modules that will help prepare you for work, for example occupational health and safety or job interview skills. You will also be required to complete training in an accredited Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) module/unit before commencing a structured workplace learning placement. At Waverley Christian College, the Work Related Skills module is covered in a specific Work Related Skills subject.

Strand 4 – Personal Development Skills

As part of your VCAL program you will participate in community-based projects and/or structured activities that will help develop your teamwork skills, self-confidence and other skills important for life and work. At Waverley Christian College, you will be allocated a supervisor as part of the Personal Development Skills modules.

What counts towards my VCAL?

I have already started a VET certificate. Will this count towards my VCAL?

Yes. You should speak to the VCAL Coordinator or Careers Counsellor to work out how much of your prior study counts towards your VCAL and to plan the remainder of your VCAL program.

Can I complete a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship as part of my VCAL program?

A School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship fits very well in a student’s VCAL program. A School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship can meet two of the four VCAL curriculum strand requirements – Industry Specific and Work Related Skills.

Can I work part-time while enrolled in the VCAL?

You can gain recognition and credit for part-time work while enrolled in the VCAL. This work can include:

  • School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship
  • Part-time work
  • Structured workplace learning placements.

How is the VCAL assessed?

All accredited courses/certificates that make up your VCAL program are assessed by your teacher and/or RTO.

Do I need to sit for the General Achievement Test (GAT)?

The GAT is a test of knowledge and skills in writing, mathematics, science and technology, humanities and social sciences and the arts. It is done by all students doing one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3 and 4 sequences. Students whose only enrolment consists of VCAL units are not required to sit the GAT. However, you can choose to sit the GAT if it is appropriate to your pathway into further education, training or employment.

What must i do to be awarded a VCAL certificate?

To be awarded a VCAL certificate, you must successfully complete a learning program of 1000 nominal hours that is designed to comply with the following credit requirements. The learning program must:

  • Be made up of a minimum of ten credits
  • Include curriculum components to fulfil each of the four VCAL curriculum strands
  • Contain components drawn from accredited curriculum such as:

-             VCAL units

-             VCE units

-             VET accredited curriculum or FE accredited curriculum

(one credit is awarded on successful completion of 100 nominal hours of accredited curriculum)

It also must include:

  • A minimum of two VCAL units
  • A minimum of one credit for literacy and one credit for numeracy; and
  • In each of the remaining three strands, components to the value of at least one credit
  • Components to the value of six credits at the level of the VCAL award, of which one must be for literacy and one credit must be for a VCAL Personal Development Skills unit

How are my results reported to me?

Statement of Results

If you are undertaking a VCAL and have not undertaken any VCE Unit 3 or 4 studies, you will receive a Statement of Results through your school. If you have undertaken VCE Unit 3 or 4 studies, then your Statement of Results will be mailed to you by the VCAA in December. The Statement of Results will list all VCAL units where a satisfactory result was obtained. It will also list all VCE units and whether or not you gained an ‘S’ or ‘N’ for every unit you enrolled in – Units 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Your assessments for Units 3 and 4 VCE School-assessed Coursework, School-assessed Tasks and examinations will be reported as a grade A+ to E or UG (ungraded). If you achieve two or more graded assessments and achieve an ‘S’ result for both Units 3 and 4 in a VCE study you will also receive a study score. The study score is calculated on a scale 0–50 and is a measure of how well you performed in relation to all others who took the study. If you have completed VCE VET units, these will be shown on your Statement of Results and if you have completed a full VCE VET program you will receive a separate certificate from the RTO in addition to your VCAL.

VCAL Certificate

You will also receive a certificate if you have satisfied the requirements for graduating with the VCAL.

Where can the VCAL take me?

What if I haven't decided exactly what I want to do?

If you are undecided, then VCAL is a great option in Year 11. The VCAL is designed to be flexible so that education, training, part-time work, School Based Apprenticeships or Traineeships and some of your personal interests are recognised within the certificate. You can choose to complete a VCAL at Year 11 or Year 12, then do further education or training at the next VCAL certificate level or continue your training or an apprenticeship at work.

What are my options once I have completed the VCAL?

The VCAL will give you practical work-related experience and a qualification that will be recognised by TAFE institutes and employers. Together these will help you move from school into work, an apprenticeship or traineeship and/or further training at TAFE. Alternatively, if you start studying for your VCAL in Year 11 and successfully complete it, you may consider going on to complete a higher level of VCAL in Year 12.

Can I get into higher education if I successfully complete the VCAL?

If you are considering going to university straight from school, VCAL is probably not the best option for you. Students planning to go straight into higher education usually do the VCE which allows them to gain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) from the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC). If you are studying the VCAL at Senior level and decide that you might be interested in going on to university, check with the Careers Counsellor because some universities will consider students with a VCAL Senior certificate for admission. However, entry straight from school is not the only route into university. Some people study a VET course at TAFE, perhaps leading to a Diploma or Advanced Diploma, and then decide that they would benefit from a university course. VCAL would be a good start along this pathway.

Will the VCAL get me ready to enter a trade?

Once you have completed your VCAL, you will have knowledge and skills that are a useful preparation for a trade or industry certificate. The knowledge and skills you have learnt in VCAL may also count towards a traineeship or apprenticeship. Many students include a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship as part of their VCAL.

VCAL Curriculum Offerings

The following table outlines curriculum options which, on satisfactory completion, meet minimum requirements for VCAL eligibility.




Literacy Skills

VCAL Literacy Skills Reading and Writing Intermediate units

VCAL Literacy Skills Reading and Writing Senior Units

Numeracy Skills

Foundation Maths / VCAL Numeracy

Foundation Maths / VCAL Numeracy

Industry Specific Skills

VET Certificates

VET Certificates

Work Related Skills (WRS)

VCAL Work Related Skills units

VCAL Work Related Skills units

Personal Development Skills (PDS)

VCAL Personal Development Skills Intermediate Units

VCAL Personal Development Skills Senior Units

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL)



Sample Timetable

Bear in mind that the course has a large proportion of hands-on and interactive work and is likely to include a number of excursions designed to help students learning to intersect well with the wider community.













The Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes provide pathways to rewarding careers, allowing students a combination of general and vocational training and an experience of business and industry.

How do vet in schools programs relate to the VCE?

All VET delivery and assessment is a part of the National Training Framework (NTF).  Programmes are delivered by partnership with another Registered Training Organisation (RTO), usually another Secondary School or a TAFE College, who issue a certificate upon completion of the course. VET modules contribute towards VCE Units and have full VCE status as well as providing an industry endorsed, nationally recognised credential. 

Students may wish to gain this credential to enhance their prospects for gaining full-time employment immediately after leaving school (or they may wish to upgrade this study to a higher-level qualification first, if possible) or they may use it to secure part-time skilled employment whilst completing post-secondary study.  Students would, ordinarily, begin a VET course when in Year 11 and then continue to study this (often at a Certificate III) level in Year 12.

Whilst there are enormous benefits associated with undertaking VET courses within a student's VCE programme, families should be aware that:

  • External studies will bear extra tuition costs that Waverley Christian College is unable to subsidise
  • Students may miss some VCE classes on the day that VET courses are run at other institutions and will be expected to complete work missed and comply with all deadlines for VCE work.  Students can, however, apply for an extension of time for school-based work where appropriate
  • Students have to make their own way to and from the institution where they are studying and to and from any work placement venues that may be associated with the running of the appropriate VET course

Students will not necessarily have the completion of their work as closely supervised and monitored as they would within the College and cannot expect the Christian values and ethos of the College to be upheld in any of the institutions offering the various VET courses.

Overseas students can undertake individual VET units as long as the VET unit forms part of the student’s school course. The overseas student will not receive a qualification in the VET course even where the combination of VET units undertaken could lead to the award of a VET Certificate. Overseas students can only obtain a ‘Statement of Completion’ or ‘Statement of Attainment’ listing the VET units that have been completed. The overseas student can subsequently apply for ‘Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for the completed VET units after completing their school course, if they subsequently enrol in a CRICOS registered VET qualification course. Decisions regarding RPL are at the discretion of the Tertiary Provider.

What VET courses are available?

We plan to run the Certificate III in Christian Ministry at the College in 2018. This will run in a block on Wednesday afternoons. Some of the other VET programs available include the certificates listed on the table shown on the next page. We cannot guarantee that these programs will be run at venues within a close proximity to the College or to students' homes but will investigate enrolment on behalf of any student who may be interested. o student can enrol in a VET course without the approval of the College. Other VET courses may be available. Please speak to the Careers Coordinator about an area you are interested in.