Senior school


​​​​​​​​​​​What is the senior school?

The senior school at Mountain Creek State High School encompasses Year 10, 11 and 12 and responds effectively to the specific developmental needs of adolescents, (predominantly 15 to 18 year olds).  Like all students, adolescents have a range of personal, intellectual and social needs. These include completing a senior education, undertaking further education and training, leaving home, finding work and forming personal relationships.  The senior years of education at Mountain Creek State High School provide an excellent framework for our students to achieve their individual career goals and to develop personal and social skills.

Curriculum framework

Currently, the senior years of schooling are directed by 2 curriculum frameworks, one operating within Education Queensland and the other externally moderated by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).

Year 10

While the Year 10 curriculum is guided by the KLA Syllabuses, the focus is on preparing students for the QCAA Senior School Certificate or the IB Diploma.  The curriculum in Year 10 provides students with the opportunity to trial senior subjects to ensure that the subject selection for Year 11 and 12 are both relevant to career goals and provide the best opportunity for successful outcomes.

Students considering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program should consider the Year 10 Preparatory Program for the IBDP.

Year 11 and 12

Students in Year 11 and 12 have the option of studying either the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) Senior Certificate or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program​.

QCAA Senior Certificate

Students in Year 11 and 12 study six subjects (General, Applied or VET subjects) which are certified by the QCAA.  A system of both internally written and endorsed assessment pieces and externally set exams provides students with a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and for ATAR eligible students an Australian Tertiary Assessment Rank.

The ATAR is used to allocate places in tertiary institutions.

Alternate pathways

Within the QCAA framework, students who do not wish to study towards tertiary entry can choose a vocational education pathway.

All students who complete Year 12 depart with a Senior Statement.  The Statement is a transcript of the learning account for all students completing Year 12 at a Queensland School.  The Senior Statement shows all studies and the results achieved that may contribute to the award of a QCE or Tertiary Entrance Statement.  If a student has a Senior Statement then they have satisfied the completion requirements for Year 12 in Queensland.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a rigorous pre-university course of study designed for highly motivated secondary school students aged 16 to 19. It provides thorough post-secondary preparation and is well suited to students are academically-oriented and want to aim high and go far.

The programme has earned a reputation for high-quality assessment, giving IB diploma holders access to Australia's and the world’s leading universities. The IBO has shown, over the course of 50 years, that students are well prepared for university work. They are accepted by universities in more than 150 countries.

The programme is a comprehensive two-year multi-disciplinary curriculum balancing academic breadth and depth with holistic personal development.


Mountain Creek State High School’s senior school curriculum incorporates the following principles:

The curriculum provides a range of pathways suited to differing needs and interests.

  • There is an extensive subject selection together with academic rigour.

  • The curriculum provides opportunities for students to master the skills and knowledge to prepare them for future challenges.

  • The school provides flexibility within the curriculum for young people moving between pathways.

  • Students value learning and understand that learning is a lifelong process.

  • Students are equipped with the skills and mind-set to access further learning.

  • Students develop independent learning skills and assume increasing responsibility for their learning.

  • The school promotes the concept of respectful and purposeful communication between staff, students and parents.

  • The school provides programs to ensure that students are career oriented and can articulate the progress of their education plans.

  • Students have a distinctive, success oriented ethos which enables them to clearly identify their goals for senior schooling.

  • Teachers provide learning experiences that are intellectually challenging and motivating and reflect a variety of pedagogical approaches.

  • The social development and participation of all students is a priority.

  • Information and communication technology strategies are used to encourage higher order thinking skills.

Transition from the junior secondary to the senior school

Year 10 is seen as a transition year from middle schooling to senior schooling.  Students move from a core program of study to an elective model which closely reflects the Year 11 and 12 course of study. Students have the opportunity to sample senior school subjects to ensure greater success at Year 11 and 12. This transition process is underscored by a policy of ‘no social promotion’ and supported by subject selection predicated on prerequisites. The prerequisites provide a foundation for success with further study.

The introduction of prerequisites supports our ECP program, which encourages students to assess their results against career plans and the prerequisites required for their chosen career. We also encourage students to make a realistic judgement about their progress towards these career goals.

The introduction of prerequisites also supports the concept of ‘making high school count’. Success at prerequisite study is a very good indicator of future success in a particular field of study. Our aim is to ensure that students have the best possible chance of achieving success in the subjects they choose for study in Years 11 and 12.  To this end prerequisites have been included for all Year 11 and 12 subjects.

Subject offerings and time allocations

Year 10

  • Students study a Maths and an English subject for the full year.

  • Students study 4 semester units of Science (Science OR Chemistry, Physics, Marine Science, Biology) or Social Science (History, Geography, Economics) with at least one semester from both areas.

  • Students study 2 elective subjects for the full year.

  • Students participate in 1, 70 minute lesson of core physical education each week.

  • Special Needs students have the option of studying 2 semester units of either Science or Social Science and 3 electives reflecting a more practical approach to learning.

  • Students considering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme​ are encouraged to enrol in the Year 10 Preparatory Program for the IBDP. This mirrors the IBDP in terms of subject selection, philosophy, teaching & learning strategies and holistic development.

Year 11 and 12

  • Students in the Senior School study 6 subjects including an English and a Maths subject.

  • Students following an ATAR pathway must select minimum of 4 general subjects and an Applied subject OR Certificate 3 course from any Registered Training Organisation.

  • Non ATAR students may choose any other combination of 6 school subjects or VET courses.

  • Students studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma must follow the subject selection guidelines as set out in the IB Handbook.

Assessment and reporting

Year 10

Summative assessment throughout Year 10 provides the results for the Year 10 Certificate.

Students receive reports from the school at the end of each term.

Year 11 and 12


Students are assessed using criteria based assessment and results are based on summative assessment.  Students receive reports from the school at the end of each term.

IB Diploma

Students work in the IB Diploma examinations is assessed by examiners appointed by the IBO and using common mark schemes. The external examinations are complemented by internal assessment within schools, moderated by independent IBO examiners.

The IB Diploma is awarded based on the results of both the internal and external assessment and the completion of the three IB "core" elements: Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and the Extended Essay (EE).

Enhancement and support programs

The senior school curriculum is further supplemented with access to accelerated learning through:

  • Headstart Program with the University of the Sunshine Coast.

  • school based traineeships and apprenticeships.

  • concurrent study through the school of distance education.

Career education

The focus of career education in the senior school is ensuring that students are aware of the pre-requisites and entry requirements for further study or full time work. Career education in the senior school provides a framework for subject selection which will ensure success in achieving tertiary entry or full time work.

16/08/2021 2:58 PMMORCOM, Deborah
21/07/2021 12:41 PMMORCOM, Deborah
23/03/2022 9:42 AMCOSSA, Sandro
Last reviewed 21 July 2021
Last updated 21 July 2021