Learning and Wellbeing

Learning Domains

Religious Education

Religious Education at Ave Maria College provides students with the skills to search for meaning and explore the world around them. Students in Years 7-9 are exposed to five different content areas: Jesus and Scripture; Church and Community; God, Religion and Life - ‘What is life? How do I find meaning?’; Prayer, Liturgy and Sacrament, and Morality and Justice.

Using dialogue and critical thinking skills, students are encouraged to question and reflect deeply on the content to further develop their own faith and understanding. The Pedagogy of Encounter is one of multiple methods used to facilitate a deep connection with faith throughout these courses.

Across Years 10-12 students have the opportunity to study VCE Religion and Society, VCE Texts and Traditions, the College Ministry Program and/or school-based Religious Education.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate within Religious Education as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation. The Religious Education Program is complemented by various mechanisms which support the Faith Life of the College.


English aims to create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. With a focus on academic success and the acquisition of key knowledge, skill and understanding, each program maximises student engagement and aims to enrich their life beyond the classroom. The text selection from Year 7 through to Year 12 is thoughtfully curated to ensure that students have the chance to explore a wide variety of texts by a diverse range of writers. English forms part of the core curriculum for all students in Years 7-10. In Year 10, a Literature elective is offered in addition to the core English Program. Throughout VCE, students have the choice of studying English, Literature and/or English Language across Units 1-4.

All English subjects broaden students’ horizons and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world. Opportunities exist for students to accelerate within English as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation.


Year 7-10 Mathematics allows students to extend their knowledge in many areas of Mathematics and formalises their method of mathematical communication. The course follows the Victorian Curriculum in the content strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Probability and Statistics. There is also a focus on the proficiency strands of Fluency, Understanding, Problem-Solving and Reasoning. Tools such as the Casio Classpad calculator are embedded into courses to further support the development of knowledge, skill and understanding.

Students participate in regular problem-solving activities to allow them to connect ideas in Mathematics, such as Maths Games Days and Immersion Days. They investigate problems collaboratively and master key problem-solving strategies. Students are able to attend Lunchtime Maths Help (Absolute Maximum) which is run by members of College staff and external tutors. The external tutors also run afterschool tutoring sessions in the Helene Library.

In Years 11 and 12, students undertake the VCE Mathematics course where they can choose from General Mathematics, Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate in Mathematics as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation.


The Ave Maria College Science Program provides students with the opportunity to learn through active participation in theory and practical work to support the development of key knowledge and understanding. Through Science Investigation, we encourage curiosity and inquiring minds, whilst developing key Science skills. In Years 7–9, students cover core curriculum that comes from the Biological, Chemical, Physical and Earth and Space Sciences. In Year 10, students have the opportunity to select multiple of the semester-based Science electives which enables them to begin to pursue their interests in particular sciences. The elective options target key disciplines within Science inclusive of Biology, Chemistry, Consumer Science, Physics and Psychology. These electives have a ‘real-life’ application to them which provides students with the opportunity to engage in developing a scientific view of the world, whilst preparing them for the VCE Science options.

Learning through practical application and real-world connections is also fostered in the delivery of our VCE Sciences. The VCE courses currently offered include Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science. Each of these subjects operate across Units 1-4.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate in Science as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation.


The study of Humanities at Ave Maria College includes the subjects of History, Geography, Politics, Legal Studies, Business, Accounting and Economics. These diverse subject offerings provide rich opportunities for students to develop their critical thinking skills and engage in real world learning. In Years 7 and 8, students complete Humanities as a core subject which provides them with an introduction to each of the subjects in this Learning Area. This changes in Years 9 and 10 where students choose semester-based Humanities electives to empower them to direct their own learning in the subjects that they have an interest and passion in.

In VCE, students can continue their learning journey in Humanities and excel in pursuing their passions across multiple Units 1-4 programs. These include Accounting, Business Management, Geography, Global Politics, History (Revolutions) and Legal Studies. Students also have the opportunity to pursue their senior studies in Humanities through the VET offerings available.

Ultimately, the study of Humanities at Ave Maria College seeks to create informed and engaged citizens who can present innovative solutions for a brighter future.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate in Humanities as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation.

Visual Arts and Textiles

Visual Arts and Textiles provides a landscape for student creativity, investigation and product development. All students complete both Visual Arts and Textiles in Years 7 and 8, establishing a foundation for specialisation in later years. Visual Arts at this stage of learning introduces students to the art elements and principles, enabling them to explore art forms such as painting, print making, ceramics, perspective drawing, string printing and papier-mâché sculpture. The Year 7 and 8 Textiles course establishes a foundation in both machine and hand sewing. Students work through the production and design process to create various products inclusive of pyjamas, soft sculpture, pin cushions, equipment bags etc.

A range of Visual Arts and Textile electives exist throughout Years 9 and 10. These electives aim to prepare students for their senior pathway of choice with studies including Art, Media, Visual Communication Design and Textiles. Students explore a variety of art forms, design fields and technologies, including painting, mixed media, collage, technical drawing, computer-aided design, film, photography and garment construction.

Textiles and Visual Art operate across VCE Units 1-4 in the subjects of Art Making & Exhibiting, Media, Product Design and Technology Textiles and Visual Communication Design.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate within Visual Arts and Textiles as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation.

Performing Arts

Performing Arts is a rich and dynamic learning area that encourages students to step outside of their comfort zones and allow themselves to build confidence and creatively flourish.

Through Music and Drama, in Years 7 and 8 students are introduced to the skills of performing and working collaboratively in groups. Drama students develop an understanding of how to create characters and stories through the use of expressive and performance skills. Music students develop an understanding of the Elements of Music and their compositional techniques create and adapt music.

A range of performance pathways exist for students across Years 9-12. These occur through elective offerings and the VCE Program. Students are able to pursue Music, Drama, Music Performance and Music Contemporary Performance.

Students in Drama work across a range of performance styles such as Commedia Dell’Arte, Epic Theatre and Musical Theatre to devise their own ensemble and solo performances based on original and published scripts. Music students have the opportunity to further their skills in exploring music as an art form through listening, composing and performing. Students continue to develop their understanding of music theory and aural components that will assist them with composition and performance.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate in the Performing Arts as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation. Some of many cocurricular opportunities available include but are not limited to the College Production, Year 9 Play and Instrumental Music Program.

Design and Digital Technology

The studies of Food Technology, Food Studies, Digital Technology and Applied Computing provide rich learning experiences for the area of Design and Digital Technology. Offered at different intervals across Years 7-12 and as part of the VCE, these subjects build within students the necessary knowledge, skill, understanding and experience to achieve academic success and pursue their pathway of choice.

The subjects within the Digital Technology Learning Area provide students with the opportunity to use a variety of digital and creative tools to enhance their data and information literacy skills. They explore how modern digital systems and networks operate as well as the impact of emerging technologies on society. Students develop an understanding of computational and systems thinking approaches and further develop their critical and creative thinking skills. This is continued throughout VCE where students have the opportunity to pursue Data Analytics and/or Software Development across Units 1-4.

In Food Technology and Food Studies students produce a range of food-based products. They also investigate, plan, produce and evaluate a variety of dishes in response to Design Brief topics. Students learn about food safety and hygiene, food processes and healthy eating and have the opportunity to work within purpose-built kitchens to produce their culinary delights.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate in Design and Digital Technologies as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation.


At Ave Maria College, students are given the opportunity to study Indonesian and/or Italian from Years 7-12. The language programs contribute to the students’ overall personal development. In particular, learning a language helps to develop skills in communication, problem solving and intercultural understanding. In addition, the study of foreign languages enables students to have a more global outlook on life, with an increased awareness of the opportunities for further education and employment, in an array of professions and industries.

The program builds within students core knowledge, skill and understanding across Years 7 and 8 that enable each individual to experience academic success when they specialise across Years 9 and 10 and through VCE Units 1-4.

The College International Learning Tour Programs provide the opportunity for students to apply their learning within an authentic context as well as immerse themselves in the culture of Indonesia and Italy. These tours extend learning beyond the classroom, enabling students to experience firsthand the countries, people, culture and language, as well as understand other lifestyles and traditions.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate in Languages as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation.

The College also works in partnership with the Victorian School of Languages to provide students with the opportunity to complete language courses in addition to Italian and Indonesian.

Enterprise Skills

Students entering the world of STEM and Enterprise are encouraged to ask “What would happen if…” and then explore their ideas. Critical and creative thinking are championed in our STEM, IRIS (Independent Research and Investigation Study), Design Thinking and CHAOS Lab classes, where student interest often sets the direction of the learning focus. Students consider real world problems and their possible solutions, explore topic areas of their choice, and refine enterprise skills such as effective collaboration, articulate presentation, and time management.

In STEM, students design, build and fly rockets, aeroplanes and drones to consider the impact of different design elements. Students build electric cars to study the physics of motion. They code microprocessors, build their own inventions and create designs using 3D printers. In Design Thinking students use problem solving strategies to run the College Coffee Cart, and create their own project in Genius Hour. CHAOS Lab students consider, amongst other things, how to “think about thinking” through a series of interactive games and activities, and IRIS allows students to take a deep dive into a topic of their choice. Students have the opportunity to pursue STEM style VCE Subjects.

The content in this domain is wide ranging but at the heart of it all is creativity and innovation, risk taking, growth through making mistakes, and engagement through doing. Across Years 7-9 students further their knowledge, skill and understanding within this Learning Area through participation in STEM Days and the Interdisciplinary Learning Program.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate in Enterprise Skill Subjects as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation inclusive of the iSTEM International Learning Tour.

Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education at Ave Maria College provides students with the tools to maintain optimal health and wellbeing. Students in Years 7-10 participate in theory lessons investigating the formation of their own and other’s identity, the different stages of development, nutrition, healthy lifestyle, and the prevention of health conditions. Practical classes explore movement through dance and games, as well as the development of sport specific skills required for invasion sports, racquet sports and net sports. The Year 9 and 10 elective program complements the core study of Health and Physical Education providing the opportunity for students to specialise in areas such as Outdoor Environmental Studies.

Through the development of skills and knowledge acquired in the formative years, students are able to achieve success across a number of VCE and VET studies including Health and Human Development, Outdoor and Environmental Studies, Physical Education, VET Sport and Recreation and VET Allied Health.

Opportunities exist for students to accelerate in Health and Physical as well as to pursue the various cocurricular programs in operation inclusive of the CGSAV Sports Program, House Sporting Carnivals, Outdoor Education Camps etc.

Tertiary Preparation Program

The Tertiary Preparation Program is available to Year 12 students at Ave Maria College in partnership with RMIT University and St Bernard’s College.

The Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation is designed as a unique guaranteed pathway to University for Ave Maria College students of all backgrounds. It prepares students for further study, providing the academic skills needed to undertake Vocational or University studies. Students explore specialised streams designed to give them an introduction to an area of future study. Students develop the academic skills, knowledge and confidence required to participate in higher-level qualifications and enhance their future career opportunities. Completion of this Certificate provides guaranteed pathways into a variety of RMIT courses.

Students currently enrolled in the program can pursue one of the following specialist pathways:

  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Science
  • Health

As part of the program students explore different tertiary options and develop an individual pathway to prepare them for further study.

Year 12 students involved in the Tertiary Preparation Program complete classes onsite at Ave Maria College and at RMIT University each week.

VCE Vocational Major

The VCE Vocational Major (VM) is a vocational and applied learning program within the VCE across Years 11 and 12. The program aims to provide students with greater choice and flexibility to pursue their strengths and interests and develop the skills and capabilities needed to succeed in further education, work and life. The VCE Vocational Major prepares students to move into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, university (via non-ATAR pathways) or directly into the workforce.

The purpose of the VCE Vocational Major is to provide students with the best opportunity to achieve their personal goals and aspirations in a rapidly changing world by equipping them with the skills, knowledge, values and capabilities to be active and informed citizens. This program promotes lifelong learners and confident and creative individuals. It also aims to empower students to make informed decisions about the next stages of their lives through real life workplace experiences.

The VCE Vocational Major is customised to suit the needs, interests and pathways of each learner enrolled in the course.