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At Sacred Heart Girls’ College, we strive to engage our girls with the two thousand years of Catholic tradition and gathered wisdom in a diverse and quality Religious Education curriculum.
We endeavour to harness the many passions of our young women and encourage them to make sound decisions in a rapidly changing and pluralist world.
At all levels, an important aspect of the Religious Education program is faith development. Through prayer, liturgies and the celebration of the Eucharist, girls are encouraged to deepen their relationship with Jesus. All our courses utilize the Religious Education Curriculum as outlined by the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
Helping girls feel connected to the College is a key element. In Year 7, they build their knowledge of the College and develop an understanding of the charism of the RNDM sisters. The Year 7 course examines the liturgical year, the core beliefs of the Catholic Church, the structure of the Bible and some of the key figures in the Hebrew Scriptures.
In Year 8, girls explore the world of the Christian Scriptures. They develop analytical skills and discover how Christianity spread by becoming acquainted with some of the key people in the early Christian period.
One of the highlights in Year 9 Religious Education is the City Experience. In conjunction with the History Department, Year 9 girls explore the City of Melbourne with visits to significant Catholic Church sites such as St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Francis Church.
Year 10 girls consider the growth of Christianity, study several World Religions and probe the complex world of good decision making. They visit the Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Centre. A number of students also participate in an Inter Faith Tour and all girls are involved in a Social Justice Day with Salesian College.
In addition to the study of VCE Texts and Traditions, Religion and Society and our school based Religious Education course, senior students are also involved in the ICTHUS prayer group, St Vincent de Paul group and our Retreat program.
We believe all these experiences help our girls gain a greater understanding of the Catholic tradition, and the importance of tolerance, acceptance of others and the need to speak out about injustice and discrimination.
The study of English is central to the curriculum at all year levels. Learning and teaching focus on developing students' understanding of, and competence in, the use of language with the emphasis on their oral, aural, reading and writing skills.
As girls progress through each year, they are provided with opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills, as well as writing, through the close analysis of an increasingly complex and wide range of texts; including novels, plays, poetry and media texts that reflect a broad spectrum of human experiences. Classroom work is always augmented by live performances and collaborative opportunities wherever possible.
Some of the highlights within the English curriculum include:
Public Speaking and Debating are highlights in the life of Sacred Heart. Girls, at all year levels are supported in developing important personal and life long skills through a range of competitions and experiences, including:
Mathematics at Sacred Heart Girls’ College is a core study from Years 7-10, with a range of subjects offered in the VCE years to cater for student ability, needs and interests.
We recognise the diverse needs of our girls within Mathematics and respond by offering a range of pathways, support structures and out of class opportunities.
Some of these include:
Students also participate in a range of Mathematics challenges including: the Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiad, the University of Melbourne School Mathematics Competition and the Australian Mathematics Competition.
In all, Mathematics at Sacred Heart embraces a wide range of learning and teaching strategies to cater for the needs of all students and to encourage high levels of critical thinking, creativity and problem solving.
Sacred Heart girls embrace the opportunity to develop a closer understanding of the physical, chemical and biological world around them. They spend time hypothesizing, experimenting, discussing and investigating a range of engaging questions.
Many students pursue senior Science subjects through the study of VCE Biology, Chemistry Physics and Psychology. To support this learning journey, Science offers a range of core and elective subjects in Years 7-10.
Year 7 Science is designed to introduce the student to the inquiring nature of Science. A range of topics and experiences, including incursions for space and classification, engage and offer them a different perspective of their world. From learning about the laboratory to investigating the wonders of the universe, girls are drawn to a world of questions and problem-solving.
Year 8 girls investigate the human body, learn about chemistry and energy and examine the world through Geology.
Year 9 girls further enhance their ideas of the inquiring nature of Science. They undertake self-designed experiments, use software to construct electric circuits and begin to develop an understanding of the periodic table and chemical reactions.
As Year 10 girls begin to approach the senior years of Science, they undertake more focused studies of the various science strands. One semester is spent refining and enhancing their experimental design skills, before focusing on genetics, inheritance and evolution.
Years 9 students are also able to choose from the following range of electives:
Electronics and Robotics: making circuits and using LEGO dacta Robolab kits to explore robotics and solve engineering design problems.
Forensic Science: students learn about a range of techniques used by forensic scientists, conduct experiments to solve "crimes" and compare real life forensic science to that portrayed in popular TV shows.
History at Sacred Heart Girls’ College offers a range of exciting learning experiences that are diverse and travel across both continents and time.
From Ancient Greece and Rome to Civil Rights in the US and Australia, revolutions in Russia and France. Students are constantly stimulated and engaged. History is offered from Years 7-12. Further, we offer a range of co-curricular activities designed to enhance the students learning experience.
Year 7 girls develop important history skills such as learning the difference between primary and secondary sources as well as creating historical timelines. They enjoy creating a personal time capsule which they then open at the conclusion of Year 12.
A highlight of the Year 8 program is Medieval Day. Girls dress up for a day and participate in a range of activities that help them to better understand the way people lived.
Our Year 9 City Experience combines aspects of Religious Education and History and is designed to develop critical thinking skills and independence as well as give students a better understanding of the Catholic Church in Melbourne as well an opportunity to experience significant sites in the city that relate to Australian History.
Year 10 History involves the study of World War II and together with the Religious Education department incorporates the study of the Holocaust and Judaism. Class work is augmented by visits to the Holocaust Centre and the Jewish Museum of Australia where students visit a local Synagogue and learn about the Holocaust from victims who reflect on their experiences. These experiences challenge our girls to question their thinking and interact with the people and artifacts from this period. They also remember those who served our country in the Pacific during WWII through their attendance at the Shrine of Remembrance for the Battle of Australia. Again this is a chance listen to the first hand accounts of the men and women who served our country.
VCE Australian History and Revolutions are offered in the senior years. Formal studies continue to be enhanced by diverse experiences including Anzac Day ceremonies and visits to the Immigration Museum.
Geography aims to equip our young women with knowledge, skills and experience to become informed citizens and responsible custodians of our changing world.
The study of Geography helps us to develop an understanding and appreciation of the world around us, in all its complexity and variation. It is a core subject from Years 7 – 10 and is also offered at VCE level.
Year 7 students begin their journey in Geography by learning about the methods and skills involved in geographical enquiry, including mapping skills and data collection, and presentation and analysis. Students have the opportunity to put theory into practice during fieldwork exercises in the local area. They investigate Australia’s place in the world and in the Asia-Pacific region, and the amazing characteristics and beauty of the world’s hot, dry deserts. Our study of endangered species is given practical expression through the Melbourne Zoo excursion which enhances students’ understanding of the plight of such animals.
Year 8 students begin their studies of rainforests with fieldwork in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges National Park. They also study, South East Asia, Antarctica and the hazards associated with weather and climate.
Plate Tectonics and associated natural disasters form a major component of study for Year 9 students. Opportunities exist for students to complete research work in this topic which is also used for assessment in Media and for a video making competition. All Year 9 and 10 students are also challenged through their involvement in the annual Australian Geography Competition. As an important part of their study of coasts and coastal management, Year 9 students undertake fieldwork, visiting several beautiful coastal locations on the Mornington Peninsula.
Year 10 students investigate topics as varied as rivers and their significance to humankind, global patterns of development, contrasts in living conditions and the inequalities which exist, and environmental topics which have critical significance to the future including land degradation and climate change. Students complete fieldwork collecting data from contrasting areas of Melbourne to analyse living conditions, and their study of rivers includes a case study of the Murray River. This study is closely linked with the Year 10 camp during which students complete a journey based experience paddling down a length of the Murray River.
Commerce offers a range of elective subjects from Years 9 – 12 that enhance students’ understanding of the world of law and politics, financial and business management, and civics and citizenship.
It is central to the development of informed and active citizens who are prepared to make a positive contribution to their society.
The Year 9 elective Your Money, is a very popular unit which introduces students to the investment world. Students enter a hypothetical environment where they are given $50,000 to invest in the sharemarket. They also explore areas including income, taxation, employment, consumer scams and shopping tips through the Start Smart Schools Program, a financial literacy program which creates an engaging and contemporary look at financial management.
Year 10 Civics classes allow students to develop their understanding of the electoral process, from nominating a candidate through to the final announcement of the successful members and party. Class work is also augmented by a visit to the Victorian Electoral Commission.
The Year 10 Law, Order and Financial Management students attend the Magistrates Court to familiarise themselves with the formality of court proceedings and the variety of criminal and civil court cases which the Magistrates Court can determine.
In Years 11 and 12 students can choose from a broad range of VCE subjects including: Accounting, Business Management, Economics, International Politics, Legal Studies and International Studies. They enjoy the following wide range of practical experiences and excursions designed to enhance their formal class work:
As a core subject in Years 7 - 9, Information Technology introduces students to a range of contemporary technologies, and is designed to develop and refine skills needed to successfully incorporate these technologies in their day-to-day learning and recreational experiences.
In addition, ICT is incorporated into a range of subjects across the curriculum.
Across the three years our girls learn about:
Year 10 students can elect to continue their studies in IT on a semester or full year basis. Subjects offered are: Communications Technology (single semester), Information Technology (single semester) or Information Technology (full year). Each of these subjects continues to develop skills and understandings in a range of contemporary technologies. Skills in website creation and the use of spreadsheet and database software become more sophisticated. Girls are also encouraged to become more familiar with Web 2.0 technologies and incorporate their use into their learning.
VCE students have the opportunity to undertake Units 1 and 2 Information Technology and Units 3 & 4 Software Development. The VCE IT subjects focus on how individuals or organisations use ICT to solve information problems and to participate actively in a society where the use of ICT is commonplace.
Language learning not only provides girls with a more enriched cultural awareness, it is also an intellectual challenge to learn to communicate with others in a language which may be unfamiliar.
Sacred Heart Girls’ College has a rich tradition of language learning which enhances understanding of one’s first language and builds tolerance through enhanced communication skills.
All Year 7 students at Sacred Heart study two languages, one each semester. All study an Asian language, Indonesian and a European language, which they are offered a preference of either Italian or French. They then choose to continue with one of the two languages in Year 8. The study of a language is compulsory until the end of Year 9, but many students continue with their chosen language until Year 12.
In addition to the language study completed in class, students have many other opportunities of developing language proficiency. Many students participate in a range of competitions including: the annual Alliance Française Poetry Recitation Competition; the Italian Poetry Recitation Competition run by Swinburne University; the Dante Alighieri Poetry Recitation or Original Poetry Writing Competitions and the Assessment of Language Competency Certificate for Indonesian.
Cultural activities are an integral part of language learning. Songs and films play an important role as do visits to the National Gallery of Art and the Immigration Museum. Girls are also engaged in workshops and performances such as the Indonesian dancers and instrumentalists who entertain and instruct our Years 8 - 10 students and ‘La Commedia Dell’arte’ workshops enjoyed by Year 10 students. When the topic of food is studied at Years 9 or 10, food from the relevant country is always sampled and thoroughly enjoyed. Visits to French, Indonesian or Italian restaurants are also very popular with many senior students.
One of the highlights of language learning at Sacred Heart is the opportunity to undertake a Language and Culture Tour which takes place each year.
The world of Visual and Performing Arts is alive and vibrant at Sacred Heart Girls’ College. From the moment a girl enters Year 7, she is able to involve herself not only in a classroom program of Music, Drama and Art but she also experiences many wonderful performance and exhibition opportunities.
While these subjects are core at Years 7 and 8, many girls continue to avail themselves of the wide range of elective subjects on offer from Year 9. Some of the Arts opportunities include:
Our senior girls also have the chance to visit many Art shows, galleries and exhibitions including Top Class, Top Arts and the National Gallery, which help the girls explore and appreciate the work of a range of artists.
Throughout the year, our Arts students are also kept busy planning, organising and running our very popular range of festivals.
Our annual Arts Festival in the collaboration with Minaret College showcases the wide variety of arts enjoyed by our girls. The College comes alive with a variety of stages around the school grounds which feature dancers, singers, the College choirs, a film festival, drama performances, the Senior and Junior Fine Arts exhibition and band performances. This highlight on our calendar allows girls to proudly present work completed as part of their school courses as well as their personal art works.
Led by their House Captains who draw from ideas outside set curriculum areas, the House Arts Festival is written, performed and run by students. It involves all year levels in House groups and all the arts are represented.