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Senior secondary

On behalf of Northern Beaches SHS let me take a moment to welcome you the Senior Schooling section of our marvellous school website. I hope you find the information useful, informative and supportive in what is a three way partnership between your child, yourself and our school. At NBSHS we pride ourselves on providing quality academic and vocational pathways for students in a supportive environment. Senior Schooling is the culmination of many years of study and hard work by students, parents and teachers and at times this can be a stressful period of time in a young person’s life. Our expert, dynamic teaching team strives to deliver the highest quality programs with academic rigour, coupled with knowing the needs of our students to enable your young person to achieve the best outcomes for their future. We offer range of pathways and offer a plethora of opportunities to broaden our students post schooling destinations.

Below is some more detailed information about Senior Schooling:

Year 10

In many respects Year 10 operates as a transition year from the middle to senior phases of school education, with a large variety of the subjects offered forming an introduction to courses of study available in Years 11 and 12. In Year 10 students are required to develop their Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan, which details the student’s specific goals for Year 11 & 12 and beyond. The formation of this plan is integral to ensuring a student’s subject choices in Years 11 & 12 match their educational and early career goals. To this end, an interview is conducted with each student and their parents to finalize the plan.

Year 11 & 12

In Years 11 and 12 students continue to study six subjects, selected from a wide range of offerings which include Authority subjects, Authority registered subjects as well as vocational certificate courses, traineeships and apprenticeships offered both through the school and external training providers. The end goal in Yr. 11 and 12 is to obtain a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and/or an Overall Position (OP).

All senior students, regardless of whether they are eligible to receive an OP, should be seeking to obtain a Queensland Certificate of Education on the completion of Year 12.  Introduced in 2008, QCEs are now the chief indicator that a student has successfully attained a high school education. To be awarded a QCE, by the completion of Year 12 three conditions must be fulfilled; namely, that the student has:

  1. Completed one semester of mathematics at a grade of Sound Achievement (‘C’) or higher;
  2. Completed one semester of English at a grade of Sound Achievement (‘C’) or higher; and
  3. Achieved a minimum of 20 credits.

Four credits are awarded following the completion of each Authority and Authority registered subject at a grade of Sound Achievement (‘C’) or higher. With regards to vocational certificates, successful completion of all competencies in a Certificate I course accrues two points; a Certificate II course, four points; and a Certificate III course, eight points. Students can also obtain additional credits through the completion of advanced courses of study, such as a university subject and higher level music and language exams. For detailed information on eligibility for a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), please consult the attached QCE Handbook as authored by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). At NBSHS we offer an extensive pastoral QCE and Academic Tracking process which aims for early intervention and strategies to maximize QCE attainment at our school. For detailed information on how your son/daughter is tracking for their QCE attainment please contact the school and speak with Mr. Hustler (Head of Senior School) or Mr. Stumer (Deputy Principal- Senior School).

Overall Position (OP)

Students who aspire to pursue university study following completion of high school are required to study for two years at least five Authority subjects in order to receive an OP, the mechanism used in Queensland to assign school leavers to university places. It is compulsory for students who are eligible to receive an OP to sit the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Test, held in Term 3 of Year 12. For more information about Overall Position please consult the OP Fast Facts & Calculating OP’s Basic Principles tabs.

Vocational Education & Training

NBSHS provides students in Year 11 & 12 the opportunity to study a variety of vocational certificate courses, as well as engage in traineeship and apprenticeships, although the school doesn’t directly source these. These courses are offered either through the school or within our unique enrichment day (Wednesday) process in which students are encouraged to participate in the VET in Schools (ViS) program through our partnership with TAFE North. For more information about VET at NBSHS please contact Mr. Hustler.

Please do not hesitate to contact the school about any questions or concerns you have during your young person’s Senior Schooling journey. Our friendly Senior Schooling team is also available for phone and meeting appointments.


Yours in Senior Schooling,

Claire Graham

(Head of Senior School)