Secondary Years Academics

Academic Faculties

Academic Staff and subjects are identifiable in the Secondary Years by way of Faculty teams. 

Seven distinctive faculties work together in order to provide the holistic educational opportunities available to our students. 

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English and Languages

Head of Faculty - Mrs Linda Carroll

Teaching English and Chinese at Sheldon College is about teaching students how to access texts in various modes and mediums. Students will be explicitly taught how to receive texts (reading and listening) and how to produce texts (writing and speaking) for various audiences. Teaching English and Chinese is about teaching empathy, understanding and skills. Through an explicit teaching model, and framework, students will be engaged in units of study which meet their everchanging needs and desires. In turn, preparing them to be life-long learners.

Years 7 to 10

Students will be exposed to a variety of novels, films, poems and non-fiction texts to encourage and grow their understanding of the world that they live in. Students develop an empathy, understanding and appreciation for other cultures through their texts, about how authors and directors craft and develop their texts and about the creation of hybrid texts. These texts and skills are kept in alignment with the ACARA descriptors. Students are explicitly taught various spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension skills to grow and develop their knowledges. Students in the English classroom engage in learning through various platforms.

Students begin, develop and refine their analytical writing skills, imaginative writing skills and persuasive speaking skills over the four-year course. Students are coached how to brainstorm, plan, draft and edit their assessment tasks for summative assessment. Students participate in Literature Circle lessons where they share their reading knowledge and they engage in Information Literacy Tutorials hosted by the Senior Learning Centre (SLC).

Years 11 to 12

 In the two-year course, students who elect to study English complete the QCAA approved units of work. In these units of study, students are exposed to a variety of novels, films, poems and non-fiction texts from a variety of cultures and time periods. Texts are selected by the College from the QCAA approved Prescribed Text List. These are borrowed by students from the Resource Centre. The External Assessment text is provided to the students in their resource pack each year. Students use the skills taught to them in Junior English to master their analytical writing, persuasive speaking, imaginative writing and analytical writing skills. 

Years 11 to 12

In the two- year course, students who elect to study Literature complete the QCAA approved units of work. In these units of study, students are exposed to a variety of novels, films, poems and non-fiction texts from a variety of cultures and time periods. Texts are selected by the College from the QCAA approved Prescribed Text List. These are borrowed by students from the Resource Centre. The External Assessment text is provided to the students in their resource pack each year. Students use the skills taught to them in Junior English to master their analytical writing, imaginative speaking and imaginative writing skills.

Years 5 to 10

In Middle College, all learners are exposed to the Chinese culture and language through their weekly lessons. These lessons are aligned with ACARA descriptors and they meet the learning needs of first and second language learners. Students engage in the language through various platforms. They participate in annual incursions and excursions to foster their awareness of the Chinese culture and language. Students receive (listening and reading) and produce (speaking and writing) texts to help grow their understanding of the Chinese way of life. Students have the opportunity to be enter various Chinese language competitions (speaking and writing) by representing the College. 

Years 11 to 12

In the two-year course, students who elect to study Chinese complete the QCAA approved units of work. These units of study raise awareness of how the Chinese culture and Chinese language can be used by various audiences. Students are exposed to authentic texts to help them have a greater empathy and to identify, explain and analyse the text’s creation. Students receive (listening and reading) and produce (speaking and writing) a variety of texts to help grow their understanding of the Chinese way of life.

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Head of Faculty - Mr Murray Ellison

Mathematics develops the numeracy concepts that all students require in their everyday lives. The laws of mathematics govern everything around us and provides students with the fundamental skills required of a 21st century learner. 
The only way to learn Mathematics is to do Mathematics. - Paul Halmos

In the mathematics classroom, our aim is to develop: 

  • critical thinking
  • problem solving
  • analytical thinking
  • quantitative reasoning
  • ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas ability to construct logical arguments and expose illogical arguments
  • communication
  • time management
  • teamwork
  • independence
Mathematics Pathways at Sheldon College
Years 7 to 10

The Mathematicians at Sheldon College embark upon building their capacity and mastery in the content strands of the Australian National Curriculum; Number and Algebra; Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.

We structure our courses and pedagogy to engage and challenge students early, in order to foster a curiosity and growth mindset within the subject.  This allows students to apply their skills, solve problems and continue to broaden their Mathematical understanding and problem solving. 

In Year 10, students embark on one of two defined routes: Pre-General Mathematics or Pre-Mathematical Methods, which enables them to prepare for their senior studies in Mathematics. The Pre-Mathematical Methods involving a greater level of algebraic manipulation.

Course outlines and a range of supplementary resources can be found on our LMS – iLINQ. This supports our safe, engaging and active Maths classrooms.

Years 11 and 12

Students have the option to undertake the following courses:

General Mathematics:

This is a non-Calculus course designed for students whose future studies or employment pathways require a strong foundation of mathematical skills but not high-level Algebra. Such pathways may include non-scientific fields of business, commerce, education, finance, social science and the arts. This course gives students the opportunity to engage with aspects of Finance and Investing, Applied Trigonometry, Algebra and Matrices, Univariate and Bivariate Data, Earth Geometry and Networking. 

The course aims to develop a positive attitude towards mathematics that encourages enjoyment, fosters confidence and promotes enquiry — all of which contributes to further learning.

Mathematical Methods:

This Calculus course allows students to find connections between mathematics and other areas of the curriculum and apply their mathematical skills to real-world problems and problem-solvers. It has been designed for students whose future studies or employment pathways involve science, mathematics, statistics, computer science, health sciences and engineering.

This course gives students the opportunity to engage with aspects of Algebra, Functions, relations and their graphs, Calculus and Statistics.

The course aims to develop critical and creative thought processes as they use Mathematics to interpret and solve real-world problems.

Specialist Mathematics:

Specialist Mathematics is an elective subject and can only be studied alongside the Mathematical Methods course.

The course is designed for students who have an interest and aptitude in mathematics, and who may wish to pursue careers in science, mathematics and statistics, computer science, medicine, engineering, finance or economics.

This course gives students the opportunity to engage with aspects of Vectors and Matrices, Real and Complex Numbers, Trigonometry, Statistics and Calculus.

The course aims to give students an appreciation of the true nature of mathematics, its beauty and its power.


Students have the opportunity involve themselves in enrichment activities.

  • Across all year levels, students have access to regular tutorials to help support their mathematics journey.
  • Maths X is an extension group designed to extend our very best Mathematicians, entering local, state, national and international Maths competitions.

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Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)

Head of Faculty - Mrs Hetal Raniga

The study of Humanities and Social Sciences provides us with a window into the human experience. We explore the most fundamental elements of what makes us who we are. It asks us to glean knowledge from those past and present and build our capacity to better understand the world around us and respond.

Put simply, Humanities and Social Sciences are academic disciplines which ask us to investigate human culture. We gain perspectives from a variety of disciplines, including – Accounting, Economics, Geography, History, and Legal Studies. It is through these disciplines we equip our students with the information needed to navigate the human experience. The skills attained here allow our students to make sense of an ever-changing world, to create innovative ideas, and to express these ideas with clarity and conviction.

By studying in HASS, students build skills in critical thinking, research, reading, and writing, which help to create effective oral and written communicators. These skills will serve our students well in future academic pursuits and careers. The most meaningful legacy for our HASS students relates to their shared understanding of what makes us human, becoming globally aware, and understanding the challenges we face together.

Secondary Years History (Years 7-10)

History in Years 7 to 10 follows a chronological approach. Students are afforded the opportunity to learn about all the great eras of history including ancient history, medieval history and modern history. Students engage in subject content by taking the context of their lives to make connections between the past and the present. They develop knowledge, understanding and skills through their study of societies, events, movement and developments. Studying history provides students with an opportunity to broaden their outlooks and effectively participate in contemporary issues within society.


Secondary Years Geography (Years 7-10)

The study of Geography in Years 7 to 10 provides students with the opportunity to explore different perceptions of people, places, ideas and events. They will develop and understanding of the interdependent nature of the world and the inter-relationships within and between the natural environment, human communities and economies. Students will explore how people, ideas and events are connected over time and increasingly interconnected across local, national, regional and global contexts.

Secondary Years Business Education (Years 9-10)

The Economics and Business curriculum in Years 9 and 10 explores aspects of economics and business which affect daily lives. Students will learn about the role that individuals, businesses and governments play in the economy, the way they make decisions about how to allocate resources and the effects of these decisions.


Ancient History

To understand the present, students need to discover and understand our past. Ancient History prepares students to navigate contemporary issues through the investigation of past civilisations. An appreciation of past events and why people acted as they did are essential tools for understanding the legacies which modern civilisations have adopted from their ancestors. It is through the study of ancient history we learn to analyse sources and question contestable views in our world. In this discipline, students will concern themselves with the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions of history: how and why people lived the way they did, and how and why circumstances change and how and why they impact the present. Ancient History students are empowered with multi-disciplinary skills in analysing textual and visual sources, constructing arguments, challenging assumptions, and thinking both creatively and critically.


Modern History

Students of Modern History are provided a new lens with which to appreciate the world around them. A window to the world which will help them understand and interpret other societies and cultures, the people, and events of the relatively recent past. It is through this window where students will also develop an understanding of history’s influences on both the present and future. Students are afforded an opportunity to learn that the past is contestable and tentative through the use of critical thinking skills. They discover how the past consists of various perspectives and interpretations and teaches them how to make meaningful connections between the past, present and possible futures.  Modern History students become empathetic, creative, critical and open-minded global citizens.



Geography asks students to critically think about the finer inter-connections of the human and physical worlds and encourages students to create a more sustainable way of life. Contemporary Geography is less about where places are – although still very important knowledge – but more about the ways in which the physical and social processes differentiate the earth. From understanding how and why volcanos are formed to the impact of overcrowding in urban areas, geographers are an integral piece in finding possible solutions to some of the largest issues facing our world today. From climate change, urban over-development and natural disasters, this discipline provides students opportunities to build their critical thinking skills, engage with STEM, collaborate and become more globally aware citizens.



Accounting is a universal discipline, encompassing the successful management of financial resources of the public sector, businesses and individuals. It provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of the essential role of organising, analysing and communicating financial data and information in the successful performance of any organisation. Once the fundamentals of accounting are understood, students then apply their newfound knowledge to solve authentic accounting problems and communicate recommendations. The technical, financial, literacy, numerical, financial, critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills learned in Accounting will enrich the personal and working lives of students who participate in this discipline.



Economics is a diverse and fascinating discipline which is integral to every aspect of our lives. It asks students to analyse decision making by individuals, organisations, governments and global organisations. At its core it is the study of how these groups decisions regarding the allocation and distribution of scarce resources to maximise well-being. Economics provides the foundation for all business disciplines through the study of the interplay between economic environment – in which business decisions are made – and strategic interactions among economic agents.


Legal Studies

Legal Studies allows students to examine the way in which the law and the legal system serve people and their community and helps them gain a deeper understanding of the workings of contemporary Australian society. The primary skills of inquiry, critical thinking, problem-solving and reasoning empower students to make informed and ethical decisions and recommendations. This discipline will enhance students’ abilities to contribute in an informed and considered way to legal challenges and change, both in Australian and globally.

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Head of Faculty - Mrs Deidre Freitas

The mission of the Sheldon College Science Faculty is to create knowledgeable, scientifically literate, and technically proficient problem solvers.  By nurturing a spirit of inquiry, fostering our students’ curiosity, and bringing current, relevant, and real-world science into the classroom, we guide our students to become educated citizens capable of understanding and analysing global issues.

Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives. Science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to make sense of our world through exploring the unknown, investigating universal mysteries, making predictions and solving problems. Science aims to understand a large number of observations in terms of a much smaller number of broad principles. 

The curriculum at Sheldon College supports students to develop their scientific knowledge and critical thinking skills through both an academic and an inquiry-based approach.  Students conduct experiments and apply their scientific understanding in practical, hands-on activities.   

The College has six specialist Science laboratories in for use in practical work.



The Science faculty provides opportunities for students in Years 7 to 10 to develop an understanding of important science concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, of science’s contribution to our culture and society, and its applications in our lives. By following the Australian National Curriculum, the Science Faculty supports students to develop the scientific knowledge, understandings and skills to make informed decisions about local, national and global issues and to participate, if they so wish, in science-related careers.

In addition to its practical applications, learning science is a valuable pursuit in its own right. At Sheldon College, students can experience the joy of scientific discovery and nurture their natural curiosity about the world around them. In doing this, they develop critical and creative thinking skills and challenge themselves to identify questions and draw evidence-based conclusions using scientific methods. The wider benefits of this “scientific literacy” are well established, including giving students the capability to investigate the natural world and changes made to it through human activity.

The science curriculum promotes six overarching ideas that highlight certain common approaches to a scientific view of the world, and which can be applied to many of the areas of science understanding. These overarching ideas are patterns, order and organisation; form and function; stability and change; systems; scale and measurement; and matter and energy.

SENIOR SECONDARY (Years 11 and 12)

Three general subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) are offered over a 4-semester course.


Biology provides opportunities for students to engage with living systems. In Unit 1, students develop their understanding of cells and multicellular organisms. In Unit 2, they engage with the concept of maintaining the internal environment. In Unit 3, students study biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life. This knowledge is linked in Unit 4 with the concepts of heredity and the continuity of life.

Students will learn valuable skills required for the scientific investigation of questions. In addition, they will become citizens who are better informed about the world around them and who have the critical skills to evaluate and make evidence-based decisions about current scientific issues



Chemistry is the study of materials and their properties and structure. In Unit 1, students study atomic theory, chemical bonding, and the structure and properties of elements and compounds. In Unit 2, students explore intermolecular forces, gases, aqueous solutions, acidity and rates of reaction. In Unit 3, students study equilibrium processes and redox reactions. In Unit 4, students explore organic chemistry, synthesis and design to examine the characteristic chemical properties and chemical reactions displayed by different classes of organic compounds.

Chemistry aims to develop students’:

  • interest in and appreciation of chemistry and its usefulness in helping to explain phenomena and solve problems encountered in their ever-changing world
  • understanding of the theories and models used to describe, explain and make predictions about chemical systems, structures and properties
  • understanding of the factors that affect chemical systems and how chemical systems can be controlled to produce desired products
  • appreciation of chemistry as an experimental science that has developed through independent and collaborative research, and that has significant impacts on society and implications for decision-making
  • expertise in conducting a range of scientific investigations, including the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, and the interpretation of evidence
  • ability to critically evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims in order to solve problems and generate informed, responsible and ethical conclusions
  • ability to communicate chemical understanding and findings to a range of audiences, including through the use of appropriate representations, language and nomenclature.



Physics provides opportunities for students to engage with the classical and modern understandings of the universe. In Unit 1, students learn about the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics, electricity and nuclear processes. In Unit 2, students learn about the concepts and theories that predict and describe the linear motion of objects. Further, they will explore how scientists explain some phenomena using an understanding of waves. In Unit 3, students engage with the concept of gravitational and electromagnetic fields, and the relevant forces associated with them. Finally, in Unit 4, students study modern physics theories and models that, despite being counterintuitive, are fundamental to our understanding of many common observable phenomena.

Students will learn valuable skills required for the scientific investigation of questions. In addition, they will become citizens who are better informed about the world around them, and who have the critical skills to evaluate and make evidence-based decisions about current scientific issues.


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Ricky Sinclair
Head of Faculty - Mr Ricky Sinclair

Technologies is a highly practical subject that incorporates Design Technologies and Digital Technologies to offer students an adaptive and innovative program that encompasses both disciplines.  In Technologies students have the opportunity to create designed solutions from a range of contexts including engineering principles and systems, materials and technologies specialisations, interactive web applications, programmable multimedia assets and simulations of relationships between objects in the real world. Students also have opportunities to design and produce products, services and environments. 

Using a range of technologies including a variety of graphical representation techniques to communicate, students generate and clarify ideas through sketching, modelling, perspective and orthogonal drawings. They use a range of symbols and technical terms in a range of contexts to produce patterns, annotated concept sketches and drawings, using scale, pictorial and aerial views to draw environments.  They broaden their programming experiences to include general-purpose programming languages and incorporate sub-programs into their solutions. They predict and evaluate their developed and existing solutions, considering time, tasks, data and the safe and sustainable use of information systems, and anticipate any risks associated with the use or adoption of such systems.


IDEAS is an innovative subject that is linked to industry, underpinned by university research and aligned to six core impact topics. These six core impact topics are fundamental to the IDEAS program and will provide students with a framework to “start-up” their enterprise. 

These topics include:

  • Ideation – students will think, and re-think problems and current situations, which brings out the creative process at its best.
  • Build Lean – students will be introduced to Lean terminology, methodology and given an understanding of feedback loops. They will build their own Lean Business Canvas.
  • Discovery – students will be taken through the process of survey development, apply interview techniques and implement a value proposition test.
  • Modelling – students will be taken through the process of survey development, apply interview techniques and value proposition test and putting these skills into play.
  • Prototyping – students will develop their Minimum Viable Product (MVP). They will be shown various approaches to market and given tools and resources to develop their own. This is time for testing.
  • MVP Pitch – students are now ready to pitch the next iteration of their concept. After some practice and refinement, students will pitch to a panel of ‘investors’.


Digital Technologies

Digital Technologies is a real-world subject that focuses on further developing understanding and skills in computational thinking such as precisely and accurately describing problems and the use of modular approaches to solutions. It also focuses on engaging students with specialised learning in preparation for advanced topics in the senior secondary years.

Students have the opportunities to analyse problems and design, implement and evaluate a range of digital solutions, such as database-driven websites and artificial intelligence engines and simulations.  Students also consider how human interaction with networked systems introduces complexities surrounding access to, and the security and privacy of, data of various types. They interrogate security practices and techniques used to compress data, and learn about the importance of separating content, presentation and behavioural elements for data integrity and maintenance purposes.

Students develop modular solutions to complex problems using an object-oriented programming language where appropriate and evaluate their solutions and existing information systems based on a broad set of criteria including connections to existing policies and their enterprise potential. They consider the privacy and security implications of how data is used and controlled and suggest how policies and practices can be improved to ensure the sustainability and safety of information systems.

Design Technologies

Design technologies is a highly practical workshop-based subject in which students have opportunities to experience creating designed solutions for products, services and environments.  Students have access to a range of innovative technologies such as laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC machines and CAD/CAM software.

Students use design and technologies knowledge and understanding, processes and production skills and design thinking to produce designed solutions to identified needs or opportunities of relevance to individuals and regional and global communities. Students work independently and collaboratively. Problem-solving activities acknowledge the complexities of contemporary life and make connections to related specialised occupations and further study. Increasingly, study has a global perspective, with opportunities to understand the complex interdependencies involved in the development of technologies and enterprises. Students specifically focus on preferred futures, taking into account ethics; legal issues; social values; economic, environmental and social sustainability factors and using strategies such as life cycle thinking. Students use creativity, innovation and enterprise skills with increasing confidence, independence and collaboration.

Using a range of technologies including a variety of graphical representation techniques to communicate, students generate and represent original ideas and production plans in two and three-dimensional representations using a range of technical drawings including perspective, scale, orthogonal and production drawings with sectional and exploded views. They produce rendered, illustrated views for marketing and use graphic visualisation software to produce dynamic views of virtual products.

Students identify the steps involved in planning the production of designed solutions. They develop detailed project management plans incorporating elements such as sequenced time, cost and action plans to manage a range of design tasks safely. They apply management plans, changing direction when necessary, to successfully complete design tasks. Students identify and establish safety procedures that minimise risk and manage projects with safety and efficiency in mind, maintaining safety standards and management procedures to ensure success. They learn to transfer theoretical knowledge to practical activities across a range of projects. 


YEARS 11 TO 12
Digital Solutions

In Digital Solutions, students learn about algorithms, computer languages and user interfaces through generating digital solutions to problems. They engage with data, information and applications to create digital solutions that filter and present data in timely and efficient ways while understanding the need to encrypt and protect data. They understand computing’s personal, local and global impact, and the issues associated with the ethical integration of technology into our daily lives.

Students engage in problem-based learning that enables them to explore and develop ideas, generate digital solutions, and evaluate impacts, components and solutions. They understand that solutions enhance their world and benefit society. To generate digital solutions, students analyse problems and apply computational, design and systems thinking processes. Students understand that progress in the development of digital solutions is driven by people and their needs.

Learning in Digital Solutions provides students with opportunities to create, construct and repurpose solutions that are relevant in a world where data and digital realms are transforming entertainment, education, business, manufacturing and many other industries. Australia’s workforce and economy requires people who are able to collaborate, use creativity to be innovative and entrepreneurial, and transform traditional approaches in exciting new ways.

By using the problem-based learning framework, students develop confidence in dealing with complexity, as well as tolerance for ambiguity and persistence in working with difficult problems that may have many solutions. Students are able to communicate and work with others in order to achieve a common goal or solution. Students write computer programs to create digital solutions that: use data; require interactions with users and within systems; and affect people, the economy and environments. Solutions are developed using combinations of readily available hardware and software development environments, code libraries or specific instructions provided through programming. Some examples of digital solutions include instructions for a robotic system, an instructional game, a productivity application, products featuring interactive data, animations and websites.

Digital Solutions prepares students for a range of careers in a variety of digital contexts. It develops thinking skills that are relevant for digital and non-digital real-world challenges. It prepares them to be successful in a wide range of careers and provides them with skills to engage in and improve the society in which we work and play. Digital Solutions develops the 21st century skills of critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration and teamwork, personal and social skills, and information and communication technologies (ICT) skills that are critical to students’ success in further education and life.


The Design subject focuses on the application of design thinking to envisage creative products, services and environments in response to human needs, wants and opportunities. Designing is a complex and sophisticated form of problem-solving that uses divergent and convergent thinking strategies that can be practiced and improved. Designers are separated from the constraints of production processes to allow them to appreciate and exploit innovative ideas. 

The teaching and learning approach uses a design process grounded in the problem-based learning framework. This approach enables students to learn about and experience design through exploring needs, wants and opportunities; developing ideas and design concepts; using drawing and low-fidelity prototyping skills; and evaluating ideas and design concepts. Students communicate design proposals to suit different audiences.

Students will learn how design has influenced the economic, social and cultural environment in which they live. They will understand the agency of humans in conceiving and imagining possible futures through design. Students will develop valuable 21st century skills in critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration and teamwork, personal and social skills, and information & communication technologies (ICT) skills.

Collaboration, teamwork and communication are crucial skills needed to work in design teams and liaise with stakeholders. The design thinking students learn is broadly applicable to a range of professions and supports the development of critical and creative thinking.

Students will develop an appreciation of designers and their role in society. They will learn the value of creativity and build resilience as they experience iterative design processes, where the best ideas may be the result of trial and error and a willingness to take risks and experiment with alternatives. Design equips students with highly transferrable, future-focused thinking skills relevant to a global context.

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The Arts

Julianne Moore
Head of Faculty - Mrs Julianne Moore
For young people, The Arts opens a world of possibilities. As children play music, paint, draw or design, as they dance, act, or sing, many develop new passions and come to express themselves in creative ways. Through engagement in The Arts, students discover innovative pathways to success. The skills, practices, pursuits, and habits of mind that students learn through sustained encounters and engagement with high-quality arts experiences promote the kind of intellectual growth that we value throughout their school years and beyond. Moreover, creating and learning through The Arts offers children and adolescents access to an invaluable endeavour: a means to connect emotionally with others and deepen their understanding of the human condition.

At Sheldon College, our students engage with multiple art forms from an early age. With Specialist teachers from as early as Kindergarten, students build their understanding of the language, skills and processes associated with each art form. Through The Arts, students improve their ability to express themselves and hone their creativity. The habits of practice, hard work and initiative are nurtured to allow students to achieve their goals. Learning in Curriculum Arts subjects is complemented with an extensive Arts Enrichment Program delivered by expert teachers that offers authentic opportunities that focus the pursuit of excellence and enjoyment


Our motto within the Arts program is the pursuit of the best version of ourselves – both as students and as teachers. This is achieved through an aligned belief in the purpose of arts education.

Firstly, Arts education fosters broad dispositions and skills that build the capacity to think creatively and make connections. It develops aesthetic awareness through the teaching of artistic skills, techniques and processes that are couched in contextually relevant units of work.

Through specialist Arts lessons, students develop as individuals and build their understanding of the world they live in, engaging with community, cultural and social issues.

From early on in their Arts learning journey, students are provided the opportunity to express themselves in a safe and supported environment, and in authentic contexts including public performances for their peers, parents, and the broader community.

Dance in Years 7 to 8

In Years 7 and 8 Dance, students continue to experiment with the elements of dance, production elements and form, to create movement that communicates ideas and intent. Through the context of popular culture with a focus on hip hop, jazz and commercial styles, students continue to develop fundamental technical and expressive skills relevant to the dance style. Working collaboratively to experiment with the elements of dance, production elements and form students choreograph their own dances.


Drama in Years 7 to 8

In Years 7 and 8 Drama, students continue to experiment with the elements of drama, performance skills, stagecraft and different performance styles that have a clear purpose and audience in mind. They continue to develop skills in improvisation when creating characters and performance. Students explore the four types of tension and focus of the actor and audience in performance. They create and rehearse self-devised performances. Students build their awareness of the skills of drama by evaluating their own and others’ performances responding to how the elements of drama have been used to create a purposeful performance.

Through the elective unit in Year 8, students devise and create their own Collage Drama. Collage Drama combines a range of performance material such as poetry, scripts, movement pieces, media moments and songs. These dramatic works are usually made up of short scenes, put together in ways that communicate particular ideas and feelings. Individually and in groups, students’ source and create scenes on a theme or topic of their choice. They further develop their understanding of how Elements of Drama are manipulated to create drama and meaning in performance. This culminating unit brings together a variety of skills the students have explored across their Middle College Arts journey, while working in ways that are reflective of our Senior classroom practice.


Media in Years 7 to 8

Media facilities at Sheldon College are state-of-the-art and students across all year levels engage in learning experiences across the full suite of resources. These include editing suites, a green screen studio, two purpose-built Mac labs and top of the range cameras and equipment. From Year 7, students work with a specialist Media Arts teacher with the real-world experience of running their own production company. Students study how film makers use camera framing, angles and movement to add meaning and contrast in the construction of a filmed scene. Students engage with the professional video editing software, Premiere Pro, and learn how to use the motion, scale and text tools. In Year 7 students discover the art of scriptwriting through an exploration of interesting stories from their young lives. They then turn this into a self-narrated one-minute video, including pictures, music and moving images that bring the story to life.

Moving into Year 8, students delve into the use of lighting, colour, setting, costume, acting techniques, sound and camera framing to construct a filmed scene. They build on their understanding of how a director uses these elements to add meaning and context to a film to influence the audience’s perception. Students use this knowledge to inform their individual formal written movie review. In small groups, students produce a YouTube style film review segment which requires use of green screen filming in a studio, and editing through Premiere Pro, adding effects and graphics.


Music in Years 7 to 8

Following on from the solid foundations of music learning beginning in Kindergarten, students continue to develop their music literacy skills through making and responding to music. Through the lens of Protest Music, students explore compositions from the recent past including those by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that represent this style. Through a study of music, students develop their awareness of a variety of world issues, including their understanding of what it means to be a responsible global citizen. They develop their own skills and understanding in creating and analysing music that influences and changes the way we view the world. Students also use this information to improve their performance skills working in small groups and as a class, using guitars and ukuleles. In the Year 8 elective Music unit, students investigate music as a unique art form that uses sound and silence as a means of personal expression. They consider the significant role it plays in everyday life, and inspired by their imaginations, and their own, and others, experiences, realise that song writing is a significant and popular way to tell stories. Through a study of repertoire from the past and present, students discover melodic and chordal patterns that are commonly used for popular song writing. They build their skills in music-making and confidence in presentation, communicating their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and stories through song, with students singing and accompanying themselves on the guitar. The culminating activity involved students working collaboratively in small groups to write and perform their own Pop song.


Visual Art in Years 7 to 8

In Year 7 Visual Art, students investigate how an art style affects composition. Examining how different artistic approaches can influence an art piece and how it tells a story, students create a folio of artworks that communicate a motif of their own choice. Applying compositional devices and the creative process, students convey their understanding of their chosen focus and apply their knowledge of art techniques and styles through their artwork.

In the Year 8 elective, students explore the concept of the illusion of depth within the landscape. Using the environment around them as stimulus, students develop a depth of perception using observation and perspective techniques to do several on-sight drawings. A landscape painting is then created using techniques that simulated the natural forms from their chosen stimulus.



In the Senior College, students are able to specialise in the artforms of their choice. Through high quality arts experiences students develop explicit transferrable skills to support their learning across the full suite of subjects.

In the Senior years, all students are engaged with presenting their artworks to a broad audience through exhibitions, film festivals, music performance evenings, drama and dance nights. In addition, student work is celebrated at our weekly College assembly.

With a focus on building confident, capable lifelong learners, arts teachers prioritise engagement, purposeful experiences with the high-quality works of art, emotional openness and honesty, experimentation, exploration and inquiry, and ownership of their learning journey.

Arts teachers are professional artists in their own right and role model artistic processes, inquiry learning and the habits that provide the platform for the pursuit of excellence. Teachers work together with students to create works of art including music and dance performances, plays and dramatic works, visual art pieces and media presentations. They value reflection and evaluation of artistic products and processes, making explicit to students their own learning journey.


Years 9 and 10 Dance

Students continue to mature their Making and Responding skills through a range of interactive activities and examination of dance in musical theatre. Fundamental movement skills including balance, control, coordination, strength and flexibility are developed through explicit warm up procedures, technique exercises and the learning of repertoire. In Year 9, a focus on Ballet and Contemporary Dance allows students to form a greater understanding of the evolution of their art form, while in Year 10, the entertaining world of musical theatre challenges students to expand their skills in collaboration, choreographing and performing for an audience. Students examine the works of Australian Dance Companies such as ‘Bangarra Dance Theatre’ and ‘Expressions Dance Company’ to promote an awareness of the impact of dance within the Australian culture. Students explore Contemporary dance choreographic processes to create expressive and personalised dance works.


Years 9 and 10 Drama

Students begin these years of Drama learning by exploring the key aspects and style of Children’s Theatre. They consider what physical and vocal elements are best suited to this style of performance, with the audience and purpose of performance front of mind. Students transform an existing story into a Children’s Theatre Performance for a Junior College audience. They creatively interpret the text, developing characters to suit the style and context. Following on from this, students consider the importance of tension and comic conventions in a Murder Mystery unit. They are challenged to consider what makes a scene effective and how to write a scene rather than interpreting the work and ideas of others through performance.

Through the context of Physical Theatre students push the boundaries of how physicality can be used to communicate narrative in performance. Following a workshop with ‘Zen Zen Zo’ and ongoing class activities, students develop a clear understanding of the conventions of Physical Theatre. They rehearse and practise their own physical theatre performance of Antigone and are challenged with a performance in large groups. Students display their knowledge and understanding of physical theatre conventions and how these are used in performance to enhance and manipulate tension, mood, focus and narrative. They challenge themselves working with Shakespeare’s classic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students develop a deep understanding of the characters and the story to present this in a convincing and entertaining way.


Years 9 and 10 Media

In the early Senior years, students in Media examine the way conceptual music videos are constructed to complement the mood and meaning of a song. They develop their video editing skills, learning how to apply and manipulate effects and key frames using the professional editing software Premiere Pro. Apply these skills, students write a creative brief, and then produce music videos using sourced and original video footage. They study how journalists research, write, and produce feature news stories for television, including devising interview questions. Students develop their understanding of how to set up three-point lighting, and manual camera operation. In small groups, they write a presenter’s script with questions for their feature news story, reporting on an issue or event at the College.

Following on from this, students examine how advertisers use persuasive techniques to influence the audience to buy products and services which they are marketing. The students use this knowledge to form their individual written analysis of a current advertisement on TV or YouTube. They develop their video editing skills by learning how to use After Effects and producing motion graphics. In pairs, students use these techniques to write and produce a 30 second television commercial. They observe the way live television productions are produced using a range of camera framing, mixing of footage and the format of shows.


Years 9 and 10 Music

In elective Music, students examine the theory behind music and the way that the music elements are represented on a score. They develop their understanding of the intricate way in which harmony and melody must interact to create coherent music. Students have engaged with music applications such as Sibelius and MuseScore to enhance their learning experiences. Additionally, students explore the world of Video Game music. They analyse music composed for video games, from the first video game ‘Pong’ through to the latest games with orchestral accompaniments that respond to individual player choices. Students investigate a variety of game genres and explore how composers manipulate the elements of music to achieve a mood that enhances the experience for the player. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding by composing music for a short segment from a video game.

Through the context of the American Scene, students engage with a variety of repertoire, covering a range of contexts, styles and genres to develop their musicianship. Individually, students demonstrate their skills in performance. In addition, they compose a work for piano in the style of Ragtime. Explicit skills in the art of orchestrating and arranging are developed as students commence work on an arrangement of a song for one of the College’s music ensembles.


Years 9 and 10 Visual Art

In Years 9 and 10 Visual Art, students explore portraiture.  After learning traditional drawing skills, virtual reality techniques and printmaking processes, students choose a technique to further explore and create a portrait composition.  Along with research into how other artists communicate, students create art pieces that inform an audience about what they find inspirational.  They are encouraged to choose styles that inform their individual personal artistic development.

In addition, students examine the world they are a part of looking inward and outward to create art pieces that communicate a sense of who they are and the environment they live in. Along with research into how other artists communicate, students create a mixed media piece that reflects the concept of ‘I Am’ and a digital folio of photographs that examine the idea of differing perspectives. Students take on board influences to inform their own personal artistic style as they look to pursuing Visual Art in Years 11 and 12.

Years 11 and 12 Dance

Dance uses the body as an instrument for expression and communication of ideas. Through a study of Dance at the Senior level, students are provided with opportunities to critically examine and reflect on their world through higher order thinking and movement. Students consider dance from multiple perspectives including as artist and as audience. They will study dance in various genres and styles, embracing a variety of cultural, societal and historical viewpoints integrating new technologies in all facets of the subject. 

Exploring dance through the criteria of making (choreography and performance) and responding requires students to engage in creative and critical thinking. As they create and communicate meaning through dance, they develop aesthetic and kinaesthetic intelligence in addition to personal and social skills. Self-confidence is developed alongside an awareness of, and respect for, the body. The study of this subject increases the quality of personal and physical wellbeing and fosters social inclusion through focused experiences of valued collaborative practice.


Years 11 and 12 Drama

Drama interrogates the human experience by investigating, communicating and embodying stories, experiences, emotions and ideas that reflect the human experience. It allows students to look to the past with curiosity and explore inherited traditions of artistry to inform their own artistic practice and shape their world as global citizens. Through a study of Drama at the Senior level of schooling, students engage in imaginative meaning-making processes and involve themselves with using a range of artistic skills as they make and respond to dramatic works. The range of purposes, contexts and audiences provides students with opportunities to experience, reflect on, understand, communicate, collaborate and appreciate different perspectives of themselves, others and the world in which they live.

Across the two-year course, students will develop a range of interrelated skills that will complement the knowledge and processes needed to create dramatic action and meaning. They will learn about the dramatic languages and how these contribute to the creation, interpretation and critique of dramatic action and meaning for a range of purposes.

The unique learning that takes place in Drama promotes a deeper and more empathetic understanding and appreciation of others and communities. Innovation and creative thinking are at the forefront of this subject, which contributes to equipping students with highly transferable skills that encourage them to imagine future perspectives and possibilities.


Years 11 and 12 Film, Television and New Media

Film, Television & New Media in Years 11 and 12 requires students to develop critical thinking skills and creative capabilities while building media skills and techniques modelled in professional media works. The key concepts of technologies, representations, audiences, institutions and languages are drawn from a range of contemporary media theories and practices and are explored in a range of genres and contexts including Music Videos and Experimental Film. Students will make moving-image media products by individually and collaboratively applying key concepts and responding to moving-image media content and production contexts.

Film, television and new media are our primary sources of information and entertainment. They are important channels for educational and cultural exchange and are fundamental to our self-expression and representation as individuals and as communities. Moving-image media enable us to understand and express ourselves and engage meaningfully in local and global participatory media cultures. Through making and responding to moving-image media products, Year 11 and 12 Film, Television and New Media students will develop a respect for diverse perspectives and a critical awareness of the expressive, functional and creative potential of moving-image media in a diverse range of global contexts.


Years 11 and 12 Music

Music is a unique art form that uses sound and silence as a means of personal expression. It allows for the expression of the intellect, imagination and emotion and the exploration of values. In Senior Music, students will make (perform and compose) and respond to music works both live and virtual. They will engage with each criterion in authentic contexts with regular presentation evenings for them to showcase their work to parents, peers and the broader community. With a world-class Instrumental and Vocal program operating alongside the Classroom program, students can access a range of professionals to support the development and delivery of their work (for example, piano teachers working with students as accompanists, and composition tutors mentoring students when composing their own music works).

In an age of change, Music has the means to prepare students for a future of unimagined possibilities; in Music, students develop highly transferable skills and the capacity for flexible thinking and doing. Senior Music explicitly builds literacy skills considering perspectives as both musician and audience preparing students to engage in a multimodal world.


Year 12 Music Extension

The purpose of Music Extension is to provide challenging and rigorous opportunities for students to realise their potential as composers, musicologists or performers, and to provide the basis for rich, lifelong learning. At Sheldon College, we consider that students with an extended history of music involvement frequently reach a high level of musical sophistication and aspire to specialise. As such, we offer Music Extension across all three specialisations – Performance, Composition and Musicology.

In the Performance specialisation, students realise music works, demonstrating technical skills and understanding. They make decisions about music, interpret music elements and concepts, and express music ideas to realise their performances. In the Composition specialisation, students create new music works. They demonstrate use of music concepts and manipulate music concepts to express meaning and/or emotion to an audience. In the Musicology specialisation, students investigate and analyse music works and ideas. They synthesise analytical information about music, and document sources and references about music to support research. All students, regardless of specialisation, present their music ideas to a live audience.

Entry into the Music Extension course is by interview and follows on from a rigorous audition process. All students who wish to study Music Extension in Year 12 must study the parent subject – Music – in both Years 11 and concurrently with Music Extension in Year 12.


Years 11 and 12 Visual Art

Visual Art in Years 11 and 12 affords students the opportunity to learn and work in state-of-the-art facilities and with a range of professional artists across multiple mediums. Students will construct knowledge and communicate personal interpretations by working as both artist and audience. They use their imagination and creativity to innovatively solve problems and experiment with visual language and expression. On their individual journey of exploration, students will learn to communicate personal thoughts, feelings, ideas, experiences and observations. Through a study of other artists, students will consider meaning, purposes and theoretical approaches when ascribing aesthetic value and challenging ideas. Students interact with artists, artworks, institutions and communities to enrich their experiences and understandings of their own and others’ art practices.

Authentic opportunities to exhibit art works are afforded students who study Visual Art, with Senior College students having their own exhibition in the purpose-built exhibition hall in Artscapes. All Senior College Visual Art classes engage with an artist in residence to complement their classroom learning experiences. Students are encouraged to work toward their own personal aesthetic in the medium of their choice.

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Health and Physical Education

Head of Faculty - Mr Mathew Barling
Head of Faculty - Mr Mathew Barling
Health and Physical Education is a dynamic Key Learning Area in the Queensland curriculum that draws on two very important elements:
  1. Physical Education – demonstrating and applying important physical skills in a diverse range of performance environments
  2. Health Education – recognising, understanding and applying knowledge pertaining to relevant health issues

    In a constantly changing world, the learning priorities inherent in the HPE curriculum have never been more essential.


    Years 7 and 8

    In Year 7, students begin engaging with Health Education units through classroom study. They are exposed to Health and Wellness and come to appreciate how dimensions of health are positively and negatively affected by personal choices. Students practise and develop assertive communication skills, explore the process of decision-making, examine nutritional information panels and critically analyse safety strategies useful in situations involving alcohol and other drugs. In the performance domain, students participate in a variety of physical activities from the invasion and net/court categories developing the essential skills and strategies present. The highlight of the course is a unit on international games, where students develop a greater appreciation of culture through their exploration of a variety of games/sports from other cultures.

    In Year 8, students develop skills in sport and physical activity in areas beyond the role of athlete/participant. They practise planning and organisational skills for designing and implementing warm-up routines, technical practices and conditioning exercises. They learn and refine communication skills through Sport Education, applied through the lens of large ball, invasion sports such as Oz-tag and Basketball, as well as net/court games such as Volleyball. Through a holistic involvement in sport and physical activity, they gain a greater appreciation for the value of fair-play, sportsmanship and teamwork. Personal Health and Development in Year 8 allows students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of important health studies through topics such as Personal Fitness, Sports Nutrition and Drug Education.


    Years 9 and 10

    As part of the Senior College, Year 9 students engage with increasingly complex studies in Personal Health and Development, recognising the individual, inter-personal and community implications for each health issue. Topics such as Mental Health, First Aid, Relationships and Sexuality are taught and assessed through authentic, academic tasks. In the performance domain a variety of categories of sports and physical activities are undertaken with Lifesaving (still-water bronze star/medallion) one of the highlights of the course.

    In Year 10, students complete a course of study that provides a foundation for study in Physical Education in Year 11. Students are introduced to studies of Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Psychology and Sociology through purposeful integration with a diverse range of sports and physical activities.


    Physical Education (Years 11 and 12)

    Physical Education is a General Syllabus subject which is offered as an elective in Years 11 and 12. The syllabus is made up of four units of study, with each theoretical element integrated with a practical undertaking in order to assist students in learning about, through and in movement contexts. Over the two-year course of study, students will engage in a range of physical activities to develop movement sequences and strategies. Through their study of the biophysical, sociocultural and psychological elements of the course, students are able to analyse their performance, appraise relative effectiveness and adjust based on sound data and reasoning. Access to industry professionals in Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Sport Psychology and Coaching greatly enhance the learning experiences that students encounter in this elective.