English (7 – 12)

Study of English is compulsory for all students Years 7 to 12, and the English score will constitute part of each student’s final Study Score in VCE.

At Years 7 to 10 students study three strands in English: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and they are assessed according to VELS levels. For a number of years now, Monbulk College students have achieved above state average in our Reading results 7 to 10.

In English, students will explore a range of texts including novels, plays, short stories, film, poetry and media texts. English extension classes currently run for those students achieving at a high level, which allows more time for teachers to work one on one with the remaining students.

Skills that students develop in English are the use of correct English, writing with a specific purpose, using language effectively, comprehension, speaking and listening, analysis, imagination and creativity.

At VCE the three Areas of Study are Reading and Responding, Creating and Presenting and Using Language to Persuade. Year 11 is internally assessed and Year 12 has final exams that are externally assessed. Monbulk College has a proud history of achieving at or above the state average study score in English.

The English faculty coordinates a debating program for students 7 to 12, encourages students to participate in writing competitions and we individualise learning by running Literature Circles in Years 7 and 8. A number of our junior students participate in the Premiers Reading Challenge each year.

Literature (10 – 12)

Literature is offered in Years 10 to 12 for students interested in reading and analysing challenging texts.

In Year 10 students experience texts and activities that link to the outcomes in the VCE Study Design. This includes the study of a wide range of genres including poetry, novels, plays, short story, nonfiction, the comparing of film and written texts, criticism of other viewpoints and creative writing.

All students are required to study VCE English at Units 1 & 2 level, and they may opt to study Literature also. At the VCE level Literature outcomes include analysing the views, values and language in a text, analysing how form changes meaning, and evaluating different interpretations. Students are also asked to respond personally and imaginatively to texts.

In Units 3 & 4, students can study Literature or English or both to gain their 3 & 4 sequence in English, which is included in their ATAR score.


Monbulk is dedicated to providing a Mathematics curriculum that promotes excellence at all times.

All students are encouraged to participate in the Australian Mathematics Competition; a written competition which involves students throughout Australasia. Monbulk College has gained excellent results in this competition with students scoring in the 100th percentile or high distinction level every year.

The College is also very proud of its partnership with the CSIRO and the Mathematicians In School’s Program. This national program supports long-term, professional partnerships between practising mathematicians and teachers across Australia.

Mathematics (7 – 10)

Our mighty Monbulk Mathematicians study the following dimensions:

  1. Number
  2. Structure
  3. Measurement, Chance and Data
  4. Space
  5. Working Mathematically

From nets that fold to form a cube with the added dilemma of an average, to equilateral triangles divided into smaller triangles using various ratios, the students apply their mathematical skills with gusto!

The curriculum is differentiated to provide support and extension through a range of activities tailored to the students’ abilities. This may involve completing standard questions, problem solving activities or project work based upon a theme. Students are encouraged to practice their arithmetic skills through the use of Mathletics both at the College and as part of their ongoing homework program. Students complete weekly MathsMate homework sheets along with other tasks to reinforce all dimensions.

As part of this curriculum the College runs the Monbulk Maths Masters. This program is an accelerated and enriched maths course aimed for students who demonstrate high mathematical academic skill beyond the current year level. Students are identified and invited to join the program based upon their academic success in a number of assessed tasks (exterior testing for example).

Advanced Mathematics (10) h5. General Mathematics (VCE) h5. Maths Methods (VCE) h5. Further Mathematics (VCE)


Science prepares students for being scientifically literate citizens with an ability to critically analyse issues in society, technology and the environment.

At Monbulk College Science is taught as a hands-on inquiry based subject. Theory is integrated with practical activities and student-driven investigations.

Monbulk College delivers the Australian Curriculum in Science at Years 7 to 9 in 2012 and for Year 10 in 2013.

Senior students can choose from a VCE studies in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology. They can also undertake VET Horticulture. There is the opportunity for students to do these studies as accelerated studies a year ahead of their peers.

Our brand new Science rooms incorporate two laboratories, an open-learning classroom and are outfitted with state of the art facilities including video conferencing equipment. A significant investment in digital data logging equipment for will provide learning dividends in all Science subjects.

Our Science Staff includes specialist teachers who have contributed to their profession as authors and conference presenters. All VCE Science teachers network with local schools in the Dandenong Ranges and run joint revision sessions for students.

Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences are all studies in Year 7 to 9. Highlights from these year levels include:

Year 7: Separation Challenge, Moonwatch Mission, Great Bean Race, Waterwatch program in association with Melbourne Water and the Forces Toy Design homework project.

Year 8: Bushfires Project, Cells Model Homework Assignment, Environmental Excursion and Digestive System 3D Model.

Year 9: Environmental Monitoring, Forces Wave Machine, organ system dissections, introductory chemistry and atomic structure.

Year 10 is a preparatory year for VCE studies and includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The Arts

Photomedia [inc. Studio Arts] (7 – 10, VCE)

Year 7 & 8

Students explore a range of contemporary and traditional media, materials, equipment and technologies to explore and expand their skills, techniques and processes in photography. They combine and manipulate media to represent and communicate ideas and develop imaginative solutions to set tasks.

Year 9

Students will complete practical exercises in a variety of photographic tasks. Skills in the use of the SLR and digital cameras, photographic processing and printing, darkroom procedures, manipulation in Photoshop and design principles are focused on. This work will be recorded and documented in a workbook. Organization and cooperation with others in class and planning are emphasized.

Written exercises on aspects of photography and photographers will be completed. You will start to develop an understanding of photography as an art form, through the study of varied photographs and photographers. This will take the form of written presentations (short responses, assignments, questions and research tasks.)

Year 10

This unit involves the exploration of a range of traditional and contemporary photographic processes including black and white photography, computer manipulation, digital imaging and digital editing. Students are encouraged to develop personal responses to themes explored. The relationship between art styles and culture is examined. Students are encouraged to develop a critical awareness of their own works and to consider issues of presentation. Individuals may wish to pursue filmmaking.

Visual Communication (7 – 10, VCE)

Year 7

An introduction to the drawing and design techniques used in Visual Communication and Design. Students are involved in creative problem solving using the design elements as the building blocks of good design and are encouraged to develop both manual drawing skills and computer skills using the program, Illustrator. Projects include designing creative letterform, learning how to use technical drawing equipment to draw in perspective, cartooning, sketching and rendering.

Year 8

This unit is a continuation of the introduction to the drawing and design techniques used in Visual Communication and Design. Students are involved in creative problem solving using the design elements and principles as the building blocks of good design and are encouraged to develop both manual drawing skills and computer skills using the programs, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Projects include designing symbols, using grids, creating pattern, drawing in perspective, contour drawing and rendering.

Year 9

This unit emphasises the role of the student as a designer. Designers use conventional drawing to communicate their designs to others and students are introduced to these conventions. Designers define their target audience, do research and follow the design process. Students are involved in creative problem solving using this process and the design elements and principles as the building blocks of good design. Students are encouraged to develop both manual drawing skills and computer skills using the programs, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Year 10

This unit involves the development and application of creative and technical skills. Students will respond to a variety of design briefs, some of which allow the student to develop work along individual areas of interest. Students will also complete a folio of conventional graphics involving the use of paraline and orthogonal drawing systems. A folio of computer-generated work will be produced using the programs Photoshop and Illustrator.

Art (7 – 10, VCE)

Year 7 & 8

Introduction to art and design elements: line, tone, shape, form, colour, texture. Using the elements of art/design and the work of different artists as starting point and inspiration, students will undertake projects in a variety of two and three-dimensional media.

Year 9

Exploring aspects of art and design principles: scale, proportion, balance, movement, repetition, unity – within two and three-dimensional art forms. Students will utilise different styles and periods of art as a basis for research and for their own art making.

Year 10

This unit will undertake to illustrate ways that artists develop ideas for artworks and give students a foundation for expanding their own art practice. Students will explore how artworks can be developed from a number of starting points. They will examine the artworks of selected artists and then undertake their own artworks in a range of media.

Ceramics (7 – 10)

Year 7 & 8

Students learn the properties and limitations of clay, and basic hand building techniques including, pinch, coil, slab, and modelling. Students learn basic technical and decorative techniques (slips, oxides, brushing and dipping glazes) and firing processes. Students are encouraged to use appropriate language/terms to describe the way images/ forms are arranged in artworks. Students will also be required to submit an assignment on contemporary and ancient ceramics. Students acquire skills gradually with each topic enabling them to work progressively more independently.

Year 9

In this Unit, students will extend their ceramic vocabulary, research 4 ceramic artists, learn about the firing processes while designing and creating their own pieces. They will come to understand the elements and principles of 3D ceramic design and gain the skills and techniques needed to produce work they can be proud of. The unit will consist of one major written assignment and a series of practical assessment tasks.

Year 10

The course involves a detailed study of practical skills and their application in both functional and sculptural ceramic and found objects. The technical side of ceramics will involve the study of clay bodies, decorative methods and firing processes. The sculptural component will involve carving, modelling casting and constructing clay with other materials, wood, wire, plaster, resin etc. Students should demonstrate an understanding of the most important overseas influences on the development of Australian ceramics, including artist such as, Pamela Irving, Gaugin, Picasso, and John Persival etc. Students are encouraged to use appropriate language/terms to describe the way forms/images are arranged/ constructed in certain art works.

Students will be required to complete tasks, maintain a thorough workbook of processes and submit a written report.

Drama (7 – 10, VCE)

Monbulk College offers an extensive drama and performing arts program from Years 7-12. Performing in our own Monbulk College Performing Arts Centre (a thrust stage that houses 252 seats), the College stages drama productions for Year 9, 10 and VCE. The college also stages a school wide musical, and a school wide talent quest (Monbulk Idol) on a bi-annual basis.

Starting at Year 7, student study includes:

  • Voice
  • Movement
  • Classical Greek Theatre
  • Mime
  • Parody
  • Satire
  • Slapstick
  • Comedia-Del-Arte
  • Epic Theatre
  • Shakespeare
  • Theatre of the Absurd
  • Script
  • Set Construction
  • Publicity
  • Stage Management
  • Sound
  • Lighting
  • Multimedia in Theatre
  • Costume
  • Make-up
  • Props

In our VCE program, students run their own productions using the full resources of the Monbulk Performing Arts Centre. The program offers fine preparation for those wishing to study performance with an aim to professional work, or those simply wishing to explore personal expression through theatre study.

Graduates of our program have gone on to tertiary study in the theatre as well as work in professional theatre and television. One of our recent graduates, James Mason is currently working on Channel 11’s “Neighbours”.

Bill Ten Eyck, a professional actor for over 20 years, supervises the program. His professional experience includes working with The Australian Opera, The Melbourne Theatre Company, Anthill Theatre and The American Theatre for Actors in New York. His television and film work includes such shows as “Neighbours”, “Mission Impossible”, “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” and “Adam Hills Tonight”.

The goal of our drama program is to provide a rounded, enjoyable learning experience in the performing arts that will benefit all students regardless of their pathways for the future.

Music (7 – 10, VCE)

Year 7

Students are introduced to a wide range of musical activities. Basic music theory is covered with theoretical concepts being reinforced through aural and practical activities. Activities include critical listening and observation, group and solo performances with a look at music of other cultures and styles, along with music writing skills.

Year 8

Students’ knowledge of musical concepts is expanded through a wide range of musical activities. Music theory is covered with theoretical concepts being reinforced through more advanced aural and practical activities. Activities include critical listening and observation along with solo and group performances and a look at music from other cultures and styles.

Year 9

Students will be involved in making, creating and presenting solo and group performances. Focus will be on musical styles, composers and performers from around 1900 until the present time. Theoretical concepts will be reinforced through practical activities. Activities will include rehearsing and performing, improvisation, critical listening and observation, along with music composition and arranging.

Year 10

Students will be involved in making, creating and presenting solo and group performances. Focus will be on musical styles, composers and performers from five main musical eras; Medieval, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century. Theoretical concepts will be reinforced through practical activities. Activities will include rehearsing and performing, improvisation, critical listening and observation, along with music composition and arranging.

Health & PE

The focus in Health and Physical Education across all year levels is on developing knowledge and behaviours that will enhance students’ health, wellbeing, physical fitness and enjoyment of physical activity. In the Health and Physical Education program students in Year 7 to 10 participate in the following core units:

In Health, students undertake studies in each of these areas:

  • Fitness and the Human Body
  • Growth and Development
  • Drug Education
  • Maximising your Health

In Physical Education, students participate in each of the following core units:

  • Personal Fitness Development
  • Athletics and Cross Country
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Netball
  • Cricket
  • Badminton
  • Softball
  • Cricket
  • Soccer
  • Hockey

At selected year levels, recreational and outdoor educational activities are also offered. These activities include:

  • Lawn bowls
  • Social dance
  • Ten pin bowling
  • Orienteering
  • Bushwalking and bush craft skills
  • Swimming and life saving
  • Tennis
  • Golf

At Year 10, students can elect to do Health and PE Unit 1 and 2 offered as semester length courses or the Advance Health and PE unit which is a full year course specialising in swimming, lifesaving, first aid, volunteering and outdoor education. In all of the year 10 units students are introduced to key skills and knowledge linked to the VCE studies of Health and Human Development and Physical Education.


The Humanities Learning Area aims to inform students about the past, the world in which we live, the economy, how we are governed and what our future may hold. It covers the broad areas of History, Geography and Economics. Students develop skills in collecting evidence, inquiry based research and observation.

In the Junior School (Years 7 to 9) all students undertake Humanities studies. During this time students in History undertake investigations of Ancient Civilisations, the Vikings, Life in the Middle Ages and an investigation of the history of Australia including indigenous Australians and white settlement along with their own family history to develop skills in using evidence and analysing source documents. Theme days such as Super Heroes and Medieval Day are part of the Humanities program.

In Geography students learn about endangered species, mapping, tourism, and Antarctica to develop understandings about different environments and how human activity affects them, as well as learning about spatial concepts. In Economics students learn about rules and laws, various forms of government, running political campaigns, voting, effects of economic decisions, and have the opportunity in Year 8 to visit Canberra. This enables them to develop skills in resource allocation, understand the impact of government decisions and about economic sustainability.

In the Senior School (Year 10 to 12) students have the opportunity to select which areas of Humanities they would like to study in more depth. Monbulk College offers students in Year 10 the opportunity to study, American History, Geography or Money, Markets and the Law. At VCE the college offers 20th Century History, Revolutions, Business Management and Legal Studies. Students are able to visit the courts and Barwon Prison.


Language instruction at Monbulk College puts equal importance on inter-cultural awareness of the LOTE speaking communities and rigorous academic progression through the essential skill areas of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of the target language in preparation for the VCAA prescribed VCE LOTE courses.

Monbulk College believes that as the process of globalisation continues and the information revolution picks up speed, foreign language proficiency will become more, rather than less relevant for our future citizens.

The college is fully supportive of the promotion of its LOTE program and see the benefits of learning languages as:

  • encouraging cultural awareness, tolerance and understanding
  • enhancing literacy skills of ALL learners
  • building confidence
  • teaching students to be thinkers and problem-solvers
  • enhancing future job opportunities as well as expanding life opportunities and experiences

Students experience the language and culture of both German and Japanese at year 7, before specializing in their chosen language to the senior years. Monbulk College students enjoy student exchange programs with Sister Schools, Schweriner Sportgymnasium in Germany and Ujiyamada Commercial High School in Japan. Each year a group of students travel to Japan and Germany to experience the language and culture first hand. Learning a second language allows students to develop intercultural and global communication skills. Read more about this year’s trip to Germany.

At Monbulk College, students participate in various target-language competitions. In 2011, Year 9 students (Paige Gray and Jessica Horsburgh) achieved “highly commended” awards for the National Twenty-Eighth Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest (Junior B). In March 2012, Year 10 student, Nicole Davies, was successful in gaining a place in the Immersion Camp, conducted by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) and was funded by the National Asian Languages and Studies in School Program. In May, year 10 student, Jacob Lees, was selected to participate in the DEECD Japanese Student Study Tour. This tour includes studying Japanese at The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute in Kansai, visits to Kyoto and Hiroshima and a home-stay experience in Osaka.

By the end of Year 12, students should have developed an increased competence in communicating in German or Japanese. Objectives for the student are to understand oral interaction by a native speaker, to express ideas orally on topics within her/his experience, to read with comprehension and to write compositions. Students gain an appreciation and increased understanding of foreign cultures.

Parents can play a vital role in their child’s learning of a language. There are many ways to support and encourage students at home in order to further their progress. If any parent or guardian is looking for ideas or advice in this regard, please don’t hesitate to contact the Languages staff at the college.


Technology is an area of teaching and learning that is centred upon the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts and systems in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also focus upon how such mechanisms impact upon society as technology can affect Australian society and its surroundings in a number of ways.

At Monbulk College studies in Technology encompasses Wood, Metal, Food, Systems, Information Technology, Multimedia and Interactive Digital Media.

Metal Technology (7 – 10)

Metal Technology in Year 7 and 8 introduces students to new experiences and equipment. It teaches students to be confident with tools and materials as well as learning to be independent designers and problem solvers. It focuses on the design process, learning sequential construction steps and how metal skills are used in the real world.

Year 9 & 10 emphasizes the engagement in designing, creating and evaluating processes and products using a range of materials as a way of developing creativity and innovation. Students are introduced to more complex processes such as casting and welding. It involves experiential, practical and applied knowledge as well as theoretical understanding. It requires students to be to respond to design briefs, design for clients and consider sustainability. From which solutions are created to show their understanding of the suitability of materials, equipment and processes to produce functional products.

Wood Technology (7 – 10, VCE)

Students at all year levels are offered Wood Technology. Students learn ‘hands on’ skills by using a variety of materials, processes and tools in order to design and make products. Drawing, design and safety in the workshop are important parts of the course. Students are encouraged to think flexibly and use various sources of information to investigate and research a range of factors relevant to design briefs.

Food Technology (7 – 10, VCE)

Food Technology is offered at all year levels. Students study key foods and their properties at all levels, beginning with the production of simple meals at junior levels. At senior levels more elaborate production tasks are attempted in line with the complexities of skills and knowledge required at these levels. The theoretical component of their studies is aligned with these practical activities.

Information Technology (7 – 10)

VET Interactive Digital Media (VCE)

The VCE VET IDM Course is a Certificate III in Media, undertaken in 4 semester length units, across 2 years. It is a VCE VET subject, which means that students attain a Certificate III qualification and also contribution towards their VCE, including their ATAR.

It is a practical, hands on subject that encompasses all areas of Digital Media including animation, graphic design, video and web design. Students become familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite, giving them real world skills that they can apply in any work or education area.

VCE VET Units 1 and 2 core units include participating in occupational health and safety processes, producing and preparing photo images, working effectively in the screen and media industries. Electives may include creating 3D digital models, preparing audio assets, following a design process and producing drawings to represent and communicate the concept.

VCE VET Unit 3 and 4 sequence incorporates core units in preparing video assets, exploring and applying the creative design process to 2D forms, creating visual design component and authoring interactive sequences.


The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a senior secondary qualification that has been designed to increase the pathways for young people in Years 11 and 12. VCAL prepares students for further studies in vocational education and training, and for employment. VCAL provides individual learning programs based on each student’s interests and strengths and is focused on the practical application of work skills.

Who is eligible?

  • Students who wish to pursue a vocational pathway of learning.
  • Students involved in school based apprenticeships or traineeships
  • Students who wish to gain a senior school qualification whilst working and studying at TAFE.
  • Be a ‘Hands On’ learner
  • Students undertaking a TAFE program
  • Selected students with Learning Difficulties

To be successful in VCAL you must demonstrate that you can:

  • Organize time and work commitments
  • Be able to handle the responsibility of School, TAFE and Work all in a week
  • Meet deadlines
  • Travel independently on public transport
  • Accept responsibility for completion of documentation and paper work
  • Work in teams and independently
  • Be prepared to do community work
  • Still be involved in the life of the College

What is in a VCAL Program?

The VCAL contains 4 Strands:

  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Personal Development
  • Industry Specific Skill
  • Work related Skills

Each Strand has 3 Levels:

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Senior

Students are eligible to complete all three levels of VCAL however the staff at the College will suggest the most appropriate starting level.

Other Subjects

We also have the opportunity to study:

  • Recreation
  • CFA
  • Vocational Preparation (elective)
  • Horticulture (elective)


  • No tests or exams
  • Competency based learning
  • Lots of hand on activities
  • Projects to complete
  • Teachers must see demonstration of skills learned in each outcome


At the end of the first Year the students would have had the opportunity to complete:

  • VCAA Foundation VCAL Certificate
  • Red Card (Building & Construction)
  • Working with Children card (Health & Community Services)
  • RSA & Food Handling (Hospitality)
  • First Aid (Level 1 or 2)
  • Vocational Preparation Certificate 1
  • Modules of Attainment in Certificate II Horticulture
  • Modules of Attainment in Certificate II Public Safety (Fire fighting)

Please call Ellen McDonald, Monbulk College VCAL Coordinator, on 9751 9126 if you have any further enquiries.


We offer a huge range of programs that offer extension to students in areas such as Culture and the Arts, Sport, Leadership and Decision Making, Careers and Work Experience, Social Service, Camps and Excursions, and Educational Enhancement. Below are just a few examples.

  • National Competitions in Maths, Science, Chemistry, Geography and Technology. These are multiple choice papers and provide a summary of skills compared to Australia Norms. Students also have the opportunity to compete in ‘Tournament of the Minds’.
  • Music, Dance and Acting skills are all valued in the full scale bi-annual College Musical. Auditions are held during term one. We also have student Art Exhibitions and regular performances at Assemblies.
  • Many local, state and national writing competitions which are all advertised in the Newsletter.
  • Interschool debating for Years 7, 9 and 10. Teams are organised in term one. The Year 9 inter class competition is held later in the year.
  • Watch for “On Your Soapbox” in term one and poetry reading in term two, which are advertised in English classes, in the bulletin and on the Newsletter. Some ‘soapboc’ students go onto the statewide “Rostum Voice of Youth” and Parliament of Youth.
  • Library Trivia Quizzes
  • Host a Japanese or German visitor during the annual exchange visits with our Sister Schools, or even travel to Japan or Germany yourself.
  • There are leadership opportunities avaliable at every level. They include the Student Representative Council, Sports Captains, Technology Captains, Bus Captains, Cross Age Tutoring, Senior Tutoring, Peer Support Program and eventually Collage Captains.
  • Learn an intrument. Join a band or even choir. Take part in the Dandenong Ranges Schools Eisteddfod and the many performance oppurtunities avaliable.
  • Join a club or committee – magazine, readers and reviewers, science club, computer club, chess club, debating, and others such as the many sporting teams (short term and long term)… or even get into student politics with the SRC and even the College Council.
  • Become invovled in the camps and excursions on offer such as the VCE Central Australia Trip (bi-annual), Year 9 outdoor education camps, Year 7 orientation camp, lifesaving camp, and the Year 8 Canberra tour.