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In Years 11 and 12 we teach the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). This is the certificate that the majority of students in Victoria receive on satisfactory completion of their secondary education. VCE provides diverse pathways to further study or training at university or TAFE and to employment.

Each VCE subject is made up of four semester-long units. Units 1 and 2 are usually studied in Year 11 and Units 3 and 4 are usually studied in Year 12. Units 3 and 4 are taken as a sequence.

It is possible for Year 11 students to select a Unit 3 and 4 subject in their first year and for Year 10 students to take a unit half subject (who have demonstrated ability).

To be awarded the VCE, students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 16 units. These units must include three units of English and three sequences of Unit 3 and 4 subjects other than English.

Most students undertake a total of 22 units over 2 years. These include:

  • four units of English (one per semester)
  • six units per semester in Year 11
  • five sequences in Year 12.


We offer a comprehensive range of VCE subjects to our Years 11 and 12 students. Families can view detailed information about all our Year 11 and 12 subjects in the Senior Years Subject Handbook 2024

Accounting Language (Chinese)
Art Language (French)
Biology Language (Greek)
Business Management Language (Italian)
Chemistry Foundation Mathematics
Classical Studies General Mathematics
Computing and Software Development Mathematical Methods
Drama Specialist Mathematics
Economics Media
English Music Performance (Solo and Group)
English as an Additional Language (EAL) Music Investigations
English Language Philosophy
Environmental Science Physical Education
Extended Investigation Physics
Food and Technology Product Design and Technology
Geography Psychology
Global and Australian Politics Studio Art
Health and Human Development Visual Communication and Design
History – Ancient; Revolutions; 20th Century
Legal Studies

Connect Program

In addition to daily check-ins with their Connect tutor and group, students in Years 11 and 12 have a fortnightly Connect lesson focused on developing the skills and dispositions which support success in the Senior Years and as young adults ready to engage with world. Topics covered include mental, physical and social wellbeing, career and tertiary preparedness and independent study skills including exam and revision strategies.

Digital learning

We have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) 1:1 Program where it is compulsory for all students to have a portable digital device (laptop, notebook or tablet) that meets minimum requirements and specifications.

Our digital learning program provides students with the opportunity to be effective digital learners who will become confident, creative and productive in a digital world. We believe that this access to technology helps engage our students in the learning process in new and creative ways, and to become increasingly skilled at using technology to access and present information, solve problems and work collaboratively.

For information on device requirements, see Booklists and digital devices.

Assessment, feedback and reporting

Northcote High School operates a continuous reporting system. In each subject there are School Assessment Coursework (SACs) each semester. Written feedback on achievement in these tasks is provided for students in Teams and One Note  – our hybrid learning system, and grades are visible in Compass for parents.

Ongoing formative assessment and informal feedback is an essential element of our teaching and learning framework. This happens through teacher observations and verbal and written comments in response to learning activities. It involves identifying points of strength and weakness, as well as outlining the next steps in learning for the student.

Learning Behaviour Reports are completed every six weeks in each semester.

End-of-semester reports summarising achievement against the Victorian Curriculum standards are available at the end of Terms 2 and 4, plus the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) external exams at the end of Term 4.

Student-parent-teacher conversations are held at the end of Terms 1 and 3.

See Assessment and reporting for more information.

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

2024 Senior Years Handbook

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