Teaching + Learning



Our programs provide a stimulating and enjoyable learning experience for every student. The atmosphere of enjoyment of learning is central to our core programs and is underpinned by a carefully planned structure of Literacy, Numeracy, Science and Humanities. In addition, the students will experience a range of specialist programs in Technology, Arts, Health and PE and LOTE (Japanese and Spanish) which will assist them in making elective choices in year 9.

The curriculum and structure have been designed to enable teachers, students and parents to develop close and positive relationships with each other. This is because students learn well and teachers teach well when they know each other, respect each other and have the trust and willingness to work together. Our House structure supports individuals to grow socially and academically in a safe and stimulating environment. We also offer a number of educational tours interstate and overseas including visiting our sister school in Japan, Schoolies in Cambodia and Central Australia.


Year 9 at CDSC is an exciting opportunity for students to greater explore their interests and passions by selecting from a range of elective subjects. It is a time when we encourage students to consider their upcoming years of education and possible future careers.

CDSC supports our young people to make informed decisions; setting them up to achieve the most out of their education. This year in Pastoral Care classes, all Year 8 students will research and complete their Career Action Plan then investigate and discuss information relating to Year 9 subjects. Parents are actively encouraged to discuss the elective subjects offered with their child to assist the decision making process.

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Throughout Year 9, students have engaged in careers focused assemblies, the Exploring Options Expo, the Year 9 Careers Fair and numerous learning activities conducted during Pastoral Care that have prepared them to consider options for the following year. The pinnacle of this process is to select specific Year 10 pathways and subjects, with the support of course counselling interviews.

The College aims to provide an enjoyable, relevant, broad and rigorous teaching and learning program that provides both preparation for Year 11 and 12 as well as the training and guidance for future careers. During Year 10, there is an opportunity for students to study a VCE subject or commence a School Based Apprenticeship and Training (SBAT) course.

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It is the goal of Carrum Downs Secondary College that all students have a successful pathway to university, TAFE or full time employment. It is essential that students transitioning to the senior years plan carefully and make informed decisions that enable them to fulfil both academic and personal goals.

In our Senior Program (10-12) most students study the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). We also provide Vocational Education (VET), the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) in a variety of combinations, ensuring that students can achieve their aspirations. We encourage students to have breadth and depth in their programs, to pursue interests and develop talents and to follow a course of study required for their planned pathway.

CDSC is committed to supporting you and your child as they commence the next stage of their career journey. Throughout Year 10, students have engaged in careers focused assemblies, the Exploring Options Expo, the Year 10 Monash Experience Day and numerous learning activities conducted during Pastoral Care that have prepared them to consider options for the following year. The pinnacle of this process is to select specific Year 11 pathways and subjects, with the support of course counselling interviews.


Carrum Downs Secondary College is acknowledged for the quality of relationships between all school community members. A large part of this relationship building is established and developed through the College’s Pastoral Care Program, which is delivered during a weekly 60-minute timetabled lesson.

Throughout our Pastoral Care program students will be involved in activities linking to their wellbeing and future careers. As a College we have a partnership with The Resilience Project which encourages students to focus on gratitude, empathy and mindfulness as a basis for increasing their resilience in every day life.

Activities and learning to assist in mental health benefits will occur during class time and can be applied daily. The curriculum has been specifically designed to develop pro-social skills, careers and pathways understandings and personal wellbeing.

The Pastoral Care Teacher is also a guide, advocate and mentor for students. They work with their group to ensure that all students experience a friendly, safe, supportive and orderly environment in which learning takes place.


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The vision for Carrum Downs Secondary College is one in which all students can utilise and are provided with the necessary ICT tools to be sucessful learners within the 21st century. The use of technology to support student learning needs to be multi-faceted, flexible and adaptive in approach, and the various devices utilised should enable students to have continual access to relevant information and knowledge whenever required, and perform a variety of other functions necessary to support their learning.

All students across the college are strongly encouraged to engage in our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, whereby students can bring their own netbook device to the college, allowing them constant access to our college wireless network, internet, Office 365 software and printing. The program, which began implementation in 2018, will be an opt in program for 2019 and compulsory for all students in 2020 and beyond. There are many benefits to learning for students who bring their own device;

  • Access at all times to our Compass portal through which students can access learning resources, become up to date with daily organisational changes, submit work and liaise with teachers.
  • Access to learning software such as digital textbook and Edrolo (Year 12 only).
  • Capacity to bring the resources and information from the internet into their learning environment at any time.
  • Easy transfer of school work between school and home.
  • Opportunities to collaborate in their learning using ICT resources through an ever developing list of platforms including (but not limited to) Google Docs, Padlet, Kahoot just to name a few.

Greater independence in managing their own learning and better preparedness for either further study or work. To access the BYOD program, students must return the parent consent form and bring their netbook to the school IT office where they will receive connection credentials and instructions. If you are yet to purchase a BYOD, please consider the following options:

  • Purchase a device outright from a retail provider
  • Purchase a second-hand device
  • Lease a device from your current telco provider (or alternative leasing company)
  • Formally applying for assistance for an “extended loan device”

Further information is available from our front office or the IT office.



Students are encouraged to join one or more of the Carrum Downs Secondary College clubs. These clubs meet during lunchtimes or afterschool and provide students the opportunity to pursue a particular interest with other students and teachers with similar interests and skill areas.

Clubs and other Extra-Curricular activities include: Debating, MUNA (Model United Nations Assembly), Interact Club, Year 9 Alpine School, School Aerobics Teams, Production, Wellbeing Programs, Breakfast Club, Student Leadership Projects and Tournament of the Minds.


Carrum Downs Secondary College is part of the Northern Peninsula Division. We take part in School Sport Victoria (SSV) organised sport. These sports take place throughout terms 1, 2 and 3. We run sign-ups during the month leading up to the match day. It is expected that students who sign up will train at the time arranged by the staff member in charge of the team (coach).

A standard match day involves matches against other schools in the local area, most times at external locations using local facilities. Sports include Basketball, Netball, Volleyball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, Badminton, Tennis, Rugby, Softball, Baseball, Cricket, Golf and Table Tennis.


Carrum Downs Secondary College has begun a new internal sporting competition. We are using the Houses as the cornerstone of the program, where students will play for their House and represent them in competition during school hours for 4 weeks.

Sign-ups are run in the week leading up to the competition.



“To celebrate Science Week, CDSC hosted the third Annual Science Fair in Term 3, Friday 17th August 2018. National Science Week celebrated the theme: Game Changers and Change Makers.

Celebrating things such as: the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (genetic engineering, biotechnologies, prosthetics, bionics, genetic modification, brain enhancement and ethics); 40th anniversary of the birth of the first IVF baby (genetic engineering, biotechnology, nanotechnology); International Year of the Reef Each year 7 class participated in the science fair.

Students spent a number of weeks planning, designing, researching and preparing their chosen projects. Competition was tight for some of the houses, with some fantastic projects presented to such a high standard making it hard to pick top three!

We look forward to see science fair grow and the exciting science projects that will be developed next year!”

Ms Fairburn – Teacher 2018



“Year 7 Camp was a blast! It was a good opportunity for everyone to get to know each other and make so many new friends, as well as becoming closer to your old friends by staying up late and having a laugh. We had so much fun doing multiple amazing activities across the three days. The activities were on land and water including: the flying fox, which went so high, possum guide, leap of faith, aero ball and so much more.

We also went canoeing and swam in the dam which was cold but still fun. In the evenings we went on walks and played night games, which we really enjoyed and included; capture the flag, hide and seek and tag. Overall both students and teachers had a great time at camp!”

Aleah, Makayla and Nadia – Students 2018
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“In 2018, students in the College production performed a show, which was quite different to the recent large-scale musicals we have performed in the last few years. While still being an exciting and humorous rock musical, Little Shop of Horrors allowed students to practice and perfect their skills in characterisation and acting, while of course including exciting opportunities for singing and dancing. We had a number of students who had previously not participated in the production join us this year and it as fantastic to see the group work as a team.

Thank you to everyone who was involved this year and contributed to the show’s success and we are excited for another exciting production process in 2019!”

Ms Lakic – Teacher 2018

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“This year was an exciting one for our aerobics teams. Our first year, last year, was a huge success, so we were all ecstatic to see what this year’s competitions would bring. We had two teams again this year, with one on level 1 (Team Royalty) and the other on level 2 (Team Divas).

We trained twice every week for 4 months up until our first competition at School Aerobics. Team Royalty came 5th, just missing the cut-off for the state competition. Team Divas placed 2nd in their level, so they went on to the state competition! We were all so excited for them! We had all become so close, it didn’t matter if we won or lost, we are all just so happy to be competing together and we’re like a family!

Unfortunately, Team Divas didn’t make it to nationals, so we were all sad that we had now finished competing for the year. But then our coach, Brooke (she competed with us last year, and is volunteering to coach us) told us about the FISAF competitions that happen year round, so we still had a chance to compete! We sent two duos and a team performance (Team Extreme) to the FISAF competition, and came back with the duos placing 3rd and 4th, and Team Extreme placing 2nd! This year we were successful in so many ways, not just competing. We made new friends, learnt new skills and made hilarious memories. Let’s hope next year is even better!”

Katie – Student 2018

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All students are encouraged to learn music as an extra curricula activity. Tuition is available in a range of instruments including flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion and drum kit, guitar and bass, violin, double bass, piano and singing. Students who learn an instrument are expected to practise daily and participate in the college music ensembles and band.

Students participating in any musical lessons are invited to become part of the college stage band. There is an after school requirement for rehearsal times.

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“Although I knew very little Japanese (I mean VERY little), this trip was one of the best experiences of my life, and I’ll never forget it. Meeting the group I was about to travel for 2 weeks with was awkward. But by the end of this trip, I’d call everyone amazing friends (Squad assemble!) who I run up and hug every time I see. This trip let us experience a different way of life in the best way possible; living it for a week.

We stayed with the most amazing families who took care of us and did more than we could have ever imagined. My family had four sisters and two parents. I now had to live a week in a foreign country with people who spoke a completely different language. I was incredibly nervous, but when I met them, I knew this was going to be great. I tried heaps of new foods, went to crazy places and made amazing memories. Each night was something new, from origami one night to dancing around the next. My host mum gave me amazing lunches, each day I’d learn a little more Japanese.

My host student and I caught the train and then walked to school every day. When you got school you had to change shoes and put on you name tag on, and you’d go to the homeroom and we’d meet up with our group and tell each other what we did the night before. Each class was something different. There were many clubs, from flower arranging to swimming! We made so many new friends that we still keep in touch with. As you can imagine, our last day with our host families was tough. There were so many tears! We didn’t realise how attached we’d all get, these were our second families!

After an emotional goodbye, it was on to our next stop. From here on we travelled as a group, and we pretty much did all the tourist sites you can think of! We stayed on Miyajima Island, pat and (accidentally) fed some deer and experienced our first traditional Japanese hotel. Then it was on to Kyoto, where we saw beautiful shrines and the golden pavilion. We then caught the train to Shibuya, a place famous for the massive street crossing. Our second last stop was Disneyland! I could go on forever about how much I love Disney and how amazing Disneyland was, there’s no time! Disneyland was amazing! I love Disneyland! On our last full day in Japan we went to the Studio Ghibli museum, which was awesome! You got to explore everything! After that we went to a place called “Kawaii monster café”, and that was just crazy colourful! This experience was amazing, if you get the chance to go 100% take it, even if you don’t know any Japanese. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible, we all loved it and will never forget it!”

Katie – Student 2018



“This year as part of the Spanish curriculum, we attended the Melbourne International Film Festival in the city. Here we learnt about the struggles on ‘The Other Side of the World’, which explored Mexico and its current political situation. This has taught us just how important it is to be aware of other countries realities. Finally, like every year we visited ‘La Bodega de Andres’ a traditional Spanish bar, where we put into practice some of the Spanish we have learnt throughout the year.”

Ms Bennett – Teacher 2018


“This year at Carrum Downs Secondary College students across all year levels have been studying a range of both modern and classic texts, which have provided a basis for skill development around writing comparatively, persuasively, creatively and critically. Students have developed a broader understanding of the world through the study of current issues, as well as the historical context of their class text.

Students have developed an understanding of the problems faced in countries such as Afghanistan, Vietnam, Poland, Australia, America and the Philippines throughout history. There has been an increased focus on vocabulary through the creation of Word Walls that utilise terminology from the class text and those central to the area of study. Through the collaborative creation of the Word Walls and regular interaction with these, students have increased their vocabularies with a range of new and sophisticated words.

Students in Year 7 have undertaken a Spelling Program, studying words at their level and progressing forward at their own rate. Term 4 will see the highlight of the English calendar for the year as the Spelling Bee rapidly approaches. A selection of the top spellers from each class will face off in a battle of the minds, to establish the top Year 7 speller for 2018!”

Ms Cahill – Teacher 2018


“We have been off and running this year – we have SBAT students who are working in the Café Wednesday and Fridays to learn employability skills, as well as our WRS students who are regularly producing food for the Café for sale. We have also had our inaugural year 10 Café class working out in the café to get hands on skills in becoming baristas and developing simple food preparation skills.

We enjoyed our first birthday at the end of term 3 and we are looking forward to creating our tea garden out the back, and a children’s playground out the front. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lisa Floyd for her inspiration and seeing this learning centre come to fruition. Please stop by to see the students at work and a great cuppa…”

Ms Cron – Teacher 2018

“The café is an interactive classroom where students undertake a School Based Apprenticeship Program while connecting to our local community. Hospitality is a growing industry and the Cert III in Hospitality qualification can help our students’ pathway into work in organisations such as cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels.”

Ms Stevens – ES Staff 2018

“Working in the café has helped build my confidence talking to new people and I have enjoyed meeting students from other schools. I enjoy taking orders and my coffee making skills are getting better.”

Ethan – Year 11 Intermediate VCAL 2018

“It’s great to get paid while I learn and I really like interacting with all the customers.”

Jordan – Year 12 Senior VCAL 2018


“It has been a wonderful year in Wood Technology with students at all levels engaged in their work. Year 7’s have made some wonderful mechanical toys, using power tools for perhaps the first time and taking some out of their comfort zone but I am sure this experience will help them in their future projects. Year 9’s have been busy making deck chairs and hopefully they will get some use over the summer period. Year 10’s have been making Adirondack chairs and I’m sure they are taking pride and place at home on a deck or in the back yard or even perhaps in a bedroom somewhere.

My VCAL group have really outdone themselves by raising over $800 dollars from the sale of Adirondack chairs and park benches of which they sold to staff, with the money raised being donated to the farmers rural aid fund. This is something that I am proud to be a part of and I am sure that they are proud of themselves for the amount of effort they have put in.”

Mr Snow – Teacher 2018

“We made these chairs to raise money for Charity. We sold them to the teachers and donated the money to the Fred Hollows Foundation. It was great to get to build something with a group of mates, especially seeing the final product at the end.”

Josh – Year 11 VCAL Student 2018

“Building these chairs helped me work as a team member, we had to meet with the clients that had ordered them and find out what design they wanted. Every teacher wanted something different and actually the product was my favourite part.”

Monal – Year 11 VCAL Student 2018


“This year in Humanities students have been involved in a range of activities at the Village including creating multi-cultural menus, greenhouses, building Viking longboats and longhouses, Polynesian carving and printing, and an investigation of bee colony collapse disorder. In addition, students have attended excursions to Docklands, Elwood Canal, Carrum Beach, The Museum, and The Shrine of Remembrance.

Incursions have included Polynesian Day where students participated in games and activities enjoyed throughout Polynesia and Start Smart a program run by the Commonwealth Bank on financial planning and security.”

Ms Harry – Teacher 2018

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