Senior School Information

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The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) is a qualification awarded to students who successfully complete their senior secondary education (years 11 and 12) and is designed to give students the skills they need for work and life, whether they aim to study at university, TAFE, get a trade or go straight into employment.

The certificate is based on two stages of achievement -

  • Stage 1 (normally undertaken in Year 11)
  • Stage 2 (Year 12)

The SACE usually takes two years to complete, but may take longer and is a requirement for those students who wish to go on to higher education. Each subject or course successfully completed earns ‘credits’ towards the SACE

  • semester (half year) subject earns 10 credits
  • full year subject earns 20 credits
  • 70 nominal hours of Vocational Education and Training (VET) earns 10 credits


Students must -

  1. Enrol for and attain at least 200 credits of study.
  2. Within the 200 credits, complete the compulsory subjects with a “C” grade or higher
  3. The compulsory subjects are -
    • Stage 1(usually Year 11)
      • Literacy – at least 20 credits from a range of English subjects
      • Numeracy – at least 10 credits from a range of Mathematics subjects
      • Personal Learning Plan (10 credits)
    • Stage 2 (usually Year 12)
      • minimum of three Stage 2 subjects (60 credits at Stage 2). Please note: Competencies from VET Certificate III or higher can be counted as Stage 2 subjects (70 nominal hours of VET training = 10 stage 2 credits)
      • Research Project – (10 credits at Stage 2) Allows students to explore an individual interest area – a scientific study, art project, community-based project, historical investigation, or any number of other options.
    • The remaining 90 credits can be gained from additional Stage 1 or 2 subjects, SACE Board recognised courses or Vocational Education and Training (VET).
    • Community and Self Directed Learning can count towards the SACE

The SACE pattern is illustrated below.

Each subject studied in the SACE has performance standards, which describe five levels of achievement that are reported with the grades A to E at the completion of the subject. The school-based assessments and the external assessment will be marked with reference to the performance standards.


Students who complete the SACE are eligible for university entry, provided they meet certain requirements. (Details are outlined in the University Pathway section). Full details of university and TAFE entry requirements for 2017 onwards will be included in the Tertiary Entrance Booklet 2018, 2019, 2020, to be published in July 2017 by the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre. Go to the SATAC website for more information

TAFE SA courses offered through SATAC have Course Entry Requirements (CAR) which all applicants must meet in order to be eligible for selection. CAR differ according to the level of the TAFE SA course. TAFE also considers a variety of other qualifications in its entry and selection processes.

There are no Course Entry Requirements (CAR) for non-competitive certificate I, II and III level courses.

Admission requirements into competitive certificate I, II and III level courses will vary. Applicants are advised to refer to specific course details at

All higher Level qualifications including certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma will have specified entry requirements. These will vary by course and will be either -

  • Satisfactory completion of SACE Stage 2 (or equivalent)
  • Any certificate III
  • Satisfactory achievement in the TAFE SA Assessment of Basic Skills (TABS)
  • Specific prerequisite subjects or related study.

TAFE SA selection processes for competitive courses are based on merit. The TAFE SA Selection Score is used to rank applicants in order of merit.

To gain a TAFE Selection Score is calculated from the scaled scores of the best 40 stage 2 credits of tertiary admissions subjects (TAS) plus the best outcome from either -

  • The score of a third 20 credit TAS or Recognised Studies. Please note that Community Studies cannot be counted to gain a TAFE selection score.

or any two of the following

  • Half the score of another 20 credit TAS or Recognised Studies
  • The score of a 10 credit TAS or Recognised Studies
  • The score of another 10 credit TAS or Recognised Studies

The TAFE Selection Score is reported to students in the score range 0 - 60.0

TAFE does not use counting restrictions.

For full details visit


The Senior School curriculum offers 2 pathways -

  • University Pathway
  • Vocational Pathway

Each of these pathways allow students to complete the SACE and can be combined as a hybrid course.

The two pathways include supported learning for students as deemed appropriate for the pathway. This may include -

  • University Pathway – University visits and study skill development
  • Vocational Pathway – Workplace learning, career presentations and career counselling. Flexible subject delivery tailored to the individual needs of students.

After extensive information and exploration through the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and Personal Development (PD) students nominate for a pathway – either University or Vocational. Pathway selection is determined by an interview process. Each student is supported in this process by a parent, school “expert”, industry representative (where possible) and their Care Teacher. Selections to the pathway are based on the student’s understanding of the course, their enthusiasm and commitment. Students who are uncertain and considering university as a possible option are encouraged to nominate for the university pathway at Stage 1 (year 11).


The University Pathway is designed to provide students with a knowledge-based curriculum to highlight the many and varied university options available. This pathway is specifically for students who wish to receive an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). Students who select a university pathway in Stage 2 are expected to excel in Stage 1 subjects in order to select Stage 2 Tertiary Admissions Subjects (TAS). Students must consult the University Guides for specific course information. Some courses have pre-requisites and assumed knowledge. There are precluded combinations of subjects and counting restrictions to consider.

To be eligible to receive an ATAR students must complete the SACE and meet the subject requirements as follows -

  • Three 20 credit (full year) TAS (tertiary admitted subjects)

Plus either

  • One other 20 credit (full year) TAS subject (or Recognised Subject equivalent to 20 credits)

Or any two of the following

  • Half the score of a 20 credit TAS subject (or Recognised Subject equivalent to 20 credits)
  • One 10 credit TAS subject (or Recognised Subject equivalent to 10 credits)
  • One other 10 credit TAS subject (or Recognised Subject equivalent to 10 credits)
  • Research project (with a common written assessment)

Please note that Recognised Subjects are those International Baccalaureate, interstate year 12, higher education studies or VET awards deemed by the SACE Board and the universities and TAFE SA as being eligible to be included in the calculation of the ATAR and TAFE SA Selection Score.

In practice it will be recommended that university pathway students enrol in four 20 credit (full year) tertiary admissions subjects and the Research Project with the common written assessment.

Students will have a wide variety of University options. The University of South Australia, The Flinders University, Adelaide University and interstate universities all offer a multitude of courses catering for a wide range of careers.

Students interested in University study are strongly recommended to obtain direct information from SATAC guides and universities, as entry requirements vary. Full details of university and TAFE entry requirements for 2018 onwards will be included in the Tertiary Entrance Booklet 2018, 2019, 2020, to be published in July 2017 by the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre. Go to the SATAC website for more information


General Information

The Vocational Pathway provides students with a broad curriculum which highlights the many and varied post-school options and provides them with skills for work, particularly in the trades industry. It allows students to gain dual accreditation, in both the SACE and an industry recognised qualification, whilst still at school.

This pathway is the most flexible and may suit students who wish to enter TAFE, the Defence Force or employment. Students need to consult the TAFE guides or Defence Force entry requirements for pre-requisites.

Students studying within the Vocational Pathway are able to:

  • achieve SACE and VET qualifications.
    Students can earn up to 150 of the 200 credits required to complete the SACE, through recognised Vocational Education and Training courses. The remaining 50 credits can be completed through subjects with a VET focus but students must complete the Personal Learning Plan, Research Project and Stage 1 literacy and numeracy requirements.
  • meet nationally recognised, competency based assessment standards
  • acquire industry specific skills and knowledge
  • have a tailor-made timetable, designed to maximise and individualise learning
  • work in business or industry
  • make a smooth transition from school to work or further education and training.

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is an integral part of all VET courses. Students experience real workplace conditions and achieve specific outcomes, such as:

  • demonstrating industry knowledge and awareness
  • complying with relevant health and safety requirements
  • identifying specific aspects of industrial relations
  • applying written and oral communication skills
  • interacting appropriately with both staff and clients
  • demonstrating the ability to organise work tasks and manage time efficiently
  • using a variety of equipment in a work place.

A range of VET courses, addressing the major economic, technological and social trends that individuals are likely to face are offered as four broad vocational pathway options. Several other VET courses are available through the region, and students should negotiate individual subject selection packages with the Vocational Pathway Manager.

  • Agricultural & Science
  • Certificate II Conservation and Land Management
  • Certificate III Laboratory Skills
  • Automotive
  • Certificate I Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • Certificate II Automotive Servicing Technology
  • Certificate III Automotive Underbody Technology
  • Construction
  • Certificate I Construction – Plumbing
  • Certificate I Doorways 2 Construction
  • Certificate II Construction
  • Certificate III Doorways 2 Construction + Brick/Block Laying (Partial)
  • Certificate III Doorways 2 Construction + Carpentry (Partial)
  • Certificate III Roof Plumbing (Partial)
  • Electrotechnology
  • Certificate II in Electronics
  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
  • Engineering
  • Certificate II in Engineering Pathways (Working towards)
  • Certificate III in Engineering Pathways
  • Hairdressing & Make Up
  • Certificate I Directions in Hair & Beauty
  • Certificate II Nail Technology
  • Certificate II Retail Cosmetics
  • Certificate II Salon Assistant
  • Certificate III Beauty - Nail Focus (Woking towards)
  • Certificate III Hairdressing Pathways
  • Certificate III Makeup
  • Health & Community Services
  • Certificate II Community Services
  • Certificate II Aged Care
  • Certificate III Aged Care
  • Certificate III Community Services
  • Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Certificate III Health Services Assistance
  • Certificate III Individual Support – Ageing and Disability
  • Hospitality, Tourism & Food Processing
  • Certificate II Food Processing
  • Certificate II Hospitality
  • Certificate II Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)
  • Certificate III Hospitality
  • Certificate III Tourism
  • Information Technology & Business
  • Certificate I Information Technology
  • Certificate II Information Technology
  • Certificate III Business
  • Certificate III Information Technology
  • Certificate III Micro Business
  • Music & Multimedia Industries
  • Certificate I Creative Industries (Music)
  • Certificate II Creative Industries (Media)
  • Certificate II Music
  • Certificate III Game Development Foundations
  • Certificate III Music
  • Sport, Fitness and Recreation
  • Certificate III Fitness
  • Certificate II Outdoor Recreation
  • Certificate II Sport & Recreation
  • Transport Industries
  • Certificate III Driving Operations

Australian School Based Apprenticeships (ASBA)

Students undergoing an ASBA work part-time, attend TAFE part-time and attend school part-time. Some of the TAFE learning can gain SACE accreditation. This needs to be negotiated individually, and students should contact the Vocational Pathway Manager or the Senior School Leader for more information.

General Course Information

Some courses require the purchase of specific equipment such as uniforms or safety equipment. Most courses are off site and transport to and from the venue is the responsibility of the student. Assessment is based on competencies achieved through practical and research assignments. Some courses also assess structured work placement. Completion allows students to gain entry into TAFE courses or enter the workforce with some industry based qualifications. Changing to another course after commencement may incur the full fee for that new course. See Vocational Pathway Manager for confirmation of costs.