Strong Foundations — Amazing Futures
In a rapidly changing, information-rich world, students need to acquire the capacity to be discerning learners: to absorb, question, challenge and reflect upon what they learn, and to appreciate the differences between information, knowledge and wisdom. We therefore encourage students to develop productive habits of mind so that they can think independently, be courageous in their consideration of new ideas and be capable of reaching beyond the set curriculum to the world outside the classroom.
Our academic results speak for themselves. In 2018, of the 161 girls who completed the VCE or International Baccalaureate, 8 girls achieved an ATAR of 99.95; 75.2% achieved an ATAR of 90+, placing them in the top 10% of the country; 52.8% achieved an ATAR of 95+; and 13% achieved an ATAR of 99+, placing them in the top 1% of the country. You can view the full results here.
Our experience has shown that PLC’s outstanding results are achieved through the pursuit of a broad and balanced program of curricular and co-curricular activities. Students are encouraged and expected to pursue their personal interests and to develop a range of abilities. Students who achieve the highest results are invariably enthusiastically involved in activities beyond their academic program – sport, music, dance, theatre, craft, community service and outdoor pursuits.
With the support and encouragement of staff, peers and parents, PLC girls flourish academically and personally in a learning community that is diverse, challenging, celebratory and life-affirming.
Camps in the Senior School
PLC's Outdoor Education program is designed to introduce our students to the outdoors and a degree of physical challenge. It aims to open their eyes to the wonder and beauty of Australia’s natural environment through many exciting activities.
Our carefully tailored, sequential Outdoor Education Program links closely with the curriculum from Year 7 to Year 11, seeking to broaden students’ horizons beyond the classroom.
By encouraging participation and a “have a go” attitude, our Outdoor Education program helps girls develop a strong sense of self and to be confident in the natural environment.
Years 7 and 8
Years 7 and 8 are important transitional years for students as they begin their Senior School journey at PLC and lay the foundations for future learning and personal growth.
We aim to instil in our students a strong sense of independence, confidence and resilience, as they learn to explore a wide range of opportunities during this key developmental stage.
As they progress through to Year 8 and beyond, we encourage students to continually strengthen their core skills of literacy and numeracy as well as their creativity and critical thinking skills. We also empower them to speak up, to discuss their own needs and those of others, as well as considering the important local and world issues that affect us all.
Teaching staff support the girls and encourage them to forge a strong sense of self.
|Year 7||Year 8||Choice of Two Languages|
|Christian Studies||Christian Studies||Chinese|
|Digital Technologies||Digital Technologies||French|
|Health and Physical Education||Health and Physical Education||Japanese|
The co-curricular program is varied and exciting with more than 20 offerings, including service, public speaking, excursions, leadership opportunities and our Year 7 and 8 camps, which are always a highlight for students.
Many House events are held throughout the year, including House Concerts, Sports, Debating, Aerobics and Swimming. All of these are designed to help girls build friendships, work as a team and make life-long connections as they start their Senior School journey.
Year 9 is a year of self-discovery in an academic and personal sense. Core subjects are maintained, together with at least one language, whilst the introduction of electives allows for a broader choice of subjects which encourages girls to pursue areas of interest.
Year 9 is an opportunity to try new subjects, experience extra curricular activities and engage with the OutLook.9 program.
|Core Subjects||Elective Subjects||Additional Electives||Choice of One Language|
|Christian Studies||Art||Advanced Computing and Movies||Chinese|
|Health and Physical Education||Drama||Commerce: Money Matters||Indonesian|
|Mathematics||Music in Multimedia||EAL||Latin|
|OutLook.9||Music Performance||Food For Life|
|Science||Textiles and Fashion Design||French|
|Nature of Australia|
Understanding that girls in Year 9 have unique developmental needs, OutLook.9 was devised to respond to these important needs. It is a special learning adventure program that enables girls to explore the Victorian bushland, PLC’s wider local community and the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.
The program also helps girls step outside their comfort zones, expanding their horizons in different environments to enhance their creativity and problem-solving skills while developing a strong sense of independence, confidence and resilience.
There are five core components of OutLook.9:
- OutLook.Outdoors: A five-day outdoor adventure at Lake Eildon in Term 1 sees students plan and prepare for their wilderness experience before they carry all their food, clothing and gear by canoe, sea kayak and on foot. Traversing a range of water and land activities with a different base camp each night, the girls develop strong bonds, discover personal strengths, conquer challenges and gain a new “OutLook” on themselves and the world around them.
- OutLook.Learning: In either semester 1 or 2, students explore a range of topics designed to raise their awareness of the broader community and personal development issues such as civics and citizenship, money management, consumer insights, mobile phone plans, scams and more.
- OutLook.Local: In groups of six, girls are encouraged to be active and engaged members of their local community, the City of Whitehorse. Students explore key locations and local businesses and learn how to use public transport to discover new environments. At the end of the week, students present their findings to their class.
- OutLook.Community Action: Term 2 sees the girls undertake placements at local organisations such as kindergartens, child care centres, aged care facilities and neighbouring primary schools. Once again, they travel independently and present their experiences back to the class.
- OutLook.City: The program culminates in Term 4 when, after a week of on-campus preparation and planning, the classroom is transported to the bustling heart of Melbourne for five days at the Scots’ Church Hall. It’s here that students are introduced to the City of Melbourne through an orientation program that leads them to significant locations such as the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance. In groups of six, girls develop their own cross-curricular city project or self-initiated project (SIP) under the guidance of their teacher mentor, before presenting their outcomes to parents and the rest of their cohort at a special presentation evening.
Year 10 is a dynamic and exciting year for PLC students. It is here they continue to mature and take on greater responsibility for themselves and those around them.
Outside the classroom girls have the opportunity to participate in new sports, join clubs, work in the SILK (Service, Initiative, Leadership and Knowledge) program, become involved in Social Action, participate in Bright Stars and many other programs whilst at the same time preparing to choose either the VCE or IB for Years 11 and 12.
Year 10 students have their choice of Year 10 camp with a range of exciting activities and locations on offer.
|Core Subjects||Elective Subjects||Choice of One Language|
|English||Business Information and Technology Systems||French|
|Health and Physical Education||Classical Studies||Indonesian|
|Medical Mysteries and Marvels|
|Textiles and Fashion Design|
|World Food Traveller|
Year 10 - Bright Stars program
The Year 10 Bright Stars Program assists girls in their transition to the senior years at PLC. Through a series of carefully considered and planned activities, the Bright Stars program aims to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to support their long-term personal health and wellbeing, and maximise their academic potential.
Early in Year 10 a specially designed Bright Stars day provides girls the opportunity to be inspired by motivational speakers and engage in a number of activities such as mindfulness, physical activity, self defence and personal wellbeing.
During the evening, a guest speaker explores the importance of sleep for a young person’s learning and wellbeing, outlining practical tips on how to improve sleep hygiene.
There are also two Year 10 Careers Day that focus on job skills and give girls practical advice and tips for:
- Looking for work
- Writing a resumé
- Calling and speaking with potential employers
- Preparing for and undertaking job interviews
The workshop outlines employee rights and responsibilities in the workplace and includes a one-to-one interview role-play exercise.
Year 10 - SILK program
The SILK Program (Service, Initiative, Leadership and Knowledge) is a core component of the Year 10 curriculum and is closely linked to PLC’s Personal Development Program. It aims to put into individual practice the College’s philosophy of “leadership through service”.
The program celebrates diversity and originality and asks students to nominate an area of school life to which they would like to contribute. Limited only by the girls’ imagination, popular recent examples include being a Year 7 camp leader, helping backstage at a theatre production and editing a House magazine.
Years 11 and 12
As a large school with outstanding resources and excellent teachers, PLC offers both alternatives, and within each of these courses, a broad range of subject choices. Students are individually guided and supported in their decision-making about which course and which subjects will suit them best.
The VCE Curriculum
|Subjects||Offered Year 11 Units 1/2||Offered Year 11 Units 3/4||Offered Year 12 Units 3/4|
|Health and Human Development||YES||YES||YES|
|History: 20th Century: Europe - Unit 1||YES|
|History: 20th Century: Cold War - Unit 2||YES|
|LOTE: Chinese Second Language||YES||YES||YES|
|LOTE: Chinese Second Language Advanced||YES||YES||YES|
|LOTE: Indonesian Second Language||YES||YES|
|LOTE: Japanese Second Language||YES||YES|
|Studio Arts (Multimedia)||YES||YES|
* whilst every effort is made to provide for a student's first choice of subjects, a student may be asked to make a second choice if there are too few students wishing to study a subject or there is a timetable clash.
Year 11 leadership camp
The Year 11 Leadership Camp is a compulsory part of the curriculum. The two-and-a-half-day camp focuses on leadership skills, with workshops and lectures covering teamwork exercises and personal development activities. These aim to:
- Provide opportunities for the cohort to participate in activities together and to foster teamwork
- Provide guidance and skills to prepare students for their final year of school
- Foster leadership skills that will help girls take on positions of responsibility in Year 12
- Offer a winter outdoor experience for all girls
PLC's gifted and extension program
Gifted students need a qualitatively differentiated curriculum to create high-level intellectual engagement, implementing the best of theory and research. The PLC Gifted and Extension Program creates a pathway for highly able and gifted girls to develop their abilities and interests in a stimulating and supportive environment.
A key challenge for secondary schools in the fast-paced digital age, where knowledge is continually being transformed and redefined, is to meet gifted students’ intellectual, creative and emotional needs with a challenging and meaningful program.
By collaborating with others in solving problems and mastering challenging tasks, gifted students acquire skills which prepare them to deal with the many unscripted problems they will encounter in future years.
Across various disciplines, in groups or through research projects, students experience first-hand how expert mentors and teachers examine, explore and possibly solve intellectual, creative and practical problems.
Examples of extension-based programs:
- Junior “gifted and talented” conference
- Creative and critical thinking – problem-solving
- Da Vinci Decathlon
- Community of inquiry – “ethics trail”
- Infinity mathematics seminar
- Encryption mathematics seminar
- “Breakfast for the brain” series
- Boroondara gifted cluster workshops
- Music composition workshops
- “Knowledge and culture” seminars
- PLC maths problem-solving
- Victorian Philosothon
- British Parliamentary debating
- PLC/University mentoring program
- United Nations Youth Assembly: Rotary MUNA
- Ethics Olympiad
- Mentoring work experience with Deakin University
- Cellular and molecular biology
- Art mentoring
- Writing and publishing seminars/workshops
- History and psychology seminar
- Socratic dialogues
- “Gifted and talented” conference
- Norman Smith Scholarship competition
- National Youth Science Forum
- Australian Computational Linguistics Olympiad (OZCLO)
- Personal portfolio – school/tertiary pathways
- Personal statements – university entry and scholarship applications
- Year 11/Junior School mentoring program
- Colloquia seminars
The International Baccalaureate
The IB Diploma enables students to study at Australian universities and is also valued by overseas universities as a matriculation qualification. PLC students who have gained their IB Diploma have subsequently enrolled at a variety of prestigious international universities, including Oxford and Cambridge in England, and Ivy League universities in the United States such as Yale.
Click here to view our International Baccalaureate Diploma.