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 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|
Varied educational experiences are critical for developing independent and thoughtful learners. PLC acknowledges the specific needs of students at Year 9 and has created an exciting and challenging year-long program that encourages students to step outside their comfort zone, expand their horizons and learn new skills. The purpose of this program is to increase independence, create authentic learning experiences outside the classroom, encourage creativity and problem-solving skills and develop resilience. It is undertaken by all Year 9 students.
The program aims to build knowledge and skills in a wide range of areas, complementing the academic curriculum and the area of personal development at this Middle School level.
There are four strands that operate interdependently to mencapsulate the spirit and content of OutLook.
There are four core components of OutLook:
- OutLook.Outdoors: The Outdoor Education program at Year 9 takes place early in Term 1 and is compulsory for all girls. The five-day program is run in conjunction with the Outdoor Education Group (OEG), a company specialising in school outdoor programs, and takes the form of a journey on water and through the bush. Planning and preparation sessions are held for all students prior to the camp. The girls are organised into groups of 10 – 12 from within their form and are self-sufficient, carrying personal and group gear, food and supplies. Skills in leadership, personal growth, initiative, increased independence and responsibility are all outcomes of the camp.
Journal writing also encourages reflection about the experiences and the skills learnt.
- OutLook.Learning: All students undertake OutLook.Learning for one semester. This
course engages students in expanding their horizons. It comprises the following units of study: rights and responsibilities, civics and citizenship, scams and online behaviours, aspects of consumerism, Fair Trade and ethical decision making, and excursions in the local area. Students learn about the governance in local municipalities, particularly the City of Whitehorse and the City of Boroondara.
Independent travel on public transport within the local area gives students the opportunity to explore services and facilities. The students use various research tools to collect data and make informed comments on local issues.
- OutLook.Community Action: Students attend a placement at a local kindergarten, childcare centre, primary school, special school or elderly citizens’ facility, to better understand the concept and practicalities of volunteering. During their visits they undertake an action research project and keep a journal.
- OutLook.City: Students spend five days in the Melbourne CBD, based at The
Scots’ Church. An orientation program is run on the first day to familiarise students with the city environment. The remainder of the week consists of timetabled visits to particular landmarks and locations, together with Self-Initiated Projects, which are pre-planned and give students, working in groups, the freedom to explore an area of interest in the city. Emphasis is on group work, journal-style documentation and increased personal awareness in this challenging and exciting environment. A presentation evening for parents is held after the program.
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 learn more about our International Baccalaureate Diploma.