Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

At Sunbury Downs College, we support our students throughout their educational journey, assisting them in growing into young adults ready to make their mark on the world. To be successful, today’s students need to master a broad range of skills to equip them for an ever-changing world with complex personal, interpersonal and intellectual demands. Sunbury Downs College prides itself on the provision of a relevant, rigorous and engaging curriculum that addresses and exceeds the needs of all of our students and leads to the sequential development of skills that promotes and enhances life-long learning.

Our school offers a broad curriculum which provides students with a strong foundation for further learning. We also offer a vast selection of electives. This allows students to choose the pathway through school that best suits their interests, skills and abilities. At Sunbury Downs College we are pleased to offer Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) as well as Vocational Education and Training (VET), these options give students a breadth of options once they finish their time with us. 

Arts & Technology 

Sunbury Downs College has a diverse Visual Arts and Technology program, offering a wide range of subjects including Art, Visual Communication Design, Media, Studio Art, Food and Technology, Design Technology (Wood and Materials) and Digital Technologies. 

During Year 7 & 8 students engage in a compulsory program, covering all subjects. From Year 9 onwards, students have the option to participate in a Visual Arts and Technology program of their choice. Our Domain philosophy is to engage and inspire innovative and creative thinking where students are supported to become artistic problem solvers and communicators.

The College Gallery is a permanent exhibition space within SDC that exhibits student artwork. The space also provides senior students with the opportunity to collaborate and curate their own exhibition at various times throughout the year.



The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians and is compulsory for all students from Year 7 through to Year 12. English is a practical and exciting subject that includes the study of various types of texts. Students are exposed to both contemporary and classic or traditional literature, films and animation, graphic novels and non-fiction texts such as magazines and newspapers. At Sunbury Downs College we aim to create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to understand, communicate, analyse and build relationships with others and with the world around them. The study of English is built around the Victoria Curriculums three interrelated strands of Language, Literature and Literacy. At Sunbury Downs College students are assisted to develop their critical understanding and control of the English language. English helps equip students for participation in a democratic society and the global community by developing the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) Support Program

Sunbury Downs College warmly welcomes students of all language backgrounds, no matter their level of ability in English.

At enrolment, eligible students are assessed for their English level so that an Individualised Learning Plan can be developed. EAL students are immersed in mainstream English-speaking classes and receive dedicated assistance from their teachers to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills under the EAL Curriculum.

Additionally, students receive individualised assistance from the EAL Coordinator through the after-school support classes. In these sessions, students work collaboratively and independently to develop their skills and confidence with the use of English.

Students qualify for EAL support if;

  1. The student or a primary family adult has a language other than English spoken at home and;
  2. The student’s main language spoken at home is not English and;
  3. The student has been enrolled in an Australian school for more than 7 years.

Health and Physical Education


Health and Physical Education focuses on students enhancing their own and others’ health, safety, wellbeing and physical activity participation in varied and changing contexts. Students develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to strengthen their sense of self, and build and manage satisfying relationships.  The curriculum helps students to be resilient, and to make informed decisions. Integral to Health and Physical Education is the acquisition of movement skills, concepts and strategies to enable students to confidently and competently participate in a range of physical activities and to encourage ongoing participation across their lifespan.

The Health and Physical Education curriculum is organised by two strands: Personal, Social and Community Health, and Movement and Physical Activity. Integrated into the stands are numerous focus areas including.

  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Food and nutrition
  • Health benefits of physical activity
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Relationships and Sexuality
  • Safety
  • Games and Sports

At Sunbury Downs College, Health and Physical Education is compulsory from Years 7-10. In the VCE, students may undertake studies in Physical Education, Health and Human Development and VET Sport and Recreation.  


Humanities is the study of everything related to humankind – how people experience, understand, describe and record the world and their place in it. Through exploration of the humanities we learn how to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask questions. Humanities provides a framework for developing key ideas and concepts that enable us to understand and make sense of the work around us. Through the development and use of research skills and the inquiry process, we learn to question and analyse a range of data and sources to form conclusions supported by evidence.

At Sunbury Downs College students in Years 7-9 undertake a combined Humanities course covering the study of History, Geography, Economics and Business, and Civics and Citizenship, in accordance with the Victorian Curriculum. From Year 10, students are also offered a range of semester-long electives that may be continued through to VCE. These include:

  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Geography
  • Global Politics
  • Legal Studies
  • VET Business
  • Twentieth Century History (VCE)
  • Ancient History (VCE)
  • Outdoor and Environmental Studies
  • VET Outdoor Recreation
  • VET Community Services



Italian is a core subject at Sunbury Downs College at Year 7. Students in Year 8 – 10 have the opportunity to continue this study as an elective subject. Italian is also offered at VCE, where a more intensive study of the Italian language and grammar is offered, using prescribed themes and concepts. Cultural understandings are also promoted through active engagement with a wide range of audio-visual materials such as films, music, short stories, blogs and comics. The course is designed to further extend and consolidate students' knowledge of the Italian language through the mediums of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It also aims to prepare students for further study in the language and to integrate the benefits of bilingualism for career and leisure purposes.



Mathematics provides students with access to important mathematical ideas, knowledge and skills that they will draw on in their personal and work lives. The Victorian curriculum also provides students, as life-long learners, with the basis on which further study and research in mathematics and applications in many other fields are built.

The Victorian Mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • develop useful mathematical and numeracy skills for everyday life, work and as active and critical citizens in a technological world
  • see connections and apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes to pose and solve problems in mathematics and in other disciplines and contexts
  • acquire specialist knowledge and skills in mathematics that provide for further study in the discipline

The curriculum is organised by the three strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.

The proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are fundamental to learning mathematics and working mathematically and are applied across all three strands Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.

Students can develop and demonstrate their understanding of concepts and content in Mathematics using a range of ICT tools.

Performing Arts


Sunbury Downs College provides students with opportunities to develop as confident, reflective and creative performing artists. Through Middle Years Drama classes, students will experiment with and refine their expressive skills, playmaking techniques and knowledge of theatrical conventions and dramatic elements. An important element of our curriculum is the observation and investigation of professional performances and practitioners, hence our students engage with the Performing Arts Industry. Students are provided the opportunity to get involved in co-curricular activities, such as Production, to extend their Arts experience beyond the classroom.

The Music Department at Sunbury Downs College strives to provide students with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and understanding of music, gain performance experience and to maximise their personal and social learning through music. Students are guided by enthusiastic and highly qualified instrumental music specialists. The Instrumental Music Program develops students into independent learners who are guided and supported by our highly experienced instrumental music staff. In Middle Years Music electives, students gain a greater understanding of music through playing, singing, improvising, composing and performing. These experiences will be enhanced by exploring and responding to music through reflection on and discussion of their own and others' performances using musical terminology and concepts. The students will be encouraged to develop their personal style by planning and reflecting on their own and their peers' personal practice and musical progress in the VET Music program. 



We believe Science education should encourage students to seek answers to the questions raised by life experiences. It is with this in mind that the curriculum is developed. Students undergo courses designed to both expand their knowledge of the world around them and give them the tools with which to find their own answers. Science is taught using cross-curricular activities, building upon Numeracy and Literacy skills and applying them to scientific situations. The Victorian Curriculum forms the basis of the content covered in Middle Years. The learning activities are designed to cater for all learning styles, encouraging every student to succeed in preparation for VCE Science and life beyond school.

The Sciences at Later Years are streamed into the different strands of Science. We offer Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science and Psychology. The curriculum is rigorous and engaging. Year 10 Science is designed around the Victorian Curriculum, emphasising the skills and knowledge required for VCE. We also offer General Science at a Year 10 level, this course is designed to engage students in science ‘in the real world’, catered for students whose pathway does not include VCE Science. At Sunbury Downs College, we endeavour to engage all students in extra-curricular activities that personalise the learning experience.


VCAL provides students with practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work. Like the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), VCAL is a recognised senior secondary qualification.

Students who are wishing to partake in the VCAL program are likely to be interested in going on to training at a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institute, starting an apprenticeship, or getting a job after completing school.

VCAL’s flexibility enables you to undertake a study program that suits your interests and learning needs. Fully accredited modules and units are selected for the following four compulsory strands:

  • Literacy and Numeracy Skills
  • Work Related Skills
  • Industry Specific Skills
  • Personal Development Skills.

Students must also undertake a VETis subject and participate in a structured workplace placement.



Sunbury Downs College prides itself on being able to offer students a range of subjects to cater for a wide range of student aspirations. Some of the subjects that are offered to VCE students include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Environmental Science
  • Health and Human Development
  • History
  • Legal Studies
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
    • General and Further Maths
    • Maths Methods
    • Specialist Maths
  • Media
  • Outdoor and Environmental Studies
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Product Design and Technology
  • Studio Art
  • Visual Communication Design

VETiS – Vocational Education & Training in Schools


VETiS programs are designed to expand opportunities and pathways for students and improve educational outcomes in line with the Victorian Government’s objective to increase the number of young people completing Year 12 or equivalent.

VETiS is offered in VCE and VCAL and allows students to include vocational studies within their senior secondary certificate. Students undertake nationally recognised training from either accredited state curriculum or national training packages which may contribute to their VCE and/or VCAL.

At Sunbury Downs College, students have the opportunity to study a range of VETiS Courses at various Certificate levels:

  • VETiS Automotive
  • VETiS Business
  • VETiS Community Services
  • VETiS Music
  • VETiS Outdoor Recreation
  • VETiS Sport & Recreation