What do we study at TC?
The answer to this varies from person to person. We have a saying that everything is negotiable, but not all things are permissible.
When a younger students starts at TC, they generally go into an Entry Class comprising around 25 students for their first 12 months. They will spend two thirds of their time together as a learning community working on an integrated curriculum that focuses on practicing and development of genuine independent learning skills, problem solving, active collaboration, leadership, teamwork and presentation skills. We of course continue to meet the requirements of the Victorian Curriculum Framework required by the VRQA. Individuals also choose two subjects from more than 150 electives. Working as part of a smaller entry group is a great opportunity to make friends amongst a smaller group, get to know their way around the school, build their Individualised Learning Plan (ILP) and develop their independent learning skills before moving into the Flexible Learning Environment or FLE as we call it.
Flexible Learning Environment (FLE)
Students in the FLE all have a detailed ILP that sets out a student's intended goals for the next five years. Naturally young people will change their passions and interests over time, and students can modify their ILP at any stage. Students generally select six subjects per semester from the elective grid. They can also choose to combine, music practice, part-time work at the school, time to run their own business or to work on a Personalised Learning Project called the PLP. All ILPs and any significant changes must be approved by parents and a principal to ensure that it represents a realistic and workable plan for the future.
Because we do not have year levels, most classes will contain students who are different ages, but all students have chosen to be there because they want to participate in that subject, so the classroom atmosphere is usually quite focused.
Students are able to undertake VCE studies at any age, provided they have a realistic chance of successful completion and their participation in the class is unlikely to negatively impact on other students. The majority of students at TC will be working towards a VCE qualification, but some will also be working towards a VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) qualification or an Alternative University Entrance Pathway which is far more flexible and largely project based.
Students in their final year at TC are referred to as Graduates and take part in a number of focused programs in addition to the normal subject load to assist them in preparing for life after school.
You get far more control over what you are learning. If you pick a subject and it's not working out for you, you have the opportunity to change it. This really encourages you to take on some tough challenges, because you know if it does become too hard you can change your program and perhaps try again next year. Around 20% of students who would be in year eight in a normal system attempt a VCE subject and 75% of students who would be in year nine are currently studying a VCE subject. Some year seven students even study VCE maths because that is the level that they are working at.