Secondary Curriculum


Pinnacle College’s teaching staff are committed to supporting their students in developing their identity and addressing their specific learning needs as well as facilitating a suitable learning environment that is conducive to learning. We recognise our community and look to support them in social, academic and personal endeavours. Our students are equipped with many necessary skills throughout their time at the campus with an aim of being successful participants and engaged in the Australian community and beyond.


Starting Secondary School from Year 7, students are introduced to the expectations of middle and senior schooling, enabling students to refine abilities necessary to their learning. Small class sizes with a staff of diverse backgrounds and beliefs allow for a holistic approach to their education. Through our Pastoral Care program, and classroom activities, students foster positive relationships and create a support network.


Pinnacle College recognises the need for a curriculum that not only challenges students but is shaped around their future needs. Pinnacle’s curriculum program presents a variety of learning experiences across all subject areas, challenging students to become inquisitive, rational and to make informed choices in their ever-changing environment. More specialised teaching occurs compared to the Primary sector and while this steadily increases throughout the years, it is further refined as students begin their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).
Through streamed and elective subjects, as well as core subjects necessary for academic success, students utilise the school’s Information Communication Technology (ICTs), our 1-to-1 Laptop Program, and a variety of school clubs offered semesterly.


In our quest for academic excellence, students’ tertiary aims are identified from early on and their progress is tracked with the support of career advisors. It is our aim that students not only achieve success in their lives and careers but also contribute to a more open, tolerant and ethical global community.




The Senior Years curriculum at Pinnacle College is delivered through SACE. The SACE is an internationally recognised qualification that paves the way for young people to move from school to work or further training and study.


The qualification will help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed – whether they are headed for further education and training, university, an apprenticeship or straight into the workforce. The certificate is based on two stages of achievement: Stage 1 and Stage 2. While there are some subjects at Stage 2 that can only be taken if a student has completed the equivalent Stage 1 subject, there are others that a student can study at Stage 2 for the first time. This is useful if a student changes tertiary or career aspirations during Year 11.


The College offers a variety of subjects at Stage 1 and 2 and aims to cater for the needs of all students when selecting their combination of subjects. Work experience, a careers expo and an extensive course counselling process involving parents, staff and students ensure that each individual student’s academic and career aspirations are explored so his/her future pathway is based upon an informed choice. The school provides multiple pathways for students and caters for individual needs including university, Technical and Further Education (TAFE), and vocational programs.


Below is a list of subjects offered at Stage 1 and 2:


English as an Additional Language (EAL)
General Mathematics
Mathematical Methods
Mathematical Applications
Child Studies
Business and Enterprise
Arabic (Continuers)
Personal Learning Plan (PLP)
Research Practices
Research Project






The study of Chemistry offers students opportunities to consider the use that human beings make of the planet’s resources and the impact of human activities on the environment. It will also help students to develop an understanding of the physical world that enables them to be questioning, reflective, and critical thinkers. As a way of knowing, students can use chemistry to explore and explain their experiences of phenomena around them.



Students learn about the cellular structures and functions of a range of organisms. They have the opportunity to engage with the work of biologists and to join and initiate debates about how biology impacts on their lives, society, and the environment.

Students design, conduct, and gather evidence from their biological investigations. As they explore a range of relevant issues, students recognise that the body of biological knowledge is constantly changing and increasing through the application of new ideas and technologies.


Child Studies

Students explore child development from birth to eight years of age, investigating issues related to the growth, health, and well-being of children. They examine the diverse range of values and beliefs about childhood and the care of children, the nature of contemporary families and the changing roles of children in a contemporary consumer society. Students complete a number of practical tasks individually and in groups.



This course focuses on developing communication skills in Arabic (speaking, listening, reading & writing), developing an understanding of language as a system and enhancing intercultural understanding. Within the set Perspectives, Themes and Topics, students are given an opportunity to improve their communication skills and their understanding of the Arabic language and culture. They are assessed through a series of required summative tasks as outlined in the Curriculum Statement.


PLP – Year 10

The first SACE-assessed subject students partake in, the Personal Learning Plan allows students to explore themselves as learners through a variety of activities. Setting realistic goals, learning of the work industry, creating a resume and developing interview strategies are all part of a folio which will guide students towards their chosen career while also learning the expectations of an employee in the 21st century. Students will conclude the unit with a work placement in an outside environment, organised by themselves with the support of Pinnacle College staff.


English – Year 11 (‘Stage 1 English’)

Students studying English at Stage 1 do so with an aim of completing English Communications at Stage 2 (‘Stage 2 English’ for 2017). Assessments are scaffolded to support their achievements in the following year and allow some variety for students to pursue their interests while meeting the standards. Students review a variety of texts including novels, films, and scripts in order to demonstrate the ability to analyse, create and synthesise information, at times dealing with more than one text. Pinnacle College students refine their writing abilities, focusing on presenting the purpose of the task, in order to analyse and define the author’s use of language and form to deliver information to their intended audience.


English Communications – Year 12 (‘Stage 2 English’)

English Communications challenges students to demonstrate their literacy skills across 9 assessments, ranging from analytical tasks to the creation of tasks based on learned skills. While having practised skills in the previous year, students will effectively present literacy techniques in a communication study of their choice, based on one of eight options. Students will be guided to a choice that allows them to express academic proficiency. Rather than an exam, students complete a Folio at the end of the year; the Folio contains two components, one based on text analysis, one on the production of a text.

Business and Enterprise – Stage 1 

Stage 1 Business and Enterprise introduces students to the world of business. Students develop their communication and analytical skills by studying individuals, businesses, communities, and organisations. A range of topics is studied in Stage 1 including Establishing a Business, Business Management and Communication, Technology, Marketing, and Globalisation. In each of these topics, students are able to apply their content knowledge to real-world situations. Students who choose to study Business and Enterprise at Stage 1 are able to strengthen they’re written, spoken, analytical and technological skills by creating business plans, investigating successful businesses and designing marketing strategies.


Business and Enterprise – Stage 2 

Stage 2 Business and Enterprise gives students the opportunity to strengthen their analytical skills by applying business concepts to real world situations, assess current business trends and evaluate economic implications and consequences of business. Students study a core topic, The Business Environment, where they gain a solid understanding of the legal aspects of the business environment. People, Business, and Work and Business Marketing are the two option topics studied. These topics give students a thorough working knowledge of human resources and product marketing. Students who choose to study Business and Enterprise at Stage 2 utilise their theoretical business knowledge by applying it to real-world business scenarios.


English as an Additional Language – Stage 1 

Stage 1 English as an Additional Language is a 10-credit subject. The course allows students who learned English as a second language or additional dialect to develop core English skills through the exploration of a variety of contexts. Each unit allows students to use skills and strategies in communication, comprehension, language, and text analysis and creating texts. Tasks take the form of oral, written or multimodal, enabling students to develop an understanding of text structures and language features. Students broaden their understanding of sociocultural and sociolinguistic aspects of English through their study of texts and language. Through this course, students also develop skills for research and academic study.


English as a Second Language – Stage 2 

Stage 2 English as a Second Language is a 20-credit subject. English as a Second Language students needs to develop competence in making choices in English that are accurate and appropriate for a range of texts and contexts. Contexts become more formal and academic as students progress from Stage 1 to Stage 2. The subject outline for English as a Second Language is based on an understanding of the importance of considering language in a broad cultural context and in a more specific situational context. English as a Second Language supports the development of students’ language as they use different configurations of field, tenor, and mode. Students develop the ability to reflect critically as they make choices in language when engaging with a wide range of texts, issues, and perspectives.


Research Project – Stage 2 

Stage 2 Research Project is a compulsory 10-credit subject taught to students in Year 11. Students must achieve a C- grade or higher to complete the subject successfully and gain their SACE. All students are required to design a question that is based on an area of interest to them and they are required to explore and develop one or more capabilities in the context of their research. By completing the three components of the Research Project; the Folio, Outcome, and Evaluation, students are able to develop crucial skills essential for learning outside of the school context including further education, training and work. Students develop vital planning, research, synthesis, evaluation, and project management skills. Additionally, they explore their ability to question sources of information, make effective decisions, evaluate their own progress, be innovative, and solve problems.


Research Practices – Stage 1 

Stage 1 Research Practices is a 10-credit subject. It precedes Stage 2 Research Project and equips students with crucial skills and understanding to complete this subject. Completing this subject provides students with the opportunity to: a) examine the purpose of research, b) explore a range of research approaches and c) develop their investigation and inquiry skills. Additionally, through the exploration of research practices, students are able to develop skills in undertaking research, such as planning their research, developing and analysing their data, and presenting their research findings.



Stage 1 Mathematics develops an increasingly complex and sophisticated understanding of calculus, statistics, mathematical arguments and proofs, and using mathematical models. It provides the foundation for further study in mathematics in Stage 2 Mathematical Methods and Stage 2 Specialist Mathematics.


Stage 2 Mathematical Methods can lead to tertiary studies of economics, computer sciences, and the sciences. It prepares students for courses and careers that may involve the use of statistics, such as health or social sciences.


Stage 2 Specialist Mathematics can be a pathway to mathematical sciences, engineering, space science, and laser physics. Specialist Mathematics is designed to be studied in conjunction with Mathematical Methods.


General Mathematics

Stage 1 General Mathematics may be studied as a 10-credit or a 20-credit subject.


Students extend their mathematical skills in ways that apply to practical problem solving and mathematical modelling in everyday contexts. A problem-based approach is integral to the development of mathematical skills and the associated key ideas on this subject.


Topics studied cover a range of applications of mathematics, including personal financial management, measurement and trigonometry, the statistical investigation process, modeling using linear functions, and discrete modeling using networks and matrices. In this subject, there is an emphasis on consolidating students’ computational and algebraic skills and expanding their ability to reason and analyse mathematically.


Students who successfully complete Stage 1 General Mathematics will have fulfilled the numeracy requirement of the SACE. Although, the college strongly suggests that students who study a full year continue onto Stage 2 General Mathematics.