Skip to Content
Not for ourselves alone

Curriculum 2020

Senior School Planning and Pathways


Senior students choose subjects and courses to prepare for success in the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) and for life beyond school. Each student’s program should develop their abilities and interests and take into account their preferences for how and where they best learn. Students are able to build the experience and qualifications they need for further education, training, or to enter their chosen careers.

Mount Barker High School students access a wide range of subjects, and education and training options including:

  • Subjects offered within the school or through the Adelaide Hills Vocational College
  • Flexible programs that combine subjects delivered within the school with Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses  through Adelaide Hills Student Pathways (AHSPS)
  • Flexible programs that combine education, training and work with school subjects and Australian School-Based Apprenticeships or Traineeships
  • Community based learning options tailored to meet the needs of individual students


Mount Barker High School Subjects
Mount Barker High School Senior School subjects are described in this Curriculum Guide.  A number of these subjects offer students the opportunity to complete certificate level qualifications within the subject.  These opportunities are described as part of the subject descriptions.

The Adelaide Hills Vocational College
The Adelaide Hills Vocational College is part of Mount Barker High School and is located on the Mount Barker TAFE campus.  Students enrolled in the College complete the SACE through programs that are adapted to meet individual student needs.

Regional VET Courses

Mount Barker High School is a member of an Adelaide Hills schools cluster, named Adelaide Hills Student Pathways (AHSPS), which organises Regional VET courses for Adelaide Hills students. Students are provided with information about these courses during Term 3 and Term 4. Students who enrol in VET courses through organisations other than Adelaide Hills Student Pathways are required to pay up to 100% of the course costs.

Trade School for the Future: Australian School-based Apprenticeships

Australian School-Based Apprenticeships are organised for Mount Barker High School students through Trade Schools for the Future. Students gain vocational and technical qualifications while completing their school studies. Students involved in this program are able to finish Years 11 and 12 while they undertake an apprenticeship. School-Based Apprentices are paid training or apprentice wages for the time spent 'on-the-job' with an employer and are covered by a training contract which links to an industrial award or agreement.

Students wishing to enrol in a Regional VET course or organise an Australian School-Based Apprenticeship should contact the VET and Employment Coordinator. Information about courses and School-Based Apprenticeships is available on the Adelaide Hills Student Pathways website

Advice to students when making decisions

When making decisions about their Senior School program, students could consider:

  • What are my goals, attributes and aspirations?
  • What knowledge, skills and abilities do I need to achieve my personal goals?
  • What qualifications and career areas am I aiming for? For example, do I want to go to University, to TAFE or to some other form of training?
  • What subjects do I need to gain the background knowledge and skills necessary to prepare me for Year 12 subjects, or for University or TAFE study?
  • Are any subjects required as prerequisites or assumed knowledge for University courses?
  • What subjects or courses do I need to help me achieve these goals?
  • How do I learn best and what subjects and courses are available both inside and outside of school that can help me learn in these ways?
  • How successful have I been in the subjects I studied this year?
  • what would I like or need to continue with?

Students should discuss choices with their families. Teachers and friends may also help due to their knowledge of particular occupations, their awareness of each student’s abilities and chances of success in particular areas.

Whatever subjects are chosen, students need to make the best use of their time, both in school and at home. It is each student’s responsibility to seek assistance and support with general study problems, career information, and progress in their subjects. If students are unsure about any of these areas then they should ask for help from Care Group teachers, Subject teachers, Wellbeing Coaches and Sub-School Leaders.

Students planning to commence employment
The Government currently requires students to remain enrolled in school until they are 17 years of age, unless they have entered a full time training course, or gain employment that is contracted for at least 25 hours of work each week.

The school usually advises students to remain enrolled in school until they have completed the SACE, or have entered training or a course that provides an equivalent level qualification.

Students who are planning to commence employment when they have completed Year 12 should consider:

  • The choice of a career as a continuing process rather than being a once only decision
  •  Choosing employment with a significant training component
  •  Looking at a range of jobs
  •  The time it may take to find useful work and how to make the most of this    time
  •  The advantages of further study
  •  How to plan a career despite uncertain job opportunities
  •  How technological, economic and social changes may affect career planning
  •  The possibility that no employment outlet matches the student’s particular interest