Senior School – Frequently Asked Questions
To assist you in making a decision about your child’s education, we have compiled a list of questions frequently asked by our prospective families.
You can also download a PDF of these FAQs.
If you have further queries which are not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Admissions team:
3. What kind of subjects are available to Senior School students?
4. What languages are offered at Carey?
5. Carey is a Baptist school, does that mean my child is required to partake in a religious subject?
6. Do the students need to attend Chapel?
7. Does the school offer VET subjects?
8. Do you offer a University Extension program?
9. What is the breakdown between students that select IB vs the VCE program?
10. Can students change streams between IB/VCE? How will they know which stream to choose?
11. Can my child take a VCE subject in Year 10?
12. Can you do music subjects in VCE/IB?
17. Do you have a sports campus?
18. Carey is part of the APS/AGSV association, what does this mean? Do boys and girls compete in sport together?
19. Is APS/AGSV compulsory for Senior School students?
20. When does APS/AGSV training and competition take place?
Learning support and pastoral care
25. What is the entry process at Senior School?
26. What and how many scholarships are available for Senior School entry?
27. Do you provide assistance if my child would like to apply for Universities overseas?\
28. Are there opportunities for leadership in Senior School?
29. What is available to parents wanting to get involved within the School community?
30. When is the library open?
31. Do most students take public transport? What access is available to the school?
The number of classes in Senior School are based on subject selections and classes are organised by elective groups so class sizes may vary – typically anything from 16 through to 26 students per class depending on the subject and year level. There can be around 250 to 300 students in each Year 10, 11 and 12 cohort.
Our Admissions team enrol to maintain as close to an even gender balance across all school sections.
However, Carey does not enforce gender balance on a class-to-class basis. The gender make up in electives is often based on interest levels. We do not impose gender requirements on each class but ensure that the overall school numbers maintain a healthy balance of boys and girls across each year level.
There are many subjects to choose from. You can find this information and more on the Carey Pathways site. All Year 10 students undertake a number of core subjects, and are able to choose from a broad range of Semester Electives and Year-Long Electives. Year 11 and 12 students will then choose their own subjects within the IB/VCE program.
Senior School students have the option to continue their study of Chinese (Mandarin), French, or Indonesian in Year 10. Students can also continue their study of these languages in IB and VCE in Years 11 and 12. Spanish ab initio is available as a beginner second language in IB. Chinese is available for first language students in Senior School.
Other languages may also be available on a tutorial basis (IB) with external providers or through the Distance Education Centre Victoria or the Victorian School of Languages (VCE).
Yes, each school section has a school chaplain and participation in CARE (Community and Religious Education) is compulsory up to and including Year 10. The Year 10 course is a comparative religion course which studies various religions arounds the world.
Chapel is compulsory for students to attend once a fortnight. At Carey, chapel time is about reflection and respect. Chaplains encourage students to think deeply and share their views in a respectful way. They often discuss current issues and encourage students to consider the teachings of religion within today’s context.
Carey is a member of the Inner Melbourne VET Cluster (IMVC), which allows students from schools within the cluster to undertake VET studies as part of their VCE program.
A VET study normally involves a two-year training program during which the students complete a nationally recognised vocational qualification (e.g. Certificate II in Hospitality Operations), in addition to their other VCE studies. VET studies offered by the IMVC may also contribute to the calculation of a student's ATAR as part of the primary four, as a fifth or sixth study, or as a block credit.
The programs are delivered at a number of venues in the inner Melbourne area. A fee for service may be charged in addition to the normal course load at Carey. Costs vary according to the VET program selected. As timetabling conflicts will occur with normal curriculum offerings at Carey, students need to discuss the ramifications of undertaking a VET study with the VCE Co-ordinators.
Students interested in the available VET options should register their interest as part of the online subject selection process, as well as submitting a separate application to the VET Co-ordinator.
Yes. The University Extension program gives the most able students the chance to extend their ability in a particular area during Year 12. Each student selected for the program is able to select an extra study in addition to their IB program or as part of their VCE program.
More information can be found in the Senior School Curriculum pages on Pathways at Carey.
IB and VCE
About 30 per cent of students select the IB program.
IB is a two-year program (from Year 11 to 12) whereas in VCE, only the final year contributes toward a student’s ATAR. As such, you can choose to change from IB to VCE but not the other way around. Our VCE and IB Co-ordinators and career advisors will assist students to select the best pathway to suit their learning journey.
VCE acceleration is possible at Year 10. Particularly able students who meet specific selection criteria can study a Unit 1 and 2 VCE subject in Year 10.
Students wishing to apply to study a Unit 1 and 2 when they are in Year 10 are required to submit an application that shows they meet the following criteria:
- Performance at a consistently high level in all subjects, NAPLAN and other testing which may be available. As a guide, students need to achieve results of an ‘A’ standard and be in the top 20 per cent of students in each measure.
- Demonstrated good organisation and motivation to succeed.
- Demonstrated strengths in the subject area of the proposed Unit 1 and 2 subject.
Yes, Music can be taken as an elective subject in Year 10. VCE Performing Arts subjects include Music Investigation, Music Performance and Theatre Studies. In IB, music is one of the Group 6 (The Arts) options. As with other subject offerings, sufficient students need to select a subject for us to have a class. Other IB Arts subjects are IB Theatre and IB Visual Art.
Senior School students can apply to attend Sport Tours that run every two years (e.g. Netball in New Zealand, Basketball in America). There are also optional design tours to New York, language tours and language residency programs to Indonesia as well as the World Challenge which is run every two years where students plan, fundraise for and organise their own six-week program somewhere in the world, including a component of community service.
Year 10 students participate in an annual camp where they can choose between 10 or more different Outdoor Education expeditions. Our Year 11 students can elect to become a camp leader, which involves attending a leadership camp and then a Junior or Middle School camp as a student leader. This is often elected as a part of an IB student’s CAS (Community Activity Service) component of work.
Carey will also be introducing the NASA space tour in future.
Yes, we have a campus in the Gippsland Lakes called Camp Toonallook, which is primarily used by Junior and Middle School students. A couple of our Year 10 camps spend some of the program at Toonallook.
The School has an extensive performing arts program for students to partake in if this is their passion. This ranges from our music instrumental program to being part of our musicals and plays, ensembles and choral groups.
The Senior School musical takes place in Term 1 and is a highly anticipated production each year. Students are typically hard at work through the summer holiday in the lead up to the musical opening in Term 1. Participation is open to all, however there are audition processes for cast roles. Stage crew and orchestra opportunities are also available to those interested.
The Senior School also produces a play each year. Students can apply to participate and audition for cast roles or join the crew or orchestra teams.
Carey has a sport campus in Bulleen. It houses a full-size swimming pool; basketball, badminton and tennis courts; cricket pitches; and hockey and football fields.
Sport is the only activity where boys and girls are separated. APS stands for Associated Public Schools of Victoria. Carey also participates in the Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria (AGSV). These associations of independent schools have had a long history of participating in friendly competitive sporting programs.
APS/AGSV starts with a summer season in Term 1 and finishes with a winter season usually around early August. For those interested, there is also an optional spring season of Athletics, Rowing or Water Polo that starts after the winter program.
Yes, APS/AGSV is compulsory for all students up to Year 12. However, we do offer some non-competitive options to Senior School students such as First Aid, Fitness Club, Bike Fitness, Football Umpiring and Yoga alongside the usual APS/AGSV options.
Senior School Musical participation can also be taken instead of an APS/AGSV summer co-curricular elective for Years 10 to 12 students.
Training takes place once during the week after school either at our Bulleen sports campus or at a sporting venue across Melbourne. Carey will arrange bus transport for all teams to their respective training venues and then return students to Kew campus at the end of training.
Competition games are held on Saturdays. Families are expected to take their children to competition venues. These can be across various independent school campuses across Melbourne, including Carey Bulleen. For competitions held beyond Melbourne, such as those at Geelong Grammar, Carey will provide bus transport to and from Carey Kew.
Learning support and pastoral care
Each school section has a Learning and Development Department to not only support those students who may find particular areas of learning a challenge but also for those who benefit from further extension. Our learning support model is to provide differentiated learning support that can be integrated within the normal classroom context – not one of isolating students. Our Learning and Development Team work alongside classroom teachers to devise appropriate learning plans for their students.
There are also study/tutorial groups for Year 12 students that take place after school in our library which are run by past Carey students on a weekly basis.
Carey supports a child’s wellbeing in multiple ways. Our House system is the main support network with each Senior School student allocated to a House group with a mentor teacher who works in tandem with the student’s parents and other teachers.
The broader House network of students also builds connections across Senior School during their time at Carey and are often there to support one another. Head of House teachers are also available to support students within their Houses.
Carey also has a Learning and Development team who work alongside teachers and families from a student’s wellbeing perspective. Qualified psychologists are employed by the School in the Learning and Development team at Kew which operates on a walk-in basis as well as working closely with the school sections to address any student wellbeing concerns.
Our pastoral care program also extends beyond the classrooms and into the co-curricular space. Carey teachers participate in co-curricular activities – they could, for example, be anything from a lighting technician in a musical production to a coach or team manager of an APS team. This provides opportunities for teachers to extend their pastoral care in ways beyond their classrooms and enables students to build connections with teaching staff across the school.
Each school section also has a dedicated Chaplain who provides spiritual and wellbeing support and guidance.
Students are encouraged to keep their mobile phones in their lockers during school time with only limited use outside class time when necessary.
All Senior School students use a compulsory school-issued device that is leased through the school. Technical devices are set up for school learning purposes only and all students are required to sign an ICT Responsible Usage agreement prior to taking possession of their devises.
In Year 10, students can choose between and PC laptop and a MacBook depending on what is more suitable to their learning needs.
Carey has an intake of new students in Years 10 and 11. The entry process involves submitting an application with a review of recent school reports followed by an interview process.
The school offers both Academic and General Excellence (for Sport) Scholarships for entry into Year 10 and Year 11. The number of scholarships available will vary year to year depending on student numbers in these year levels.
Yes, our careers counsellors offer information sessions and provide support to students wishing to apply for tertiary studies abroad.
In Year 12, student leadership positions are available across the School, both in terms of House Captaincies and the following portfolios: Performing Arts, Music, Sport, CLOSA and New Students, School Community, Community Service.
We encourage parent involvement within the School community. Many sport and performing arts co-curricular activities have parent support groups and we have a Parent Association for each school section as well as our CLOSA group (Carey Local and Overseas Student Association). This group is particularly beneficial to join if you are a family that has recently moved to Melbourne from interstate or overseas.
From a social point of view, our Parent Association members are very active in organising fun events such as Mothers and Fathers Day events, year level based social events, as well as end of term sausage sizzles for the children. Every second year, all parent Associations also work together to bring the Carey Ball to life and this has become a much anticipated community event in the Carey calendar.
The library is open from 7.30am to 6.00pm Monday to Thursday and until 4.00pm on Fridays. The library is open during some school holidays to support Senior School students.
Many Carey students use a variety of train, bus and trams to school as the campus is well located to access a range of public transport routes. There are also private bus companies providing school bus options to various independent schools across Kew. You can find out more information about these services on our public transport page.