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Senior secondary

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Senior Schooling at Kenmore State High School includes the curriculum, pathways and opportunities available for students throughout their senior years. Our aim is to support students to make choices for their desired future pathways so they may achieve their goals and reach academic success. 

From 2020, the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) replaces the Overall Position (OP) as the standard pathway to tertiary study for Queensland Year 12s. It is vital that course and subject selections are appropriate, achievable and relevant to all students. The information in this section ensures that students have the required knowledge, understanding and access to information to help support their senior school studies.


Year 10


Explore the senior subjects offered at Kenmore State High School:


Learn more about the new ATAR and QCE system, AARA application process, and senior pathways and transitions:


Study at Year 10 level provides the foundation for success in learning in the senior school giving students the opportunity to choose specialisation subjects in areas of interest and ability, enabling them to sample subjects that they can continue into Years 11 & 12. Additionally, throughout Year 10, students will receive information on careers and vocational and academic pathways.

All mainstream students in Year 10 will be required to study English and Mathematics, plus a combination of four elective subjects each semester. Students in signature programs will study their signature subject (German or Music Extension) in the place of one or two of these specialisations.

The subjects on offer for Year 10 serve a dual purpose. Firstly, they seek to give students valuable learning experiences that provide a grounding in the key concepts, skills and ways of working that underpin subjects in Years 11 and 12; and secondly, to allow students to experience a variety of subjects to assist them make informed decisions about what to study in their final two senior years. In this regard, Year 10 students will have the opportunity to study up to ten subjects across the year - compulsory Maths and English, and four subject electives each semester. With some exceptions, completion of a subject at the Year 10 level will not be required as a pre-requisite for enrolment in the same subject in Years 11 and 12, although prior study in Year 10 will be highly beneficial.

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Years 11 and 12

In Years 11 and 12 students continue to study six subjects, selected from a wide range of offerings which include Authority/General subjects, Authority registered/Applied subjects as well as vocational certificate courses, traineeships and apprenticeships offered both through the school and external training providers. The study of English, English Literature (from 2019) or English Communication/Essential English is compulsory and a mathematics subject is highly recommended.

Students should refer to the Year 11 & 12 Subject Guide (PDF, 3.26MB) for more detailed information on subject selections.

The diversity of courses available means there is significant scope for each student to fashion a learning pathway that best suits their needs and interests. In this respect, each senior student should appreciate that their chosen pathway is unique to them achieving their own learning goals, and hence commitment to succeeding in that pathway is expected.

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Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) -  relevant to students completing Year 12 in 2020 and beyond

The ATAR will be introduced for students commencing Year 11 in 2019, who will graduate from the end of 2020 and seek entry to tertiary courses from 2021. The ATAR is the primary mechanism now used nationally for tertiary admissions and indicates a student’s position relative to other students. The ATAR is expressed on a 2000-point scale from 99.95 (highest) down to 0, in increments of 0.05.

The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre will calculate ATARs for Queensland school leavers.

To be eligible for an ATAR, a student must fulfil the following three requirements:

  • satisfactorily complete an English subject
  • complete five General subjects, or four General subjects plus one Applied subject or VET course at AQF Certificate III or above

           and

  • accumulate their subject results within a five-year period.

While students must satisfactorily complete an English subject to be eligible for an ATAR, the result in English will only be included in the ATAR calculation if it is one of the student’s best five subjects.

If a student is aiming for an ATAR for tertiary study entry, Queensland universities have decided that the following rules will also apply:

  • only General English subjects or Applied English subjects can be included in the ATAR, but not both
  • only General Maths subjects or Applied Maths subjects can be included in the ATAR, but not both
  • only one type of language subject can be included in the ATAR – either General or Senior External Examination, but not both.

When selecting subjects for Years 11 & 12, students are strongly encouraged to make use of QTAC’s My Path on-line facility. My Path is a tool that helps students choose their senior subjects, determine their ATAR eligibility and check whether their senior subject selection will meet prerequisites for courses they may want to pursue after Year 12.

Further useful information concerning the university application process can be found at QTAC website.

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Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments (AARA)

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) is the statutory body that regulates senior schooling for all high schools state-wide, who have published the protocols for the new QCE system in the QCE and QCIA Policy and Procedures Handbook (PDF, 2.75MB).  Section 6 of this document sets out guidelines to assist students who may otherwise be impeded in completing assessment due to a disability, impairment, medical condition or other legitimate circumstance. Such students can apply to the QCAA (through the school) to receive AARA (access arrangements and reasonable adjustments) to help undertake assessment.  

For the sake of clarity, “assessment” in this context refers to both examinations and non-exam formats such as assignments, projects, performances, experiments and the like, which contribute to the calculation of a student’s overall academic grade. 

It is important to note the AARA regulations published in section 6 of the Handbook only apply to assessment undertaken by students across Units 3 & 4 of their subjects, as it is these assessments that will contribute to a student’s ATAR calculation.  In this respect, most of our senior subjects at Kenmore High commence Unit 3 in Term 4 of Year 11, hence the Handbook regulations apply to all assessment undertaken from that time until the completion of Year 12.  However, to achieve a consistency of expectation for students, families and school staff, it is our intent to apply these protocols for Unit 1 & 2 assessment as well, which occurs across the first three terms of Year 11.

Key stipulations that parents and carers need to be particularly aware of include:

1. Student absence from assessment due to a medical condition/illness:
  • students must submit a medical certificate that covers the date of the assessment (e.g. exam or submission date)
  • the medical certificate is to state:

               - the illness or condition

               - the date of diagnosis, onset or occurrence; and

               - an explanation of the probable effect of the illness, condition or event on                   the student's participation in the assessment

The QCAA provide a medical report template for use.  See the QCAA Medical Report Form (PDF, 129KB)

2. Student absence from assessment due to other adverse circumstances:

  • students must submit written documentation from an independent third party 
  • the circumstances leading to the student being absent from assessment must be unforeseen, beyond the student’s control, and have an adverse effect on the student being able to undertake assessment; and
  • the situation cannot be of the student’s own choosing or that of their parents/carers, such as a family holiday (see Handbook section 6.3.2)

3.  Students with a disability, impairment, or long-term medical condition who require adjustments to assist undertake assessment:

  • applications to receives access arrangements and reasonable adjustments (AARA), such as the granting of extra time or the provision of alternative format papers, need to be made to the QCAA through the school
  • students who self-manage impairments or medical conditions that require them to bring equipment or provisions into exam settings (e.g. amplification equipment for the hearing impaired; a puffer for asthma; bite-sized food and drink to manage diabetes; etc.) should apply for an AARA to allow continued access to such provisions
  • please refer to the Kenmore SHS AARA Application Process for Years 11 & 12 (PDF, 917KB) to obtain further detail on:
               - the AARA application process 
               - the types of possible adjustments that can be applied for
               - the supporting documentation required and its requisite currency; and
               - application due dates

Please use the link to the QCAA's QCE and QCIA Policy and Procedures Handbook (PDF, 2.75MB) for the full policy and procedure.

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Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)

All senior students, regardless of whether they are presently eligible to receive an OP, should be seeking to obtain a Queensland Certificate of Education on the completion of Year 12. Introduced in 2008, the QCE is now the chief indicator that a student has successfully attained a high school education. To be awarded a QCE, by the completion of Year 12, a student must fulfil the following four conditions:

  • complete one semester of mathematics at a grade of Sound Achievement ('C') or higher
  • complete one semester of English at a grade of Sound Achievement ('C') or higher
  • obtain 12 credits from completed core courses of study

           and

  • achieve a minimum of 20 credits.

Four credits are awarded following the completion of each Authority and Authority registered subject at a grade of Sound Achievement ('C') or higher. With regards to vocational certificates, successful completion of all competencies in a Certificate I course accrues two points; a Certificate II course, four points; and a Certificate III course, five to eight points.

Students can also obtain additional credits through the completion of advanced courses of study, such as a university subject and higher level music and language exams.

For detailed information on eligibility for a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), please consult the QCE and QCIA Policy and Procedures Handbook (PDF, 2.75MB) authored by the QCAA.

Senior students can keep track of how many credits they have banked towards obtaining a QCE by accessing their individual QCAA learning account through the myQCE website.

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Senior school accelerated pathways

In recognition of the fact that Kenmore High attracts many students who demonstrate a high level of ability across academic, artistic, cultural and sporting domains, a large number of extension and enrichment opportunities exist in our school’s senior phase of learning, ranging from advanced placement in university courses to individual mentorship programs for talented students.


Vocational education

Students in Year 10, 11 and 12 can also undertake an external certificate qualification as a part of their Senior pathway.  

These include:
  • VET certificate II or higher qualifications through an approved provider (e.g. TAFE Queensland) 
  • school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SAT) 
  • attending registered training organisations (RTO) 
  • work experience.  


Contact information

Should you have any further queries related to senior schooling at Kenmore State High, please feel free to contact our Head of Senior Schooling - Mr Will Fozard

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Last reviewed 08 February 2021
Last updated 08 February 2021