Our Curriculum

Portside Christian College uses the Australian Curriculum (ACARA), Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) and VET Certificate Courses as below. In addition, the College Christian Living program is integral to our curriculum from Foundation to Year 12. Christian values are strongly emphasised, with the focus on developing each student’s character and success.  The curriculum is planned using the Understanding by Design (UbD) Curriculum Framework way of thinking.

Early Learning Centre (ELC)

The play-based, emergent ELC curriculum is based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), guided by the NQS and underpinned by a Biblical Worldview and College Christ-Centred values. A holistic approach to learning ensures the whole child is nurtured spiritually, emotionally, physically and cognitively.  Curriculum is planned using the Understanding by Design [1] framework. A Reggio Emelia approach is used in the ELC.

For more details, see our Early Learning Centre information.

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Primary Years F-6

In the Primary Years, teachers recognise the importance of providing a nurturing and supportive yet structured environment to give students the confidence to explore and learn collaboratively. Curriculum acknowledges a Biblical Worldview integrating curriculum areas that bring many subject areas together, planned using the Understanding by Design way of thinking. This allows students to think critically when making connections between subject areas and maximises face-to-face teaching time.

For more details, see our Junior School information.

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Middle Years 7-9

In the Middle Years, teachers value deep knowledge and transfer of learning to new situations and experiences using the Understanding by Design [2]curriculum framework as a way of thinking about how to plan learning for understanding. Through enrichment subjects’ (electives) students start to identify their interests and talents.  Students are provided opportunities to develop transferable skills such as personal and time management, goal setting, critical thinking and collaboration. They develop skills to help them balance independence, responsibility and control with wise decision making.

For more details, see our Middle School information.

Senior Secondary 10-12

In the Senior Years, teachers value deep knowledge and transfer of learning with a focus on the future and real-life applications using the Understanding by Design [3] way of thinking to plan.  Year 10 students reflect on their strengths and goals and personally experience the world of work in completing their first SACE subjects, Personal Learning Plan and Workplace Practices.  Students continue to develop important transferable skills such as personal and time management, goal setting, critical thinking and collaboration.

Year 11 and 12 students achieve the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) Stages 1 and 2. The College offers a range of SACE approved subjects and Vocational Education Training courses depending on the needs and interests of students that lead to SACE achievement, university entry and an ATAR score. The curriculum is determined by the SACE Board and teachers ensure they use the most current curriculum documents and outcomes.

For more details, see our Senior School information.

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Trade Training Centre – Vocational Education and Training (VET)

The College, in collaboration with other providers, runs a Trade Training Centre and offers a range of accredited trade certificates. The option of VET courses, incorporated within Stage 1 and 2, form an important part of Senior School at Portside Christian College by providing students with skills and knowledge for work. 

Students are provided with opportunities to achieve full certificates or competencies towards a certificate as part of their ongoing studies toward the SACE. In addition, certificate courses can form part of apprenticeships and traineeships or be used when applying to registered training organisations once a student finishes school.  

Students may access a variety of nationally recognised and industry defined VET courses. Courses are delivered here on site at the Portside Christian College Trade Training Centre or in other training centres in the metropolitan area. Students apply for consideration to undertake a VET course through the College VET and SACE Coordinators.  

Students receive SACE Board accreditation for VET courses. As a general rule 35 hours of training that satisfies completion of one or more competencies, equates to 5 SACE credits. Students may incorporate VET courses within their subject selections from Year 11 onward and in some circumstances may do so from Year 10. 

For more details, see our Vocational Education and Training information.

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South Australian Certificate of Education – Vocational Education and Training (VET)

The Curriculum Framework – Understanding by Design

The College believes that a rigorous and viable curriculum contributes positively to high student achievement and outcomes.

PCC has adopted the Understanding by Design[4] (UBD) approach to plan and implement curriculum utilising the curriculum repository, Eduplanet21.  The College is gradually implementing UBD as part of its 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.

Units of Inquiry (Term Planning)

Curriculum is planned backwards from intended goal based on required outcomes of the EYLF, Australian Curriculum and SACE curriculum outcomes.

Curriculum units follow the 3 Stages of Understanding by Design [5](UbD):

  • Stage 1 Intended Goals
  • Stage 2 Assessment Evidence of Understanding
  • Stage 3 Learning Activities

Collaborative Planning

Understanding by Design [6](UbD) is a way of thinking that makes the goal, evidence and learning activities aligned and explicit. UbD planning is more effective when done collaboratively enabling staff to question and think more deeply about the curriculum and the desired learning in each curriculum area.

Planning for Differentiation

Teachers are to work collaboratively with the Director of Teaching and Learning, Learning Support Coordinator and Data Coach to plan differentiated approaches for students with special needs.  Differentiation strategies are to be identified in weekly and termly planning documents and reflect the Individual Learning Plan or Adjustment Plan of identified students.  As a result of pre-tests and formative assessments, differentiation will often be required for students without formal adjustments.

Planning from a Biblical Perspective

The College has adopted God’s Big Story 1.0 (Christian Schools Australia) as an approach to plan units of inquiry that include an authentic and integral biblical perspective.

Each unit is to clearly state goals from a biblical perspective that are included in assessment and teaching and learning activities.

The College is an Interdenominational College and recognises there may be differences in doctrine between churches, for example, in areas such as baptism, communion, tongues and end-times.

The primary focus in curriculum is the core values of orthodox Christianity without denying the differences mentioned above.  Other doctrinal issues are discussed but categorical statements are not made.  The College has a set position only on those matters covered in the College’s Statement of Faith and the College Position Statements are made electronically available via Related Policies and Links sections.

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[1] McTighe and Wiggins, (2017). Understanding by Design-Professional Development Workbook. ASCD. Alexandria, V.A.

[2] Ibid

[3] McTighe and Wiggins (2017). Understanding by Design-Professional Development Workbook ASCD

[4] McTighe and Wiggins (2017). Understanding by Design-Professional Development Workbook ASCD

[5] Ibid

[6] McTighe and Wiggins (2017). Understanding by Design-Professional Development Workbook ASCD