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Visual Arts

The study of Visual Arts is a unique, expressive, creative and communicative discipline that engages students in critical and creative thinking and helps them understand themselves and the world. Students design, create and develop skills within Art, Ceramics, Design and Technology, Media, Sculpture, Visual Communication Design and Studio Arts. They critically explore visual imagery, culture and creative technologies such as the laser cutter and 3D printer . They create artworks that involve the fusion of traditional and contemporary forms including digital media. Visual Arts nurture cultural understanding, creativity, invention, new directions and new technology.


The study of English at McKinnon Secondary College focuses on both the skills of how language is received (through listening, reading and viewing) and how it is produced (through speaking and writing). We aim for students to be able to analyse how users of the English language achieve their purposes for specific audiences by making choices, and using both structural and linguistic features to produce texts. In turn, students then produce texts that achieve a set purpose for a chosen audience by making similar careful linguistic and structural features. Clearly, competence in both understanding and producing texts enables students to find success in other learning areas while at school. English remains the only compulsory subject in every year level of secondary schooling. This is because it underlines all personal and professional tasks requiring reading, writing, listening and speaking in life beyond school.


English is underpinned by the study of a wide variety of texts including: novels, non-fiction texts, multi-media texts, films, poetry, media texts, persuasive texts and others. Students can also extend their study of English through Literature, English Skills and Creative Writing electives from Years 7-10, and through the VCE subjects: Literature and English Language. Students may also qualify for EAL (English as an Additional Language) status, if English is not their first language.


The learning area of HEALTH encompasses the subjects Food Technology and Health and Human Development.


Food Technology includes both the scientific and creative approaches to food. Through practical classes students gain competencies in food preparation and presentation, gaining valuable knowledge about the nutritional and cultural relevance of food.


Through the study of VCE Health and Human Development, students investigate health and human development in local, Australian and global communities. 


Health is a dynamic condition that is influenced by complex interrelationships between individuals and both biomedical and behavioural factors, as well as physical and social environments.


The Humanities are an essential guide to navigating the globalised world. As they explore and celebrate the human experience and diversity that connects us locally, nationally and globally, Humanities students develop a sense of empathy and appreciation for all cultures - past, present and future - while at the same time encouraging participation in a global community as active, ethical and informed citizens. Our faculty comprises a broad range of disciplines, allowing students to understand human society from numerous perspectives.


History and Geography are undertaken by every student from Years 7-10 for one semester each year.  At Year 10, electives including Commerce and Global Conflict are offered. Humanities also has a very strong presence in VCE and a proud tradition of success.  We offer History, Geography, Accounting, Business Management, Global Politics, Legal Studies and Economics. These studies provide students with essential skills that help them better understand the complexities of the world in which they live.


The Information Technology department of McKinnon Secondary College has a commitment to providing strong up-to-date knowledge, as well as the chance to develop skills in the use of, emerging and integral technological hardware and software. 


Staff ensure that students of all year levels have extensive access, and understanding of, computer science fundamentals such as computational thinking and logic. 


Junior school students spend time learning and perfecting basic technology skills as well as learning the appropriate use of practical applications and investigating emerging technologies. Senior students follow the rigid and encompassing VCE study designs. Staff work closely with VCAA to ensure the greatest benefit for our students.


McKinnon values the varied language backgrounds of our college. We are proud of our multicultural society and the contributions that students, staff and parents make to our community. We encourage everyone to maintain their native language and culture and to promote them. Learning languages broadens students´ horizons and improves their employment opportunities in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. 


The three languages offered at McKinnon are French, German and Spanish. The college currently provides German and French programs from Year 7 through to the Victorian Certificate of Education. Our Spanish program also starts in Year 7 and is progressing towards VCE, which it will provide in the future for students as the program evolves. These programs aim to provide students with communication skills in the target language and intercultural capability. 


The Languages faculty offers a range of co-curricular activities, both incursions and excursions, such as film festivals and restaurant visits. Exchange programs, overseas travel and sister school relationships in German, French and Spanish also enrich the students´ language and intercultural learning. These are being re-established after a hiatus due to COVID. Language assistants and intergenerational conversations with senior native speakers support the development of oral and aural communication skills in senior years. 


Chinese, Hebrew, Korean and Russian are offered outside of school hours and many more students enrol in the Victorian School of Languages to study their native language.


Mathematical ideas have evolved across all cultures over thousands of years, and are constantly developing. Mathematics creates opportunities and enriches the lives of all students. Students study patterns and concepts in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability, and is an essential part of each student's education. It is powerful, logical and concise. It provides a means of education which is understood worldwide. It develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life, as well as providing the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications are built.


Mathematics has its own value and beauty that the curriculum at McKinnon Secondary College aims to instil in students an appreciation of the elegance and power of mathematical reasoning. Digital technologies are facilitating this expansion of ideas and providing access to new tools for continuing mathematical exploration and invention. The curriculum focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing mathematical strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently. The program at McKinnon Secondary College will provide opportunities for challenge and pursuit of excellence and students will be encouraged to participate in competitions such as the University of Melbourne Mathematics Competition, Australian Mathematics Competition, Australian Maths Challenge and the Australian Mathematics Intermediate Olympiad.


The study of music is a creative discipline that develops technical skills and musical sensitivity through the exploration of the elements of music in both practical and theoretical settings. Students are encouraged to develop the understanding of the elements and concepts of music to express an emotional response to the society that they are part of. 


Through performance, students are able to develop confidence and creativity which can be applied to other subjects and situations. Through the study of other cultures and other times, students are able to gain a solid grounding of the place and connection music has within their own lives.

Physical Education

Physical Education at McKinnon strives to develop positive life-long outcomes and attitudes towards physical activity. We provide an enriched and diverse environment which aims to develop the core values of the college through exposing students to a variety of practical and theoretical activities. This in turn builds student confidence and self efficacy through a range of activities ranging from individual, non-competitive tasks through to competitive team games. 


Emphasis is placed on developing motor skills, movement competence, tactical knowledge and fitness, as well as providing students with the skills to enable them to make informed decisions regarding their physical, mental, social and emotional health and encourage a sense of community and social connectedness. Through encouraging and fostering high levels of engagement, we strive to assist students in becoming life-long participants in physical activity. 


Students at McKinnon Secondary College study science through the two interrelated strands: Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills. Together, the two strands of the science curriculum provide students with understanding, knowledge and skills through which they can develop a scientific view of the world. 


In the compulsory years of science, students are challenged to explore science, its concepts, nature and uses through clearly described inquiry processes. VCE students can elect to study Units 1-4 Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Psychology. These subjects are delivered according to the specifications of the VCAA Study Designs.


The Science curriculum aims to ensure that students develop:

  • an interest in science as a means of expanding their curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions about and speculate on the changing world in which they live.
  • an understanding of the vision that science provides of the nature of living things, of the Earth and its place in the cosmos, and of the physical and chemical processes that explain the behaviour of all material things.
  • an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and the ability to use a range of scientific inquiry methods, including questioning, planning and conducting experiments and investigations based on ethical principles, collecting and analysing data, evaluating results, and drawing critical, evidence-based conclusions.
  • an ability to communicate scientific understanding and findings to a range of audiences, to justify ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims.
  • an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account ethical and social implications of decisions both locally and globally.
  • an understanding of historical and cultural contributions to science as well as contemporary global science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science.
  • a solid foundation of knowledge of the biological, chemical, physical, Earth and space sciences, including being able to select and integrate the scientific knowledge and methods needed to explain and predict phenomena, to apply that understanding to new situations and events, and to appreciate the dynamic nature of science knowledge.