Curriculum Overview

At Sunbury Downs College we support our students throughout their educational journey, assisting them to grow into young adults ready to make their mark on the world. To be successful, today’s students need to master a broad range of skills to equip them for an ever-changing world with complex personal, interpersonal and intellectual demands. Sunbury Downs College prides itself on the provision of a relevant, rigorous and engaging curriculum that addresses and exceeds the needs of all of our students and leads to the sequential development of skills that promotes and enhances life-long learning.

Our school offers a broad curriculum which provides students with a strong foundation for further learning. We also offer a broad selection of electives. This allows students to choose the pathways through school that best suits their interests, skills and abilities.

All Domains are offered at Sunbury Downs College, including; English, Mathematics, Science, Arts/Technology, Health and Physical Education, Humanities, the Performing Arts and Languages.

To keep up-to-date with the latest curriculum initiatives, teachers are involved in ongoing professional learning at both the College level and externally. Parents are kept fully informed of their child’s progress through regular correspondence with staff, Progress Information Evenings and regular Grade Point Average (GPA) reporting throughout the academic year.

Arts & Technology

Sunbury Downs College has a diverse Visual Arts and Technology department with a wide range of subjects including Art, Visual Communication Design, Media, Studio Art, Food and Technology, Design Technology (Materials and Systems) and Digital Technologies.

During Year 7 & 8 students engage in a compulsory program, covering Art, Visual Communication Design, Food and Technology, Design Technology and Digital Technologies. From Year 9 onwards, students have the option to participate in a Visual Arts/Technology program of their choice.

Our Visual Arts and Technology courses are designed to engage and inspire students, through creative, innovative curriculum. Students are supported to develop their creative and expressive skills as an artist, along with their problem solving and communication skills as a designer, through a variety of challenging and thought provoking learning tasks.

The Visual Arts/Technology Domain offers a range of extra-curricular activities, including Art Club and Craftanoon, where students have the opportunity to contribute to collaborative artworks around the College, with ‘Yarn-bombing’ the theme for the 2016 workshops.

The College Gallery is a permanent exhibition space within SDC that exhibits student artwork from Year 7 – 12. The gallery is updated regularly to exhibit the wide variety of mediums explored by students in their Visual Arts and Technology courses. The space also provides senior students with the opportunity to collaborate and curate their own exhibition at various times throughout the year.


 For students to participate in Australian society the study of the English language is essential. At Sunbury Downs College the students are encouraged to develop their own understanding of the world around them. At Years 7 to 10 the English Curriculum at Sunbury Downs uses AusVELs as the basis of its study. The curriculum encourages the development of student’s critical and imaginative thinking and writing skills. These skills are able to be transferred to VCAL/VCE English which extends the students language skills through thinking, reading, writing, speaking and listening.


Humanities is the study of everything related to humankind – history, place, the world and the systems constructed for humanity to survive. Through their study of Humanities, students will engage in the questioning of beliefs and values, social organisation, historical thinking, geographical skills, government and law, and economics. At Sunbury Downs College, in accordance with the Victorian Curriculum, our Year 7-9 program constitutes a combined Humanities course, with students undertaking work in the areas of History, Geography, Economics and Civics. At Year 10, students select from a range of semester-long electives designed to provide a sound basis for VCE. These include History, Global Politics, Geography, Legal Studies and VET Business. In VCE in 2019, we are proud to offer studies in 20th Century History for Unit 1 and 2, as well as Legal Studies for Units 1 to 4.


Languages (Italian) is a core subject at Sunbury Downs College at Years 7 and 8. At Years 9 and 10, Italian is offered as an elective subject. Students in the ACE program undertake Italian as a core subject at Years 7, 8 and 9 after which it is offered as an elective subject. Classes also operate at VCE level, where a more intensive study of the Italian language and grammar is offered, using prescribed themes and topics.

The course is designed to further extend and consolidate the students' knowledge of the Italian language through the processes of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It also aims to prepare students for further study in the language and to make them aware of the benefits of bilingualism for career and leisure purposes.


The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics aims to ensure that students:
  • are confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics, able to investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal and work lives and as active citizens
  • develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of mathematical concepts and fluency with processes, and are able to pose and solve problems and reason in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability
  • recognise connections between the areas of mathematics and other disciplines and appreciate mathematics as an accessible and enjoyable discipline to study
Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians. The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. It develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life, and provides the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications of mathematics are built.

Mathematics has its own value and beauty and the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics aims to instil in students an appreciation of the elegance and power of mathematical reasoning. Mathematical ideas have evolved across all cultures over thousands of levels, and are constantly developing. 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.

Performing Arts

Sunbury Downs College provides students with opportunities to develop as confident, reflective and creative performing artists through our extensive Drama and Music Curriculum.

Throughout our Year 7 Drama Elective, students will experiment and refine their expressive skills, playmaking techniques and knowledge of theatrical conventions and dramatic elements. Our Performing Arts facilities allow for the exploration of stagecraft through the creation of sets, costumes, props and lighting designs that enhance their in class performances. An important element of our curriculum is the observation and investigation of professional performances and practitioners, hence our students engage with the performing arts industry and are provide co-curricular activities to extend the arts beyond the classroom.

The Music Department at Sunbury Downs College strives to provide your child with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and understanding of music, gain performance experience and to maximise their personal and social learning through music. Students are guided by enthusiastic and highly qualified instrumental music specialists. The Instrumental Music Program develops students into independent learners guided and supported by our highly experienced instrumental music staff. Students gain a greater understanding of music through playing, singing, improvising, composing and musical thinking. These experiences will be enhanced by exploring and responding to music through reflection on and discussion of their own and others' performances using musical terminology and concepts. The students will be guided through developing their personal style by planning and reflecting on their own and their peers' personal practice and musical progress.


“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” - Carl Sagan

At Sunbury Downs College we believe science education should encourage students to seek answers to the questions raised by life experiences. It is with this in mind that the curriculum is developed. Students undergo courses designed to both expand their knowledge of the world around them and give them the tools with which to find their own answers.

In the Middle Years at Sunbury Downs College the curriculum follows AusVELS, the Victorian interpretation of the Australian National Curriculum. They explore the three main branches of science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, through research and practical tasks. Students are encouraged to explain how scientific discoveries can change and help to shape society.

As students enter the Later Years they are offered a choice. At Year 10 they may choose from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science. In VCE they may choose from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Environmental Science.

Studying science can lead to careers in many different fields with science being a prerequisite for many tertiary courses. It is also important in the development of a productive, informed citizen capable of drawing independent conclusions.