8 September 2021
From Year 9 to Year 12, our dedicated Senior School team prepares each student for VCE success – as well as fostering a strong sense of self-worth and resilience. We want to create a smooth transition to tertiary life and beyond.
Fintona is one of Victoria’s best-performing girls’ schools, consistently shown in our VCE results. This is the culmination of greater attention from teachers, smaller class sizes, and the development of a strong work ethic.
We also believe in a balanced education. That’s why Senior School students are offered opportunities to demonstrate responsibility and move outside their comfort zone. Students expand their horizons through leadership development, the careers program including a work experience placement in Year 10, cultural exchanges, the Year 9 Connections program, House activities, participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and much more.
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Senior School students tailor their learning journey that suits their unique passions and interests, building the foundation they need for tertiary study.
The Year 9 and 10 curriculum allows students to create a study program from a wide range of subjects. Over two years, students are encouraged to ensure they have undertaken courses from different curriculum areas, and in Year 10, students complete a work experience placement. The result is that by VCE subject selection, they are in the best possible position to know their strengths and interests.
Students choose from 29 semester-based electives covering Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Commerce, Health and Physical Education, Humanities and Digital Technology. In addition to their core subjects, students select three elective subjects per semester.
We also offer an accelerated program in Mathematics and Science.
In Years 11 and 12, students study a broad range of subjects, including some first-year university subjects.
Subject choices are discussed in detail with the VCE coordinator and the Careers Counsellor to ensure they reflect each girl’s capabilities and aspirations. As a result, most Fintona students seek university places and gain entry into their preferred course.
During these final years, the girls have access to a VCE common room where they form close bonds with fellow students.
We know that important learning occurs beyond the traditional classroom, which is why we offer a broad range of co-curricular activities to develop student interests and talents.
Music at Fintona is stimulating and supportive. Here, students learn to play instruments, sing, compose, develop critical listening skills and explore the artistry of music.
As well as classes and private music tuition, students can join in ensembles with several opportunities to perform during the year.
Students from Years 7 to 12 are encouraged to play with a spirit of friendly competitiveness across a range of team and individual sports.
Fintona competes as a member of the Girls Sport Victoria (GSV) inter-school sports competition. Students from Year 9 may also join Fintona’s rowing program, training and competing at regattas across Victoria.
We want our girls to speak with confidence. Senior School students have many opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to develop their public speaking and debating skills.
All Middle and Senior School students participate in the Elizabeth M. Butt public speaking competition. In addition, senior students participate in the Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV) debating competitions and various other public speaking competitions.
Visual Arts at Fintona is about nurturing intellectual and creative potential. Outside of classes, our Visual Arts faculty offers an additional layer of educational opportunities, including an Artist in Residence program, life drawing classes, excursions and the school’s annual Art Show.
International exchanges and tours allow students to broaden their horizons. Senior students can travel to Japan, France, New York, Italy and Canada as part of exchanges and study tours. Senior students can also take part in World Challenge expeditions, with previous groups having travelled to remote areas in India, Tanzania, Ecuador and Madagascar.
Senior students lead and participate in various special interest groups and clubs that foster the development of talents and leadership. These include the International Politics and Economics Club (IPEC), Art Club, Maths Club, Science Club, and many more.
The outdoor education program in Senior School extends students’ horizons and provides a better understanding of the natural world.
Students challenge themselves through adventure and team activities as they canoe, camp, bushwalk and mountain bike ride, kayak and abseil through a world of natural environments.
Drama and theatre activities help students develop their creativity and confidence.
As well as classroom theatre studies, all students from Years 5 to 12 take part in the House Drama competition. From Year 7, students can also join in the annual school play and Shakespeare Day, both on-stage and behind the scenes in technical support, set creation, costumes and makeup.
Students are placed in one of six houses from Years 5 to 12. The house system offers various sporting and cultural activities that build a healthy competitive spirit and supportive environment. The activities range from drama and music to swimming, athletics, cross country and the Summer Carnival.
Wellbeing at the heart
The wellbeing of our students is vital. The Head of the Senior School, together with the School Psychologist and the Careers Coordinator, work very closely with staff to guide and support students.
As part of the Life Skills program, informative presentations are given in sex education, drugs, relationships, identity, health and wellbeing, personal safety and staying safe online, and positive approaches to studying.
The Senior School Leadership Program, ad senatorem, recognises that all students can be leaders.
The program, translated as “towards senatorship”, develops leadership through leadership workshops, experiences and presentations. Since 1959, every Year 12 student at Fintona has been recognised as a School Senator. Senators act as role models who are “honourable in word and deed”.
Leadership can be one of the most rewarding parts of a school journey. Students are encouraged to find solutions to issues they may have, communicate their plans via proposals and other student voice opportunities such as Student Forums.
Formal leadership roles are numerous, with two girls named School Consul each year alongside a Deputy Consul. Each House has up to two leaders with Captains of Activities across Debating, Library, STEM, Community Service and Sport and other areas.
Programs tailored to senior girls
Through Fintona’s Life Skills program, girls discuss areas of interest such as physical changes, personal boundaries, healthy lifestyle, emerging individuality, relationships with family and friends, conflict resolution and responsible digital citizenship.
Study skills and the understanding of each individuals learning strengths are further developed, along with strategies to deal with the pressures of life in the senior years.