Senior School


In the Senior School we continue to support students in their academic learning, however this is embedded within subjects which also provide the skills individuals require to live and work in the community.  


Year 10 students transitioning into the senior school will still carry out some core learning from the Australian Curriculum for English, Mathematics, Science, Health and Physical Education, Geography and the Arts.  However, each semester they will also carry out learning within a subject drawn from the Year 11 and 12 units of work to start the process of learning skills which will explicitly support them in their life beyond school.


An example of a senior subject which supports students in developing skills for their life after school would be Business Enterprise.  Within these school-based subjects' students in Years 10 and 11 can explore the necessary social skills of working cooperatively in a team environment, vote on a business endeavour, learn to follow the required steps to manufacture the product and sell this within the school, or to families in our school community. 


By providing such a subject within the school setting students are well supported to start developing basic work skills, along with social and functional skills they will be able to utilise across their lifespan.  Examples of products students can manufacture and market within Business Enterprise are: Dog Biscuits, Healthy Lunches, Propagating Plants and a Sticker Business.


In Year 12 it is hoped students from the school will again be able to return to Work Experience in the wider community within supported work placements.  However, it must be stressed this is dependent upon the risks which are presenting at any given time from COVID 19.  If students are able to access the community for an extension to their work skills training at school they will be supported by school staff whilst participating in the training.


Planning Alternative Tomorrows of Hope (PATH) Plan

The senior school strives to provide a curriculum which incorporates student skills, interests and provides explicit learning around goals which will support positive future post-school pathways. To assist teachers to plan programs and learning experiences that meet the specific needs of each young person, Year 10 teachers facilitate a Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (P.A.T.H) meeting.

The P.A.T.H is a powerful, person-centered​ planning tool. It is used as a visual guide to formulate discussions about potential pathway options for the students throughout their senior schooling and for life beyond school. The process is facilitated by the students Year 10 teacher with the support of a trained facilitator who will help students, their families and other relevant stakeholders such as their therapists to brainstorm a positive future and work through realistic long- and short-term goals.

The end product is a highly visual and personalised poster that the student and family retain. It will have details of very specific goals and actions to ensure all stakeholders are aware of what needs to be done to best support the student during their senior schooling and beyond. The PATH plan also allows Year 11 teachers to identify relevant goals from the senior curriculum syllabus, the Guide to Individual Learning, which will support the students in working towards their post school pathway.  It also ensures students continue to  develop the skills they need to enhance their engagement in all facets of their lives.


Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan

Year 10 teachers will work with the parents/carers and the student to develop a Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan.  This plan is then reviewed in years 11 and 12 to help ensure the learning goals and subjects for the student align for the student to work towards their appropriate post school pathway as identified in their PATH plan.

The involvement of parents/carers in helping students to make these important decisions about their future education, work training and employment is vital to the success of the plan. 


What is a SET Plan?

  • A confidential document which students develop in consultation with their parents/carers and their Year 10 teacher
  • It is designed to map your child's individual learning pathway through their senior phase of learning 
  • This plan requires the student and family to communicate with the Year 10 teacher about the student's strengths, learning needs and their thoughts about possible post school pathways for the student
  • The plan assists the stakeholders to identify appropriate programs and goals for the individual student by examining the student's current skill sets and what learning they will need to undertake to work towards their future goals
  • It provides the opportunity to discuss and explore employment, work skill options or recreational pathways are available for the student
  • Families who have undertaken the PATH planning process will find this a very helpful tool for the mandated SET Plan


Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA)

All students in Years 11 and 12 are working towards a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA) that is issued by the QCAA (Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority) who provide the Guidelines for Individual Learning (GIL) the curriculum framework on which the senior school program is based.


The QCIA recognises and certifies the learning achievements of students whose learning is part of an individualised learning program. 


The five curriculum organisers within the GIL are defined to support teachers in identifying relevant goals and recording individual student achievements:

  • Communication and Technologies
  • Community, Citizenship and the Environment
  • Personal Living Dimensions
  • Leisure and Recreation
  • Vocational Transition Activities

Vocational Education Training (VET) 

Students of Southport Special School may be enrolled in one or more VET certificate courses offered through Special Education Training Alliance (SETA) that are taught at Southport Special School by VET trained school staff. These courses are overseen and managed by the SETA central RTO based at Western Suburbs Special School (RTO 41021). On successful completion of the course each student is awarded a nationally recognised qualification. If a student does not complete the full qualification they would then receive a Statement of Attainment outlining the units that have been successfully completed.

The courses available at Southport Special School are:

  • ​SIT10216 - Certificate I in Hospitality
  • SIT10222 – Certificate I in Hospitality
  • AHC10216 – Certificate I in AgriFood Operations


For more information on SETA, specific certificate courses and copies of the complaints and appeals policy please visit

Last reviewed 04 May 2023
Last updated 04 May 2023