Curriculum

Students at Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS) are offered a wide, varied and challenging academic curriculum which guides, supports and encourages students to reach their full potential. Students receive a physically and intellectually inspiring education which reaches well beyond the classroom. The high-end academic achievements of our students are consistently exceptional with girls receiving outstanding results in both the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) program and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).

In Years 7 to 10, all girls prepare for the ACT Year 10 Certificate under the auspices of the ACT Education Directorate. Students in Years 11 and 12 can choose to study either the BSSS program or the IBDP. Both can lead to an Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR).

Our curriculum by year group
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10

Year 7

Students in Year 7 study a broad range of subjects. Core subjects, including English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Technologies, and Health and Physical Education, are undertaken for the full year. The additional subjects of Religion and Philosophy, Drama, Music and Visual Art are studied for a semester each. Students also choose two languages from French, Japanese, Latin and Chinese to study for a semester each.

Years 7-8 Course Handbook 2022

Year 8

Students in Year 8 continue to study a variety of subjects. The core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Health and Physical Education, and Technologies are again undertaken for the full year. As in Year 7, the subjects of Religion and Philosophy, Drama, Music and Visual Art are studied for a semester each. Students choose one language from French, Japanese, Latin and Chinese to study for the whole year.

Years 7-8 Course Handbook 2022

Year 8 Course Handbook 2023

Year 9

English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Health and Physical Education remain core subjects in Year 9, with Mathematics classes streamed. Elective subjects are chosen from a list including Global Perspectives, Chinese, Commerce, Dance, Design and Technology, Drama, French, Digital Technologies, Japanese, Latin, Music, Sports Science, STEM and Visual Art.

Years 9-10 Course Handbook 2022

Years 9-10 Course Handbook 2023

Year 10

The same core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Health and Physical Education remain in Year 10, with the Aspire program added to the list. This is designed to support students in their studies, allowing for the personalisation of learning to help prepare for senior studies, university education and future employment. The three strands of the Aspire program are ‘Careers’, ‘Transition into Years 11 and 12’, and ‘Study Skills’. Across Year 10, students also choose two elective subjects from those offered in Year 9, with the addition of Geography, History, and Philosophy and Ethics.

Years 9-10 Course Handbook 2022

Years 9-10 Course Handbook 2023

Years 11 and 12
Senior School students in Years 11 and 12 must decide to study either the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) program or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Both will provide students with an Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR) for university admissions.
ACT BSSS
IBDP
Careers Counselling
Curriculum and assessment advice

ACT BSSS

Students choosing to study the ACT BSSS college-based system will undergo continuous assessment throughout Years 11 and 12, governed by the policies and procedures of the BSSS. Students study five subjects in both years. English is compulsory in both Years 11 and 12, while Mathematics is compulsory in Year 11 only. Students can select subjects from a variety of other curriculum areas (Science, Humanities, Creative, Arts, Technologies, and Languages).

A guide to the ACT college system

Students successfully completing the program will be awarded an ACT Senior Secondary Certificate. Those interested in studying at TAFE or entering the workforce after Year 12 should complete an ‘accredited package’. Those wishing to progress to university will need to complete a ‘tertiary package’ and sit the ACT Scaling Test (AST) to receive an ATAR and a subsequent Tertiary Entrance Statement. This contains information which can be used in applying to universities and tertiary institutions.

Years 11-12 BSSS Course Handbook 2022 | Years 11-12 BSSS Course Handbook 2023

IBDP

Designed as an accessible and holistic pre-tertiary experience, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is highly recognised locally and internationally by leading universities. The Programme aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are empowered to take ownership of their learning and create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.

Over the course of two years, IBDP students study a broad range of subjects (including Languages, Humanities, Sciences and Mathematics) and are assessed both internally and externally. External examinations are held for most subjects in October/November of the second year and usually consist of two or three papers. The nature of internal assessment varies by subject and may take the form of oral presentations (for Languages), practical work (for Sciences) or written work (for Humanities and Mathematics). There is a strong emphasis on inquiry-based and interdisciplinary learning.

IBDP students must select one subject from each of the first five subject groups (see below). The sixth group (The Arts) is optional, an additional subject may be selected from Groups 2 – 4 instead. Three or four subjects are studied at Higher Level (HL) whilst the remainder are studied at Standard Level (SL). Higher Level subjects require more teaching hours and often contain more breadth and depth of content.

Group 1 Studies in language and literature - English A Language and Literature, Chinese A Literature

Group 2 Language acquisition - Chinese B, English B, French B, Latin, Spanish ab initio (SL only)

Group 3 Individuals and societies - Business Management, Economics, History, Psychology

Group 4 Sciences- Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Systems and Societies (SL only)

Group 5 Mathematics - Analysis and Approaches, Applications and Interpretation (SL only)

Group 6 The Arts - Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts

In addition to their subjects IBDP students must also complete the following three core components:

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) – students will explore questions about knowledge and the process of knowing by making comparisons and connections between areas of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).

Extended Essay (EE) – students will engage in independent research of a question relating to one of the subjects they are studying and with the support of a supervisor write a 4,000-word essay.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) – students develop skills, attitudes and dispositions by engaging in a variety of individual and group experiences that give opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.

Grades from one (lowest) to seven (highest) are awarded for each of the six subjects based on pre-published grade descriptors. Students can be awarded up to three additional points for their performance in the TOK and EE core components and this gives a maximum possible total score of 45 points. A minimum total of 24 points is required to graduate with the Diploma (with at least 12 points in HL subjects and 9 points in SL subjects) in addition to satisfactory completion of the CAS core component. There is no scaling or ranking involved in the grade award process.

Years 11-12 IBDP Course Handbook 2022 | Years 11-12 IBDP Course Handbook 2023

Careers Counselling

CGGS offers careers counselling to all students in Years 11 and 12, either individually or in groups. The Careers' classroom and the Careers Advisor’s Office are well resourced with information from all ACT and NSW universities and most interstate and international universities. Databases and career research tools are also available. Students in Year 12 participate in a Career Development class each fortnight, which aims to inform the transition from school to life beyond school and encompasses all post-school options.

Curriculum and assessment advice

The Director (Studies) provides advice regarding course selections and subject changes during Years 11 and 12. Information regarding Year 12 tertiary package requirements, assessment processes, the AST and the ATAR is also made available at suitable times throughout the year. The Director (Studies) also supports students requiring special consideration for assessment, AST and university entry.