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SBC prepares students for ATAR 2020

With the biggest change to the Queensland education system in decades now underway, St Brendan’s College is working hard to ensure its young men are prepared for the academic requirements of the new Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) and the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

This week the current cohort of Year 10s will undertake an intensive two-day career planning and subject selection process to allow them to step away from their classes and focus on their interests, skills and potential careers before selecting senior subjects for Year 11. 

Deputy Principal Mr Paul Horan is driving the change at St Brendan’s College and in information sessions this week, will assure students and parents not to be overwhelmed by the new system.

“We know there has been a lot of discussion by students and parents about the difficulties of this new system and while the changes are significant, they are certainly achievable,” Mr Horan said.  

“The jump from Year 10 to Year 11 has always been significant and in many ways the study load under the OP system was in fact, much more onerous than the new system,” he said. 

“One of the positives of the new ATAR system is that that students will undertake much less formal assessment; the number of examinations and assignments is prescribed by an external authority (QCAA) and in some subject areas the amount of assessment has halved.”

The system also offers more flexible ways to become ATAR eligible and students can gain an ATAR while undertaking a Vocational Education or Applied subject; which weren’t options previously available.”

“Our students are fortunate that St Brendan’s College is prepared to offer small classes to ensure a breadth of subjects and to support the interests and needs of all. 

“From General (ATAR) subjects such as specialist mathematics and physical education, to niche subjects such as visual arts, digital solutions and psychology our boys can choose options to suit their career path, which offers the greatest chance for boys to succeed.”

“Concerns raised with the new system are around increased academic loads and examination pressure.” 

“To address this issue, we have worked with our current Year 11’s on study skills and home learning strategies and we have carefully tracked their assessment results.  These processes will be undertaken with our 2020 Year 11’s to assist them cope with the new system.” 

“Above all, we want to stress that St Brendan’s College offers multiple pathways for our young men, giving them choices and preparing them well with study habits, knowledge and skills for their future, ” he said.

The full detail on subject offerings for 2020 can be found by downloading the Senior Handbook on the Academic - Senior School section of our website -

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