At Patterson River Secondary College senior students pursue an individually tailored program designed to match their chosen pathway. The College offers students two pathway options: the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). An extensive course counselling process in Year 10 supports students to select the appropriate pathway for them that is aligned to their future career aspirations.

Catering for over 500 students, our senior school programs are both rich and diverse. The College offers over 35 VCE and VCAL subject choices and provides students access to a variety of Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses. Patterson River is the lead school for the $20 million Trade Training Centre located at Chisolm Frankston which provides our students easy access to a range of courses in this state-of-the-art facility Eligible Year 10 students are also given the opportunity to complete a three year VCE program by choosing to study a Year 11 subject in Year 10. For subject offerings and further explanation of pathway options, please refer to our Year 10 and Senior School Handbooks.

Achieving excellence together

To promote an achievement culture at Patterson River Secondary College our aspirational VCE students can choose to work with Monash University mentors via the Schools Access Monash program. In addition, our Year 12 English teachers run a “High flyers” club on most Thursday afternoons where students are given opportunities for extension and revision. All students are welcome to attend the sessions designed to deepen their knowledge and skills. In 2018 we introduced a Year 12 Study Skills subject where each VCE student completes one hour learning per week on topics covering: study skills, time management, health and wellbeing strategies, the tertiary application process and exam preparation. In 2021 we have redesigned our Year 10 Program to include a double period per week on study skills, time management, pathways, financial literacy and growth mindset. This subject is paired with a compulsory Year 10 Health subject of three periods per week to support student development of health knowledge and respectful relationships. Together, these subjects are designed to support each student as they transition into their VCE and VCAL pathways. We also support student connectedness to the College and each other through:
  • The Senior School Forums that take place for all students in Years 10-12 at the start of each year where there is a focus on not just life in the Senior School, but also student health and wellbeing
  • The Year 12 Holiday Revision Program (September holidays – before final exams)
  • Our Peer Support Program that pairs Year 11 students with our new Year 7 cohort to ease their transition into the College
  • Our Year 10 Work Experience program plus Careers focused excursions
  • The annual Year 11 and 12 Senior School Formal
  • Providing students international travel opportunities via the World Challenge and Germany Study Tour trips.

Outstanding results

In recent years, Patterson River has seen a significant improvement in student outcomes. In the last five years, VCE results have included:
  • 3 x 99+ ATARs
  • Mean Study Score 30 English
  • Mean Study Score 28 (all studies)
  • 99% successful VCE completion rate
  • Average DUX of 97.48 (5 year average)
  • 84 individual 40+ study scores.


In 2017 we completed construction of our purpose-built Senior Centre, which incorporates:
  • Senior classrooms
  • Common room
  • Presentation area
  • Café style seating area
  • Kitchen
  • Dedicated Careers Office with full-time Careers Counsellor
  • Coordinators’ office.