Senior school


Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)

Students in the Senior Phase of Learning at Forest Lake SHS are working towards the completion of either the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or the Queensland Certificate of Individual Attainment (QCIA – for students on an individual learning program).  This is the minimum outcome expected for all Forest Lake Senior students.

Students require twenty (20) credit points to attain a QCE which can come from school subjects, stand-alone vocational education courses and school based traineeships. Details are available in the QCE Guide link on the right hand side of this page. (These links include the QCAA guidelines in Arabic, Mandarin, Samoan, Tagalog and Vietnamese.)

A new QCE/QCIA structure was implemented in 2019 for Year 11 students and will be fully implemented across Years 11 and 12 in 2020. The move to the new QCE/QCIA has been driven by the need to prepare students for a changing world being heavily influenced by automation and globalisation. Students, parents and carers of students in Years 10, 11 and 12 are urged to continue to be in be informed. The New QCE/QCIA system is dynamic and it will continue to evolve as we move through 2020. Year 10 is used to prepare students for the challenges of Years 11 and 12. The overarching policy document is the QCAA QCE-QCIA Handbook which is in the side links.

Forest Lake SHS has a strong, positive record in providing Senior students with access to a variety of opportunities while also enrolled at school. Students can access TAFE studies, School Based Traineeships and Apprenticeships (SATs) and Diploma Level qualifications. These options contribute to a QCE and often provide pathways above and beyond what a QCE can provide on its own. See links on the side of this page.

Variation to Assessment

The single biggest change in the New QCE system is the significantly raised level of expectations around completing assessment tasks by and/or on the set date. The final result for each General and Applied subject will be based on four (4) formal assessment tasks only, mostly completed in Year 12, which means completion dates will be strictly followed to ensure fairness for all.

As always, Forest Lake State High School will assist and support students where their circumstances mean they are not on a level playing field with other students. If students require short, medium or long term assistance, the first step in any situation to seek support is to complete and submit a Variation to Assessment application. (Link is to the side)

This application will be processed by the Year Level Deputy Principal and, if successful, will result in an Access Arrangement or Reasonable Adjustment (AARA) to assist the student to complete the assessment task. As an example, this could mean an extension on an assignment due date. Complete details can be found in the Forest Lake Learning to Assessment Policy.

Family holidays and routine appointments are unable to be accepted as a reason to vary assessment completion requirements. Full details are in the Learning to Assessment Policy. To assist families with planning, Exam Block periods for Years 11 and 12 will be published at the start of the year. It is important to note that this only covers exam assessment tasks and students will have a range of other types of assessment through the year.

Senior Curriculum

The Senior Curriculum has been designed to enable our students to pursue a range of options suitable for their chosen pathway. These options include:

  • Tertiary Entrance
    • At least four (4) General subjects are required to contribute to a student's Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) although it is strongly suggested that students pursuing an ATAR do at least five (5) General subjects.
    • There are also opportunities for direct entry to some universities through a range of options such as TAFE qualifications.   
  • Applied subjects, which are not as academically rigorous as General subjects, but do contribute to a QCE. While students can technically use one (1) Applied subject and four (4) General subjects to get an ATAR, is strongly suggested this is not done due to the low contribution value of an Applied subject.
  • Stand-alone vocational education courses.
  • Study through our partnership programs with universities, TAFE and other registered training organisations
  • School based traineeships or apprenticeships (SATs)
  • Structured work placement
  • Work experience

Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA)

The Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA) recognises and reports the achievements of students whose learning is part of an individual learning program.  The certificate is an official record that students have completed at least 12 years of education. It provides students with a summary of their skills and knowledge that they can present to employers and training providers.  Further information can be found in the QCIA Information Brochure and the 'Introduction to QCIA' video in the side links.

Pathways Centre

All of these options provide our students with pathways to further education and training and/or employment. We cater for the individual students by allowing them to develop a program of study that best suits their needs and future pathway.

Our students are supported by the Senior Schooling team based in the Namatjira Pathways Centre situated below Student Services. This team is led by Leanne Randolph, Head of Department (Senior Schooling).

Further details around Senior Schooling can be accessed from the links to the side.

If you require information, please contact:

Leanne Randolph, Head of Department (Senior Schooling)

on 3714 2333 or

Last reviewed 15 March 2021
Last updated 15 March 2021