Teaching and Learning at Marist College

We are experts in how boys learn. Our model for teaching is influenced by our Marist tradition and the evidence for what methods work best to guide and accompany boys in their learning.

We use a model of explicit instruction to enable boys in moving new ideas and concepts from their working memory to their long-term memory. Our expert teachers carefully introduce concepts and ideas in small, manageable chunks, modelling and providing examples and demonstrations to students. With support, feedback, and repetition of concepts ideas over time, we know that boys feel supported to achieve, leading to an increase in their motivation and engagement for learning.

Our teachers use the explicit instruction approach to ensure a strong grounding in literacy and numeracy. Boys who are proficient in these skills have the foundations to learning in all subjects, and the capacity to develop 21st century thinking and problem solving skills.

Our curriculum is designed to prioritise knowledge, in sequenced and coherent manner from Year 4 to Year 12. We want to challenge the boys with complex ideas and rigor from their early years, building a knowledge bank to draw from as they grow. It is this background knowledge which helps our boys continue to learn and connect new ideas to past learning, knowledge which helps them analyse and create, and knowledge that is need to help them shape their world when they graduate.

We know each boy individually. Through the use of data as evidence of achievement and progress, we want to stretch each individual student to the best of their potential. With a well-resourced Enrichment and Learning Support program, we aim to provide acceleration and enrichment opportunities for all students, as well as provide the crucial academic support necessary for students to achieve. 

Junior School Curriculum

The Junior School has a clear focus on Literacy in 2020 as well as restructuring Mathematics, and the continued development of a new Religious Education Curriculum based on the Brisbane Religious Education Guidelines. The Junior School Curriculum is evolving and we look forward to working with parents to support their son’s learning journey. 

Senior School Curriculum

Marist College Canberra offers an educational package that is rich in opportunities for learning in the classroom and through a diverse range of experiences. Our teachers are passionate about learning and enthused with a deep knowledge of their subject area. They are professional and committed to excellence, as well as their own journey of life-long learning and improvement. We recognise that positive relationships are crucial for learning and every teacher is also a leader of pastoral care and Marist values. We have high academic standards and our goal for each student is that they engage with their learning, accept challenges and always do their best. Students are supported in this by their teachers, pastoral care leaders and also through the availability of regular tutorial sessions.

For course information for Years 7 - 12, please see the handbooks below.

Gifted and Talented program at the College

Marist College Canberra aims to identify gifted and talented students and provide optimal learning opportunities that enable them to achieve their potential.  It recognises that all students have the right to learn within their zone of proximal development and seeks to guide students to be independent and engaged in their learning. Once identified, students may engage in a range of enrichment, extension and acceleration options which best fit their physical, social, emotional, academic and spiritual needs.

Year 9 Footsteps

The Year 9 Footsteps program is a significant and positive experience catering for the particular needs of Year 9 students as they journey through the year. It strives to provide opportunities for these boys to become managers of their own learning and to set realistic and demanding goals through a rich and innovative curriculum that awakens, stimulates and challenges their intelligence.

Footsteps aims to maintain and enhance an enthusiasm for learning. It fosters the concept of a mental and physical new start and encourages student involvement. 

The overall aim is to engage each boy to realise his academic potential. Each boy will develop a willingness to take up intellectual, physical and social challenges with a sense of purpose and responsibility.

Learning and teaching are designed specifically for this age group. All aspects of the program are delivered by teachers who are committed to the program and have an affinity with Year 9 boys.

Integration in Footsteps involves opportunities for students to explore three key themes involving study from a number of curriculum areas.

Engaging Year 9 Students

Footsteps brings together elements from a number of curriculum areas. Negotiation, collaborative learning and partnerships, goal setting and the development of skills for lifelong learning are characteristics of integration in Footsteps. Every second Wednesday is set aside for these activities.

The key skills to be developed are:

  • Formal and informal writing
  • Oral and visual communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Design
  • Data collection
  • Data handling and interpretation
  • Reflection and evaluation 


  • Exposure to experiential learning in the curriculum areas studied
  • Exploration of vocational type options, possibly through community service
  • Undertaking a community service project over a number of weeks
  • Field trips for subject specific areas
  • Focused programs based on a theme or topic. 

Vocational Education

The College is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 88004) and the Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications delivered to our students in Years 11 and 12 are the same as those delivered in non-school settings.

VET is a learning pathway that provides students with the opportunity to gain nationally recognised and accredited qualifications while still at school. This learning pathway is competency based and promotes exploration of the world of work, identify career options and build career development skills. Some VET courses include work-placement which offers real life experiences and, in some cases, future employment opportunities. 

VET courses can provide a student with industry skills, knowledge and experiences that will improve job prospects and help with preparation for work. Many students are rewarded with the benefits of undertaking a VET course as they secure meaningful employment and apprenticeships or continue on the pathway to further training.

VET courses have the following characteristics that distinguish them from other courses studied. They are:

  • designed to meet industry training needs
  • supported by industry in curriculum design and course delivery
  • derived from national training packages 
  • written and assessed in competency based terms
  • designed to provide clearly defined pathways to further education, training and employment
  • accredited by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) under the Australian Qualifications Framework for industry. 
  • Students who are successful in achieving all the competencies and completing any required placements receive the national qualification. The qualification is issued by the BSSS at the same time as the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate.
More information

More details can be found in the Year 11 and 12 Student Handbook.

Course Information

Year 7 and 8

Find out more details about the Year 7 and 8 curriculum.

Year 7 and 8 Handbook

Year 9 and 10

Find out more details about the curriculum for students in Years 9 and 10.

Year 9 and 10 Handbook

Year 11 and 12

Find out more about the curriculum for students in Years 11 and 12.

Year 11 and 12 Handbook