The middle of term three heralds several very key milestones in a school year. Traffic light data will soon be shared with parents, this is an indication of progress towards successful completion of the term and year against the Australian Curriculum subjects for Middle School and SACE for Senior School. Every learner is different and a one size fits all approach is not the most effective. As a school community we look for trends over time, and also sudden shifts that may indicate a young person is not travelling well socially/emotionally or academically, in order to put support in place to stop the decline. On the flip side, when a student is having continued and increasing success, we aim to identify the practices and routines that make this happen and amplify them. Traffic light data is also used to track a number of students with learning difficulties and disabilities to see if the interventions we have put in place are working productively and are having an impact. When communication between school and home is reciprocal, learning from each other, we can all best support our young people to be the most successful they can be.
The other event happening right now is subject selections and course counselling for year 7-11. There are three relevant points about why it is so important it is done right now, meeting timelines and with rigour.
Conversations about life beyond school, career planning and specialisations are more important than ever. Not only do we all want our young people to love the work they go into, but also have financial stability and flexibility in the good and bad times. Having conversations as a family with all age groups is important. By year 10 students will be making life choices about the pathways they want to pursue, and we can help tailor subject choices to maximise success, and link students with employment, VET and Uni real life experiences to explore. Research tells us that students who stay at school and complete year 12 or equivalent training have greater prosperity later in life. Students who know the general field they want to go into are also better equipped to set themselves aspirational goals to reach important milestones.
The timetable is developed after students make their choices and every timetable is unique to the person. It is an incredibly complex algorithm to make this happen and is only as good as the data that goes into it. The process of mixing and matching subjects on different lines enables the team under the direction of timetabling guru Paula Hahesy to create the least number of clashes against subject choices. More students are getting exactly the subjects they want and the breadth of choices is outstanding. Current year 6s will receive their 2024 timetable at transition next term, relieving much anxiety because they will know what a week at high school looks like, meet classmates and teachers for the following year and make early connections.
Finally, now is the time I am locking in staffing for next year, based on the data around selections for subject choices. As an example we saw a swing in students choosing agriculture and the Ag teachers were fully loaded. I was able to advertise for another teacher and provide opportunities for current teachers interested in the field to train in preparation. Our VET pathways continue to be strong and aligned to Flexible Industry Pathways in our community. When students undertake VET they are trained by external providers, meaning less teachers are needed. Making accurate staffing predictions keeps our school financially strong and able to offer more to our families such as loan chromebooks, subsidised camps and free excursions.
Currently we are sitting at about 55% subject selection completion. I urge if you haven’t already, please have a conversation with your child/ren, access career counselling (yr 10 and above) and submit online asap.If you are unsure please reach out to your Neighbourhood Student Pathways Leader.