By Deborah Williams, Academic Dean
The current educational landscape is one actively seeking to graduate students who are ‘future ready’: that is, students who can apply discipline based knowledge to authentic questions in the real world, who can problem solve and innovate, who have developed the personal agency to work and learn both independently and in highly collaborative forums, who can tolerate the increasing complexity of global problems in order to make genuine contribution to the betterment of their world. Students preparing for Year 11 are indeed privileged to be entering an educational programme that will require them to develop this kind of knowledge, this level of understanding and these transdisciplinary skills.
Learning in the final years at Trinity Grammar School is built upon the strong foundations laid in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle School. The focuses upon inquiry learning and growth mindset will serve students well as they enter these capstone years.
Now, students are offered abundant choice which brings great excitement, but they must also accept the responsibility of shaping a personal academic programme to which they are prepared to commit and give their utmost, and that will meet their aspirations for the future.
The period between the beginning of the subject selection process and formal commencement of Year 11 needs to be a period of open minded investigation, conversation and reflection. With so many pathways on offer including the IB and vocational options, why choose the HSC?
The HSC is the local credential, comparatively well understood by the community, parents and employers. Most students’ friends at other schools will be studying for the HSC and can share the experience.
2. Subject choice
There is a wider choice of subjects for boys on this pathway. As a very broad credential, the HSC also caters for those who are not destined for university and would prefer to undertake some vocational subjects. Students undertaking the HSC move easily to university, TAFE and other further training, while some will move directly to the workforce.
The HSC has limited rules requiring breadth of subject choice, and the only compulsory subject is English, so it is easier for students to specialise in areas they have a strong interest such as Maths/Sciences, Humanities or the Creative Arts. It is also possible to present as few as four subjects, taken at the appropriate level, for the Higher School Certificate.
4. Spreading the load
For students who like the certainty of working towards a goal over time, the HSC includes a 50 percent Assessment component in each subject, where students earn marks for tasks undertaken throughout Year 12. The fact that the examinations are only worth 50 percent (of the final result), can help reduce the stress associated with those major examinations.
Where possible keep pathway options open until a final decision is required. Parents and their children should view the choice through the three ‘lenses’ listed below to determine if the HSC will advance the student’s:
- passion and interest
- past success and
- future aspirations.
Whether it is the HSC or IB, students should choose the pathway that offers subjects which they find interesting. Personal interest is the best way of motivating oneself to commit two intensive years to the study of a subject. Students who choose a pathway because they think will give them some statistical advantage in university admission often commit themselves to two years of unhappiness, studying subjects in which they have little real interest or ability.
Parents and students are encouraged to seek advice from Heads of Departments, the Careers Adviser, the Housemaster, the Director of Curriculum, the Director of IB, the Academic Dean or the Master of the Senior School to assist them in choosing their programme of study.
At Trinity Grammar School our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning. For over a hundred years Trinity has educated boys in mind, body and spirit, and we are constantly evolving our teaching methods to ensure our boys receive the best education possible.
Fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, we aim to know, understand and nurture every student to help them realise their potential, passions and purpose in life.
To learn more about the Trinity difference and to discover why we’re one of the best independent schools in Sydney, download our prospectus.