1. The basis for selecting subjects
It is important that subject selection is made on the basis of preferred post-school destinations and possible future careers. However, selection should be realistic, and in keeping with a student‘s academic ability.
In order to achieve success in many senior school subjects, students need to have demonstrated an appropriate degree of academic ability and achievement in Year 10 subjects. Without this background, students invariably have difficulty with the subject content in Years 11 and 12. It is essential to take note of the numerical IB MYP grades stated as recommended minimum levels of achievement in Year 10 courses. Students must choose their Higher Level subjects wisely and ensure that they possess the necessary academic foundations to study a subject at a Higher Level.
The range of Diploma subjects offered at the College gives students the opportunity to pursue their particular interests at levels appropriate to their ability.
Students and parents should seek the advice of teachers when selecting subjects for either Year 11 or 12. Teacher recommendation is a very good indication of likely success in Year 11 and 12.
Essentially a student’s subject selection will be determined by their academic ability and their post-school ambitions. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is informed by international standards of best practice and, therefore, is highly prized by universities, TAFE and employers and should be considered by all students.
Students, whether planning to seek employment after leaving school or to continue with further tertiary studies (TAFE, tertiary or other) should choose subjects which will maximise their options for the future. Students should also be aware that many TAFE qualifications can lead on to university entry with advanced standing (i.e. an ATAR or Diploma score is not the only avenue to university entrance).
2. Breadth of study
Local, national and international academics celebrate the breadth of study insisted upon by the IB Diploma Programme. Students must choose a subject from each of the six (6) Groups, which provides a balanced curriculum. However, students may elect to study a second subject from the sciences or humanities subjects. Students may also elect to study two subjects in Group One but they must be in a different language. For example, a student may elect to study Language and Literature English and Language and Literature Chinese and not take a subject from Group Two: Language Acquisition. Additionally, all aspects of the curriculum are informed by the Learner Profile which enables students to acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry, research and evidence independence in learning.
3. Subject Selection Process and Timeline
Subject selection is a process that takes some time to complete effectively. The key stages in this process are outlined below.
Before submission of the Subject Selection Form
- Information sessions will be provided for Year 10 students during Autumn and Winter Terms.
- A mid-year report showing Year 10 achievement will be posted home during Summer Term.
- A Subject Selection Information Meeting for parents will be held in the Dickinson Centre in Autumn Term.
- Students should conduct individual research using the Careers Adviser’s office, Careers Expos, university and TAFE open days and websites.
Submission of the Subject Selection Form
The subject selection process should be completed on-line by Thursday 4 May, 2017. This date is important, as it is these subject choices that will form the basis of the timetable structure for Year 11 beginning in October 2017. This selection, however, need not be the final one but subsequent changes may be constrained by the timetable structure developed on the basis of the subject selections submitted. Instructions on how to complete this process will be provided separately.
After submission of the Subject Selection Form
- During Autumn Term students and parents can discuss subject selections with the Careers Adviser and the IB Diploma Coordinator.
- At the end of Winter Term all students’ subject choices are reviewed in light of their examination results and final report. Letters of concern will be sent to appropriate students.
- Students should also take advantage of the expertise of the Careers Adviser and the IB Diploma Coordinator between the final examinations and the start of Spring Term.
Where possible students are asked to make changes before the commencement of Spring Term. In order to initiate the change, parents need to email a request to the Careers Adviser and if necessary, arrange a meeting to discuss the proposed changes.
Changes after the start of Year 11
Subject changes can be made once Year 11 studies have commenced in October 2017 and students have until the start of Summer Term 2018 (January 2018) to make final subject changes. All changes are arranged in consultation with Mr Peter Frusher (Careers Adviser) and Mr Michael Scaife (IB Diploma Coordinator). Any changes after the first week of the Diploma Programme must also have the support of the subject teacher.
In order to initiate the change, parents need to email a request to the Careers Adviser and if necessary, arrange a meeting to discuss the proposed changes. No change of subject or course is allowed until the appropriate discussion and protocols have been completed. The full procedure can take two to three days or more, during which time a student must continue with his original course. It is important to realise when considering a subject change that there are several possible implications.
- Are the new subjects compatible with post-school plans?
- Does the new selection of subjects satisfy the criteria for the Diploma and Tertiary Entrance?
- Does the new selection fit the timetable structure?
- Is there room in the class?
4. Timetable Structure
The timetable is constructed using a number of ‘lines’. A line is basically a group of classes that are taught simultaneously. It follows that students can only take one subject from each line in the timetable. Often the number of students selecting a subject means that there is more than one class in that subject and these classes will normally be placed on different timetable lines to maximise the chances of students being able to study the subjects of their choice.
The timetable lines are developed after students have made their subject selections by the June 10th deadline. Every attempt is made to set up a line structure that allows each student to study the subjects of their choice. However, in a few cases a clash free line structure may not be possible and a few students will have to select an alternative subject. Also, if numbers choosing a subject are insufficient to establish an effective class group the subject will not operate, and the few students affected will have to select an alternative subject.
After the lines have been set subject changes have to fit the line pattern that has been established, so a student looking to change his subjects may find the range available is reduced. Classes may also become ‘full’ and this, too, restricts movement between subjects once the school year is underway.
Year 11 students may review their selection of courses and/or subjects in the first semester of study. As a result a student may consider changing one or more of his Diploma subjects or elect to move to the WACE programme. These changes will involve important considerations and students should seek advice from teachers, the IB Diploma Coordinator and the Careers Adviser prior to initiating a change.
5. Recommended minimum achievement level in Year 10
Each course contains the recommended minimum achievement, in terms of numerical IB MYP grades, a student needs to have reached by the end of Year 10.