1. The basis for selecting subjects
It is important that subject selection is made on the basis of aptitude, preferred post-school destinations and possible future careers. While the IB Diploma offers a different academic experience, the subjects that we offer through the IB Diploma are not particularly mysterious, and are similar to those we offer in WACE.
To make good decisions about subjects, it is worth bearing in mind the following 4 factors:
(i) Academic Ability
In order to achieve success in many senior school subjects, students need to have demonstrated an appropriate degree of proficiency or achievement in Year 10 subjects.
It is essential to take note of the benchmarks or minimum levels of achievement required in Year 10 courses. Additionally, students ought to choose their Higher Level subjects carefully, ensuring 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.
(iii) Teacher Recommendations
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.
(iv) Future Intentions
The IB Diploma is particularly suited to students intending to continue onto university studies after their schooling. Indeed, one of its main strengths is the way in which it prepares students for university study.
All subjects are underpinned by the Approaches to Learning framework, designed to help students become effective learners.
Additionally, Internal Assessments in each subject, alongside the completion of the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge, provide an outstanding foundation of research and academic writing skills. This is complemented by the completion of the Creativity, Activity and Service programme. Together, these dimensions help students to develop:
- Self-management skills, including organisation, goal-setting, and reflection
- Effective critical thinking skills, as well as problem-solving and creativity
- Research skills
- Academic writing ability
- Ability to work collaboratively
- Ability to communicate with a wide range of audiences and external stakeholders
2. Breadth of study
The IB Diploma by its nature provides for wonderful breadth of study, as students are required to study a diversity of subjects.
Students must choose one subject from Groups 1-5, and can select their final subject from the Arts, Individuals & Societies, or the Sciences. This provides a balanced curriculum. Scotch College firmly believes that students benefit tremendously from studying a subject in the Arts, and actively recommends this pathway. However, students may elect to study a second subject from Individuals & Societies or the Sciences, especially where this is necessary to satisfy university prerequisites, .
- Group 1: Studies in Language & Literature
- Group 2: Language Acquisition
- Group 3: Individuals & Societies
- Group 4: Sciences
- Group 5: Mathematics
- Group 6: The Arts
3. Course selection process and timeline
Course selection is a process that takes some time to complete effectively. The key stages in this process are outlined below.
Before submission of the Course Selection Form
- Pathway Information will be made available in Summer Term.
- Semester One Year 10 report will be available on SEQTA at the end of Summer Term.
- Pathway week for Year 10 students will be held in Autumn term.
- Parent, Teacher, Student Interviews will be held in Autumn term.
- House Head meetings will be held in Autumn term.
- Students should conduct individual research using the Leader of Pathways and Partnerships, Careers Expos, university and TAFE open days and websites.
After submission of the Course Selection Form
- Students meet with the Teaching and Learning team to discuss their selections.
- At the end of Winter term all students’ course choices are reviewed in light of their examination results and Semester 2 report. Letters of concern will be sent to appropriate students.
- Students should also take advantage of the expertise of the Leader of Pathways and Partnerships between receipt of the Semester 2 report and the start of Spring term to discuss potential changes. Parents are encouraged to be part of these discussions and are welcome to make an appointment with the Leader of Pathways and Partnerships.
Changes after the start of Year 11
Course changes can be made once Year 11 studies have commenced and students have until Week 2 of Summer term to make final course changes. All changes are arranged in consultation with their House Head. Any changes must also have the support of the course teacher.