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Last year, Saints students now in Years 9 and 10 were asked – for the first time – to choose what they would like to study from a list of nearly 60 possible electives, which were built in response to us asking the boys the question ‘if you could learn anything at school, what would it be?’

We did this because we believe that interest leads to engagement, which leads to boys taking ownership over their own learning. Beyond this, our learner’s brains come in all shapes and sizes, so we want to accommodate for as many brains as possible!

This kind of flexibility also supports the Senior Years in our ‘stage, not age’ approach, where well over a hundred of our students now are studying subjects matched to their intellectual readiness rather than simply their chronological age. Some of our Year 11 boys are studying Year 12 subjects and some of our Year 10 boys are studying Year 11 subjects. Some of our Year 10s are even studying Year 12 subjects and a number of boys in various year levels are engaging with university-level work. The important thing, of course, is to marry this approach with appropriate checks and balances to ensure boys are accessing the kinds of learning best suited to them. This can only work if there is ongoing communication between all the stakeholders in our educational partnership.

With this in mind, we have sent Year 9 and 10 boys a short survey this week, asking them to reflect on their elective experience so far. We want to know what has gone well and what hasn’t gone well; we want to keep refining the types of electives we offer, the number of electives we offer, the process of selection and the classroom experience itself so that every student has an engaging and – importantly – challenging experience. Watch the video below to learn more.

Beyond asking for your support with these student surveys, we remain open to feedback from all members of our community, especially parents. So please continue to pass on your feedback to me, online or in person.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Nick Carter
Academic Deputy