Term 3 is exciting and important for various reasons. For our senior learners, Term 3 represents an opportunity to help curate their learning journey through the subject selection process. To this end, Year 10 boys and parents will have received information recently about how to make initial SACE selections for 2024, and you can watch a recording of our most recent SACE Subject Selection Information Session here. This is part of a longer process that involves caregivers, students, Heads of House and Heads of Faculty working together over the coming weeks, but decisions like these are worth mulling over.
When it comes to senior curriculum, you will note that we offer lots of choices at St Peter’s College. We certainly offer more choice than we used to, and we possibly offer a good deal more choice than many other schools. This is deliberate, and we do it for a number of reasons.
Firstly, we believe each student is different and that one size rarely fits all when it comes to learning. It follows, then, that a good school should offer a rich variety of learning pathways to honour a rich variety of learners.
Secondly, we believe boys need to make some decisions for themselves over the course of their learning journey, so long as these choices correspond to appropriate limits and support structures. This is important because boys should have the opportunity to – every now and then – feel a sense of control over their own learning and, by extension, over their own lives. As educators working in partnership with families, we wish to help build independent humans rather than compliant robots.
This hopefully helps explain why we offer these choices, but many students can be overwhelmed by the variety of subjects and pathways on offer. With this in mind, it is useful to have some kind of criteria for selecting subjects.
The vision of our School is To Be an Exceptional Community of Learning, and what this looks like in the academic realm is that we seek to connect boys to academic experiences that are interesting, meaningful and challenging. Those three descriptors form a solid criteria for subject selection, I think – if a prospective subject feels interesting, meaningful and challenging, then consider choosing it, and if it doesn’t, then don’t!
If, as a student, you are looking for an even simpler criterion to help you decide which subject to choose, try picking one you’re passionate about. University and career pathways are important considerations and are often linked to interest, motivation and performance but, if I have learnt anything in my last twenty years of being a schoolmaster, doing what you love is what gets one out of bed in the morning. Learning can be (and needs to be) a drudge at times, but it should also be inspiring and even, sometimes, a little bit fun.
Good luck in your subject selections, and please get in touch with me or Dr Simon Roberts-Thomson if you have any questions.
Deputy Headmaster (Acting)