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Lees75

Yr 12 subject selection

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Lees75

It is that time already. It just feels like a few months ago when I started a similar thread for Yr 11 subject selection. 

DS16 has done really well so far this year with Spec Maths, Maths Methods, Psychology, English, P.E. and the compulsory Yr 12 research project, which our school does in Yr 11 to get it out of the way. He has finished the Yr 12 research, and subject to any moderation, has ended with an A+.

So now he needs to work out which subject to drop for next year.  It is really hard when you have no idea what you want to do when you finish school, and even harder when there are very few uni courses in SA that have pre-requisite subjects! He was thinking of dropping Spec Maths or English, as P.E. and Maths Methods are definite and he is sitting on an A+ in Psychology. He did consider staying with all 5 subjects, but given he also is very committed to his SANFL football, decided it wasn't wise to do an extra subject unnecessarily. Fair enough. 

Then yesterday, he comes home with a subject information/selection pack and says he is thinking about doing Integrated Learning - Sports Focus. I'm afraid my reaction wasn't all that supportive initially:

"You're too smart to waste a subject."

"It gets moderated down."

"It's too much physical activity to do 2 P.E. based subjects, as well as train at an elite level."  This is probably the only justifiable reason I came up with and one we will talk through with the subject coordinator, who knows him well. 

He went to his dad's for the weekend not long after and I had a think to myself. What is my problem??? Why does it matter if one subject gets moderated down? Why do I care about him getting an ATAR in the 99s if he doesn't care and it's not needed for any courses he would consider? Why can't he just have a blast in Yr 12? He would have the best year of his life doing 2 P.E. subjects, Psychology and Maths Methods. I rang him and apologised and he just laughed at me, "Oh, mum, you crack me up!" 

I am finding it hard to fight my natural inclination to think if you are super smart at Maths, you should just do the standard English, Spec Maths, Maths Methods, Physics and Chemistry. That was how it was done for me - it was just expected. But he is a smart kid, and I need to settle petal and just let him sort it out. (I am going to pour over the SATAC guide tonight though, and ensure that he won't be missing any pre-requisite subjects for any possible courses he might want to do.)

Has anyone else started the Yr 12 subject selection process yet?

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onetrick

Oh, so you're obviously not in Vic, but being 'scaled down' really doesnt effect the high scores all that much here? It greatly effects the average scores in some subjects though. We can get a scaling report on the VTAC website, maybe you could find something similar?

We start course counseling at our school (I'm a teacher and in pathways, not a parent) next week but we start with the younger year levels first.

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Lees75

onetrick, you could well be right, for the scaling here in SA too. Now that you mention it, I remember that even for P.E., historically, it was scaled down if you got less than about a B+, but the higher grades stayed. I will check if there is a scaling report - otherwise I remember our school provided one last year of data they had collated over the last 3 years. 

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got my tinsel on

Isn't English a compulsory subject?

Happy to be wrong.

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JRA

It is so tough isn't it. As has been said very high scores generally get scaled down, but in some subjects in Vic they do get scaled up.  So I suppose  a high score in an "easy subject" doesn't necessarily equate to a high score in a "hard subject" as he hard subject is scaled up

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Lees75
6 minutes ago, got my tinsel on said:

Isn't English a compulsory subject?

Happy to be wrong.

Not in SA!  They have to do the compulsory research project instead, which, despite my initial hesitation, was an excellent subject, teaching them proper research and lit review skills, as well as professional writing and presentation. 

4 minutes ago, JRA said:

It is so tough isn't it. As has been said very high scores generally get scaled down, but in some subjects in Vic they do get scaled up.  So I suppose  a high score in an "easy subject" doesn't necessarily equate to a high score in a "hard subject" as he hard subject is scaled up

And this what I am trying to get in my head - if one of his subjects gets scaled down a bit, does it even matter, given he knows he definitely doesn't want to do Medicine or Engineering? 

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GingerbreadWoman

English isn’t compulsory in South Australia, but is in some other states.
Lees, my apologies if this makes it even more complicated for you but if there is any possibility your DS might want to attend uni interstate (Perhaps studying part-time while pursuing an AFL career?) then that might change what he needs to consider in terms of pre-requisites. 

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Lees75
2 minutes ago, GingerbreadWoman said:

English isn’t compulsory in South Australia, but is in some other states.
Lees, my apologies if this makes it even more complicated for you but if there is any possibility your DS might want to attend uni interstate (Perhaps studying part-time while pursuing an AFL career?) then that might change what he needs to consider in terms of pre-requisites. 

Yes, someone just PM-ed this exact thought, which I hadn't really considered. I am going to check out the pre-requisites in other states as well. But   he won't get drafted at the end of Yr 12. He is too short at 174cm so will have to prove himself the hard way by doing his best in the SANFL program. He is still dedicated, but I am not convinced he wants it bad enough to actually go for it. He always does his best, but he loves life and "does his best" at lots of different things, spreading himself thin. 

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GingerbreadWoman

Only in the sports world is 174cm ‘short’ :) 

Then I will just add the other thing I sometimes tell stressed year 12s and/or their parents... there is more than one way to get into uni and increasingly, more and more uni students are NOT coming to uni straight from year 12, and/or are getting into uni through alternative pathways. Your ATAR doesn’t define the rest of your life. If he does later decide he is passionate about a career that he didn’t do the ‘right’ subjects for in year 12, there are other ways to get there. 

Your DS certainly sounds like someone who won’t decide not to bother trying in year 12 based on an internet random saying that :) 

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Greatmum

Yes there are lots of ways to get into university. My DS is doing a science degree and got in by his science marks not ATAR. 

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SplashingRainbows

Personally I’d want to keep the English to keep the essay skills up for any possible uni subjects. Especially if psychology is a possibility. 
 

but honestly - the kid isn’t going to go too far wrong Lees. He’s made of the right stuff (from everything you’ve ever posted about him).  

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SplashingRainbows

PPs I highly suspect the inclusion of P.E. is likely to lead to a 95 ATAR rather than a 99 ATAR. I don’t think entrance to university is in doubt - just possibly what courses or what state if English is a requirement. 

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**Tiger*Filly**

As an SA-er, two of my kids have finished yr 12 and one is doing it this year. None of them have done English and I doubt my fourth child will either. In my opinion Yr12 English is just as specialised a topic as any of the other subjects and the type of texts you study and write about  in yr12 has no particular relevance to the rest of your life any more than any other subject does. All the more generic writing type skills are learned in earlier years, and via writing essays for other subjects. Presumably that’s why they don’t make it compulsory!

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born.a.girl

A young relative was not happy that all his humanities subjects were scaled down, and we were told if he'd been doing the maths and science subjects, he'd be a 99 instead of a 95 that he got.  Point is, the courses that he could get into, he could romp into with a 95.  The courses that need the sciences and maths and are in hot demand need a higher one.

That's the unfortunate bit about him now knowing what he wants to do.

I'd always encourage keeping English, as I think the skills taught are of benefit over any area. The Language Analysis our daughter did in year 12 has set her in good stead, and was certainly a significant step up from year 11 level.

Writing reports is fairly important in most senior positions in many fields.

The other thing to consider is how long he's going to spend on a subject if he's absolutely sure it's not going to be necessary.  Our daughter's year 12 maths tutor was perfectly capable of specialist maths and maths methods, but chose Further Maths as he wanted to study Business and he could do Further maths with his eyes closed (and got 49) whereas he'd have had to spend a lot more time on the more complex maths, and that wasn't the area of business he was interested in.

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FeralRebelWClaws

I love when people tell students that they would have got a higher mark if they did sciences and Spec Maths. Not if they have no skills or talent in that area! I mean sure if a student is capable of getting 95% in both spec maths and basketweaving, then probably spec maths might be a better choice. But not all students topping basketweaving are capable of getting high marks in spec maths or physics or chem etc.

It's always hard when I see parents pushing their children into subjects they struggle with because the parent thinks it scales better (not you OP, I am meaning my actual experience). A student's best chance at doing well is doing subjects they enjoy and can engage with. 

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JRA
Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, FeralRebelWClaws said:

I love when people tell students that they would have got a higher mark if they did sciences and Spec Maths. Not if they have no skills or talent in that area! I mean sure if a student is capable of getting 95% in both spec maths and basketweaving, then probably spec maths might be a better choice. But not all students topping basketweaving are capable of getting high marks in spec maths or physics or chem etc. 

Thank you.  I was gobsmacked when someone had said their child had been told that. 

Edited by JRA

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BusbyWilkes
5 hours ago, **Tiger*Filly** said:

As an SA-er, two of my kids have finished yr 12 and one is doing it this year. None of them have done English and I doubt my fourth child will either. In my opinion Yr12 English is just as specialised a topic as any of the other subjects and the type of texts you study and write about  in yr12 has no particular relevance to the rest of your life any more than any other subject does. All the more generic writing type skills are learned in earlier years, and via writing essays for other subjects. Presumably that’s why they don’t make it compulsory!

English is compulsory in every state except SA.  It has to be used/included when calculating ATAR score for many unis. OPs son * may* want to study in another state (particularly if his football takes him elsewhere).
 

 

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born.a.girl
11 hours ago, FeralRebelWClaws said:

I love when people tell students that they would have got a higher mark if they did sciences and Spec Maths. Not if they have no skills or talent in that area! I mean sure if a student is capable of getting 95% in both spec maths and basketweaving, then probably spec maths might be a better choice. But not all students topping basketweaving are capable of getting high marks in spec maths or physics or chem etc.

It's always hard when I see parents pushing their children into subjects they struggle with because the parent thinks it scales better (not you OP, I am meaning my actual experience). A student's best chance at doing well is doing subjects they enjoy and can engage with. 

For sure.  The other relevant thing is the ATAR required for the types of subjects people are good at, reflect the subjects they're doing.

As I mentioned, we were told by grumpy parents that he would have got 99 if he'd done the science/maths subjects - um, how about he may not actually have been all that good at them, and giving he gave them up for all humanities, that's a reasonable guess!  Plus 95 didn't stop him getting into any of the courses that his subjects gave him access to.

Our daughter's school stressed all along - do what you're good at, after all, they're what you'll need for anything that follows, although I did encourage her to keep Further Maths, given she didn't know what she wanted to so, and so many courses required a basic result in any maths.

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liveworkplay
15 hours ago, GingerbreadWoman said:

Only in the sports world is 174cm ‘short’

For guys it is. My 14 year old DD is 175cm (Yes she plays AFL amongst other sports) 

 

OP I Sometimes feel myself thinking that way to. My eldest DD is a maths wizz and would be snapped up in a carer centred on mathematics but she is more set on saving the world via food security and sustainability...still science but it is her passion and she is choosing her subjects for year 11 to reflect that (but still doing high level maths for "fun" 

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EsmeLennox
Posted (edited)

If he’s going to drop one, drop the one in which he is weakest, and will therefore require the most work.

Are there benefits to sticking with 5 subjects? I don’t know much about the SA system, but in WA having 5 kind of work a little bit like an insurance policy. Your ATAR is made up of your 4 best results, so if you bomb in one subject, there’s another to take its place IYKWIM. That said, plenty of kids only do 4 ATAR subjects. In most schools they still have to do one or two other subjects as well.

And I’d not stress about ATAR scores at this point. Who knows what things are going to look like next year, but as long as he’s got enough to get into uni, it seriously does not matter (unless he’s wanting medicine, dentistry or veterinary science etc). I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we see unis continuing to move to alternate entry for next year at least. My son, in Y12 this year, already has his place at uni, and he does not know one single kid who isn’t already sorted for what they’re doing next year. I know this year has been unusual, but I suspect next year will be too.

Most unis outside of your state will have an entry process for kids from other states, including SA. There will be some way they assess English competence, so if he doesn’t do English I wouldn’t panic. In WA you have to have a 50 in ATAR English, if you’re entering the ‘normal way’. This year, many unis were accepting Year 11 results and predicted ATAR from Year 11.

 

Edited by EsmeLennox

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coolbreeze
Posted (edited)

My dd is in Year 11 at a high ATAR achieving school in Victoria

I have encouraged her to keep maths methods for year 12 as it is a prerequisite for some Science Courses /Commerce if that's what she is interested in. Also another science. This year she is doing Chemistry and Biology . She's not sure what to keep out of those yet. She likes both, but finds Biology easier to grasp well. She doing pretty ok in Chemistry and likes it, but just needs to work harder at it. She's quite bright and an efficient worker at school but sometimes coasts along.

This years she is doing VCE dance 3/4

Next year probably:

Maths Methods

Literature

Biology or Chemistry

Legal studies

VET Dance  (In case she has trouble in other subjects, she has been dancing for years so may as well add it in)

So six subjects in total over two years. Two as insurance subjects. 

Edited by coolbreeze
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Lees75

@coolbreeze, so she doesn't have to do English in Victoria?  Or does Literature count?

 

Thank you so much to everyone for your valuable input. I have discussed it all with DS16 and we have spent the week checking all the prerequisites for all the possible courses he is vaguely interested in - none have prerequisites, so in the end I told him to just do what he loves. So he spoke with the Integrated Sports subject teacher today, as the only thing slightly concerning DS was the potential scaling. The teacher said the low grades tend to get scaled even lower, but an A/A+ doesn't normally get scaled down, or. it it does, maximum of half a grade.  DS16 has decided that is a risk he is happy to take, as the only course he is vaguely interested in with a high ATAR is physio, and, at this stage, he is happy to get there via Human Movement, etc, if he decides to he really wants to do it, which he doesn't think he does anyway. 

So, the final list was handed in today, with Maths Methods, P.E., Integrated Sports, and English. 

He has decided to drop Spec Maths (not needed for anything he is vaguely interested in) and Psych (loves Psych and was torn between Psych and English, but decided to do English because of the bonus point for it in SA, and the fact it has no exam!) His Psych teacher, who is also his care group teacher and probably the best teacher in the world, was heart-broken.

And I am happy because XH and I did a deal with DS that he could do the Integrated Sports subject without us whinging at him, on the proviso that he lets us get treatment for him on his niggly back injury. And DS was so eager to do the subject, has has agreed. 

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coolbreeze
Posted (edited)

Yes, literature counts as  a English in Victoria. 

There are four to choose from. General English, Literature, English language and I think English (EAL)

She likes literature as its quite broad and you get to argue the big ideas around text and novels. 

Cheers

CB

Edited by coolbreeze
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