In the Senior School the depth of learning increases and the potential to specialise begins. Students in Year 10 undertake a broad range of learning areas as required by the Victorian Curriculum. The Year 10 course includes compulsory subjects (Religious Education, English, Maths, Science, Health & Physical Education for the full year and History for one semester) plus 3 semester length electives.
All Year 10 students are in homeroom groups for the Living and Values program, Religious Education and Health & Physical Education.
YEAR 10 PROGRAM
In Year 10 study of a Language is optional but highly recommended. Students are advised to speak directly to their Language teacher (French, Indonesian, Italian), to discuss Languages options leading into VCE and their Senior School studies. All Year 10 subjects are examined at the end of Semester 1 and 2. Students must select 3 elective units in addition to 2 Science units. Each unit is undertaken for one semester. Information about electives is given at Subject Information Sessions prior to the subject selection final date (24 August 2017). Students are encouraged to seek further information from their subject teachers. The number of classes for a particular subject will be determined by the level of interest among students. Thus, it is extremely important for students to select subjects they want to do. Students who change their mind after subject selection may only enter subjects that are already timetabled, and which have places available in classes.
PEER HELPERS PROGRAM
At Year 10, all students are involved in Community Service in Semester 1. This is a core component of Religious Education Program. Some students participate in the Peer Support Program.
Work experience enables students to become part of the workforce and develop good communication skills. There is no set time for Work Experience. Some students apply for a position for one week some time in Year 10 or during vacations in Year 11. The government requires students to undertake a preparation program and two online tests about Occupational Health & Safety before they are permitted to undertake Work Experience. (See Careers Teachers, Ms Jenny Dunn or Ms Geraldine McKenna). The first of these modules is undertaken during a Careers Day in Year 9.
PROVIDING FOR INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES
By Year 10, students become more aware of the pathways ahead of them: University; TAFE; or employment. We offer several subjects that enhance the steps to these ends. VCE subjects are an option for highly able students with a sound record of achievement and good study habits. Maths 10A classes are designed for highly able Maths students and consequently are conducted at a faster pace. Entrance is based on academic results and places are limited. Generally, students need to score above 85 per cent to enter Maths 10A. Students requiring extra support for their literacy needs will be invited to undertake Our Australia as their core history unit.
The timetable grid for senior students (Year 10 to 12) has been aligned to provide access to genuine acceleration opportunities. At Year 10, there are several VCE subjects suitable for highly able students to select. Undertaking a VCE unit provides an excellent experience for students capable of advanced study. However, places are offered subject to the number of students interested. As a result, a VCE unit 1 or 2 subject which was offered one year may not have the sequel run the following year, and students may have a year’s gap before they undertake it as a 3 & 4 Unit.
Highly able students, with a strong attendance record, who wish to apply for acceleration must show clear evidence of a minimum of two out of the following three criteria:
1. Very strong results such as above 80% or B+ average according to semester 1 report in related subject area
2. Generally strong exam results across the board, 70% or B and above, particularly in a related subject area
3. Clear evidence of specific extra interest or commitment to the subject such as through external activities, competition entry, or work experience.
Applications for acceleration must be submitted by 7 August 2017 on the “Expression of Interest” form available from the Year 9 Level Coordinator. Students will be advised of the outcome of their application by 15 August.
It is important to note:
- Priority is given to Year 11 students in Units 1 & 2 subjects and to Year 12 students in a Unit 3 & 4 sequence.
- As classes are scheduled based on the number of students selecting the subject, it is not possible to guarantee entrance to the 3 & 4 Unit in that subject in Year 11
- Overall performance in Year 9, including excellent attendance and strong work habits, is a key consideration for approval for acceleration into a VCE subject in Year 10.
- Entrance to a 3 & 4 Unit in Year 11 is dependent on very strong grades for assessment tasks in most subjects, particularly those closely related to the Unit 3/4 subject.
Continuous monitoring of students’ learning is important for feedback purposes, lesson planning and to assist with future planning. Students undertake a variety of assessment that develops their skills and knowledge. These tasks are graded. Students are expected to keep all their work and to regularly revise in preparation for their exams. Where extended or mid-term holidays are taken, the student’s learning may be seriously disadvantaged. End of semester examinations are held for each subject in Year 10. These provide a valuable indication of a student’s suitability to accelerate into a 3 & 4 unit sequence in Year 11. Unit 3 & 4 subjects are mostly assessed by an examination so the ability to prepare for exams and complete them well is an important indicator of suitability for a Year 11 Unit 3 & 4 subject. Examinations must be undertaken at the scheduled time to ensure the integrity of the assessment process. Where a student’s Assessment Task performance is not at or above the expected level, the opportunity to undertake acceleration in VCE may be withheld. Year 10 students who receive an ‘Ungraded’ for several Assessment Tasks may be asked to attend a formal interview with the Deputy Principal and or the Director of Studies. Should improvement not occur based on the plan devised, then parents may be required to attend a further interview with the student. In cases where a student has not satisfactorily completed her Year 10 studies, the options for future pathways will be explored. Parent-Student-Teacher Meeting nights are an invaluable method of receiving feedback. We encourage students to attend with their parents.
SELECTION OF SUBJECTS
Students are asked to indicate preferences. Every endeavour will be made to enter students in their preferred units in as fair a manner as possible. This process takes place in late August. Students planning a prolonged absence should seek advice from the Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching about subject selection processes before departure.
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING UNITS
When choosing units, students should consider their future pathways. Students should also consider whether any particular unit:
a) interests them
b) will extend their knowledge
c) is deemed a wise choice by parents and teachers
d) involves presumed knowledge for further studies. Eg: Languages
Before making any elective choices, it is vital that students consider all the information relating to each subject. If you need help with subject combinations that would suit your interests or the pathways you are considering, have a look at the sample programs. They are a guide only, many other combinations can be chosen. Avila College’s timetable is constructed according to students’ choices each year. A change of mind may be possible but students must be aware that a limited range of choices may be left.