Academic Focus

Making deliberate choices to shape a programme of study

One of the marvellous aspects of the journey through secondary school is the opportunity to make choices about our programme of study, to actively shape the pattern of courses to which we will commit our best effort. Last week, Year 10 students and parents met for the Year 11 2022 Course Information Evening and this week, Year 8 families gathered for their turn to explore the array of choices available to them in our newly designed Stage 5 curriculum. Next week, Year 7 families will have their turn to consider the language elective choice they are able to make for next year when an information booklet about Year 8 curriculum is made available to them.

Of course, with choice comes responsibility. At each evening I spoke to students about the responsibility of making a deliberate choice by acquiring all necessary information and taking up as many opportunities as possible for conversation with those who have greater expertise than us in the courses on offer and the shaping of individual programmes of study.  As students make these choices, they are encouraged to look through two lenses: firstly, that of current interests and successes and, secondly, the lens of challenge, asking themselves about opportunities to embrace new possibilities they may wish to explore and to set ambitious goals.  

While the School publishes detailed information about courses in our online sites, one of the purposes of the evening event is to make time for the conversations that are central to positive outcomes. Staff come to offer their expertise, answer questions and engage in thoughtful discussion as students weigh up the possibilities on offer. I would like to acknowledge the staff who prepared presentations of the highest quality and worked with such enthusiasm over the course of each evening. It is their expertise and passion that makes these evenings meaningful.

Another purpose of these big events is to mark the occasion by gathering and celebrating the new pathways opening up for our boys. I was impressed by the energy and enthusiasm our current Year 8 students brought to the evening this week. They had made good use of the information already provided to them; they had come with some fledgling plans and lots of questions. It was wonderful to see them engage deliberately with the greater choice now available, particularly as they conversed with teachers about the range of new 25-hour courses we will deliver in Year 9. Students elect three of these courses and study each one for a term. They are focused upon research and inquiry, helping students see the connections across multiple disciplines as they undertake investigation in areas such as entrepreneurialism and design, journalism, engineering, social justice, philosophy, architecture and sustainability. The Orchestra Room was transformed with a market-like atmosphere as families perused the gallery walk of courses on offer! My thanks again to the team of teachers who have been designing these courses to meet the needs and interests of Trinity students, and who gave their time generously on Wednesday evening to answer every question that came their way!

Student preferences are submitted online, via the personalised link sent to parents, by these dates:

  • Year 10 for Year 11 2022 on Wednesday 26th May
  • Year 8 for Year 9 2022 on Wednesday 2nd June
  • Year 7 for Year 8 2022 on Monday 7th June

Students and parents are warmly invited to contact the Curriculum Office if they would like further support as they make deliberate choices about their programmes of study for next year.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean


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