Subject Selection for Year 11 2018 letter


27 April 2017

Dear Year 10 Parents/Guardians

Subject Selection for Year 11 in 2018

I am writing to give you important detailed information about subject selection for Year 11 in 2018. Between May and August of this year, Year 10 students will engage in a comprehensive Career Education and Futures Planning programme. Part of this programme involves customising individual Senior Education and Training Plans for your child.

The process will be as follows:

27 April: Letter distributed to Year 10 students and parents on Schoolbox and via e-mails to individual students and all Year 10 parents.

All Year 10 students go The Great Hall at 12.50pm sharp to meet with Dr Brohier and Mrs Crowley.

Preliminary Course Information Evening in The PA Theatre, 6.00pm – 7.00pm .

9 May:

This initial session will contain useful information about:  pre-requisites  the differentiation between subjects, and  the best way to go about selecting subjects

I would strongly encourage all Year 10 students and parents to attend. The meeting will begin at 6.00pm, and will provide information about the OP and the IB Diploma.

May – June: Distribution of Year 10 Course Information Booklets to students in school time. These will also be available on Schoolbox. I will explain the contents of the booklets then.

Information session on how to fill in on-line subject selection.

Individual counselling with subject teachers, the IB Diploma Coordinator, Mr Stephen Walther, the Dean of Studies Mrs Karen Crowley, and myself.

Year 10 parents/ students IB Information Night in the Senior Learning Centre, from 6.00pm – 7.00pm. I would strongly encourage attendance at this session.

12 June:


Compulsory informal Course Information lunchtime sessions in the KIP for

12 and 13

Year 10 students with teachers and Year 12 students.


17 July :

Compulsory Course Selection Evening for all students in Year 10 and their parents in The Great Hall, from 6.00pm -7.30pm . .

27 July :

Subject selection forms must be finalised online by this date.

Students doing the QCAA OP course will be offered 24 subjects and asked to select 8 (in case first preferences are not available) with English and Mathematics being compulsory. Students electing to do the IB Diploma course will be offered 16 subjects from the six IB groups and be asked to select 8, which means a second choice in any of the IB Groups 2, 3, 4 or 6.

Dates for your diary are as follows:

 Tuesday 9 May – Preliminary Year 10 Course selection Night 6.00pm in the PA Theatre (strongly encouraged to attend)

 Monday 12 June – IB Diploma Course Information Night – 6.00pm in Senior Learning Centre (strongly encouraged to attend).

 Monday 17 July – Year 10 General Course Information Night – 6.00pm in The Great Hall ( compulsory for all Year 10 students)

What follows is a number of Question and Answers about the IB and OP Courses.

IB – Questions 1-7

2. Why should Somerset offer the IB Diploma? The IB is a valuable and well-rounded senior (Years 11 and 12) course. It adds depth and breadth to a student’s knowledge and through the reflective processes of the Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity + Activity + Service (CAS) and Extended Essay (EE), gives added relevance to a student’s work. It is also an excellent preparation for further study at tertiary level. 2. What added advantage would the IB give as regards tertiary study? If a student were contemplating tertiary study overseas, the IB would be useful. Melbourne University, Monash University, the Australian National University, Newcastle University, Griffith University, the Queensland University of Technology, the University of Queensland and Bond University have acknowledged the value of the IB Diploma as a pre-eminent university qualification and all have special allocations for subjects in the Diploma.


The only exceptions will be ab initio Italian and Visual Art, Music and Theatre, where entry to university courses is often by OP, Portfolio and interviews.

3. How will the IB Diploma course be offered? We offer some IB Diploma as separate classes to the OP. This is the case with large student number subjects such as English, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. The small groups will still be composite OP/IB classes. Will this cost me anything? The largest amount payable by Year 12 students in April/May of 2018 (for your students) will be approximately GBP£454 (approximately AUD$820). This is for the full Diploma. How difficult is it to do? The IB is rewarding and gives an added dimension to a student’s final two years of schooling. I would advise self-motivated, organized, hard-working, but not necessarily only high achieving students, to contemplate the benefits of the IB. Evidence shows that mid-range students do well in the IB Diploma. Results in the IB Diploma At Somerset your student can expect to excel in the IB Diploma. Somerset is the most experienced IB Diploma school in Queensland. 7. If I need more clarity in order to make a choice between the IB course and the OP course what should I do? Attend the initial preliminary information night on 13 June. 4. 5. 6.

OP Questions 8 - 10


What is the difference between Maths A, B and C?  Maths C – Maths for students who are strong in and enjoy Maths. (While Maths C is not a pre-requisite for Engineering, it is very beneficial in undertaking this course.)  Maths B – Algebra and Calculus academic Maths. (Pre-requisite for Medicine)  Maths A – Applied Maths with real-life relevance.

9. What Maths should I attempt? Your current Maths teacher should be your first port of call here for the best advice.

- 4 -

10. What is a ‘pre-requisite’? A pre-requisite is a school subject that you have to have done to be accepted into a particular tertiary course. This is the same for OP and IB courses.

On Monday 12 June at 6.00 pm in the Senior Learning Centre, there will be a special Year 10 Parents/Student IB Information Evening.

At this IB Information Evening, Mr Stephen Walther will deliver a PowerPoint presentation which will further clarify the IB. Finally, there will be a brief forum where a panel of past IB Diploma students will talk about and answer questions on the IB Diploma from the students’ perspective.

Because of this, it is important that both you and your student attend the evening. Students are required to wear school uniform.

This IB Information Evening will be in addition to the formal, compulsory Course Selection Evening for Year 11, 2017 scheduled for Monday 17 July. Please bring your Course Information Book, which will be distributed online later this term, with you to these two evenings.

Mrs Karen Crowley, Dean of Studies, Mr Stephen Walther, IB Coordinator and I are available to see parents and students for individual course counselling.

Please feel free to call the College on 5559 7100 and ask for Mrs Crowley, Mr Walther or myself to arrange a convenient time for appointment.

Alternatively you may email Mrs Crowley at , Mr Walther at or myself, with requests for interviews.

Yours in sensible career choices,

Dr Michael Brohier Deputy Headmaster

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