Year 11 marks the beginning of the last stage of high school! But what does this mean for students? In year 11, students start their second last year of high school and begin preliminary study of their subjects for the HSC. Underestimating the workload and concepts introduced in this year will have heavy consequences for students in their HSC year.
In this survival guide, we will discuss what year 11 students should look out for, the expectations of the preliminary stage and how to get a head start for the final year of high school!
Year 11 students should be aware of a number of essential details in Stage 6, listed below!
- Year 11 is only 3 terms, not 4!
- Year 11 students must also be aware of the importance of carrying a syllabus for each subject
- Year 11 students should also attempt to follow the syllabus throughout their courses to ensure every requirement is discussed and taught
- Year 11 students should use this year as a mock HSC year. This will help them prepare for the HSC with some similar experiences!
- Year 11 students should also aim to be consistent with study, thus ensuring there are no knowledge gaps in preparation for the real HSC.
- Year 11 students must look towards their end goal, expect an increase in workload and undertake self directed learning
Year 11 is no easy year and students often share common challenges throughout the year. This is because:
- Students underestimate the importance of the syllabus and requirements of their courses. This results in learning aimlessly, students should use the syllabus to the best of their advantage during the first year of stage 6.
- Poor time management skills result in piled up homework and last minute assignments. Students must develop a routine to stick by. Many students say that they do and have stuck by their newly formed routines.. But it only lasts a few weeks at most! Students should thus learn to compromise and build a schedule suitable to each week (because some will be more busier than others) to be on top of homework, classwork and assignments.
- Weak independent learning skills mean students rely heavily on class hours to get by school. However, it is imperative that students refer to their classwork to practise and revise their skills at home when they study. Students who do not study enough are thus bound to fall behind.
Students are usually able to choose their first elective subjects at the end of year 8 (subjects chosen will be studied through year 9 and 10 – Stage 5). Students will also be able to choose elective subjects at the end of year 10 (subjects chosen will be studied through Year 11 and 12 – Stage 6). Students must invest time and research to determine what subjects are suitable for them to study. Things to consider include:
- What path they want to take in the future. Students might regret studying business in stage 6 if they discover a passion for science, information technology or even art! Therefore, it is very important they consider what it is that interests them in order to succeed!
- University course prerequisites. Following on from the point above, students should choose subjects that will increase their chances of entering their desired course in order to pursue their dream careers!
- Your school will give you a selection of subjects to choose from for each subject line (This helps with organisation of class periods). Students usually start off Year 11 with between 12 to 14 units. Keep in mind that you are required to complete the HSC with 10 units. However, 2 units must be English ! (ESL, Standard English, Advanced English). Extension 1 and 2 English courses are optional. E.g. You can have Advanced English (2 Units), English Extension 1 (1 Unit), Mathematics (2 Units), Economics (2 Units), Information Technology (2 Units), Studies of Religion (1 or 2 Units depending on your school).
- Be confident in which subjects to carry onto Year 12. If you find that you would rather spend more time studying 10 units rather than 12 to 14 units, you can choose to drop some subjects. Just remember that it is compulsory for you to study any 2 units of english to qualify for your HSC. Basically, you can’t drop english!
How to achieve a smooth transition into Year 11
Your teen’s mental and emotional health during this period is important due to the changes that come with being a highschool student. The challenges presented alongside new peers and teachers, course work and increased study load and difficulty can overwhelm Year 11 students. Therefore it is important to find a new balance between studying and being a teenager!
Helping your teen develop good study habits during the early years of highschool is essential to helping them become more consistent throughout high school. Consistency is the key to studying in high school and it is important to develop this skill early on so your child does not lose focus on their studies. Good study habits such as being on top of homework and assignments is a good sign of success in the future!
How are a few ways you can help your child:
Develop a daily and weekly routine
Simple things such as having a routine is a great way to get your child accustomed to the ways and times he or she should be doing things. Things such as
- Waking up or leaving the house at the same time
- Aiming to have dinner around the same time
- Having a consistent bedtime will enable your child to plan their evening
Help them get organised
Parents should help their children plan out their days according to a daily timetable that considers:
- Wake up time, bed time
- Set amount of hours to study
- When and what subjects they should aim to study
It is also a good idea to have a calendar of all events including the extra curricular activities, and sunday family fundays as well as maths exams that are coming help to help your child get prepared.
Help them set goals
By helping them set goals, you are teaching them what is realistic and what isn’t. You should also ask them what they want to achieve not just relating to school but also in sports, etc. Goal setting is a very important skill that allows them to aim for a specific achievement and plan towards attaining it. It is important that children have a wide range of goals that are not limited to academic achievements.
Make sure you are helping them plan out how they can achieve their goal within a certain time frame and also celebrate when they have achieved the goal! It makes it all the better.
Show interest in their homework
It is important to know what your child is studying and how they are doing. You should be aware of when they seem to be struggling or seek help! It is easy to forget how difficult learning is. Your aim is to help your child before they fall behind their peers. By expressing interest in their homework and what they are studying, they might just feel the need to explain their knowledge to yo. While high school students are seen as independent and self-directed, they still may need assistance every now and then! Some ways to show interest in their homework is to:
- Ask them what they are doing for various subjects
- Get them to explain any problems they might have (sometimes, discussing the issue will give them the solution)
- It is important not to give them answers but instead, to work through the problems together
Listen to what they have to say
Children need to be able to open up to their parents and talk about any problems that they may be facing! Often children are scared that their parents will be upset that they struggle with a subject. Rather than asking their parents for help, they try to hide their issue and quickly snowballs into a big problems even if it is in the late stages of high school! i.e Year 11!!! This will relieve them of stress and worries that should not occupy their mind.
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