The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

A New Approach to Year 10 Pathway Day

Over the past few months we have weathered the storm of COVID-19 and adapted to new restrictions put in place. As these restrictions lift, it's a good chance to reflect on what went well and what can be improved. Recently the Headmaster released a survey asking for parent feedback on the transition to learning-from-home, in the event we have to return to this mode again. What struck me when reading the comments was firstly the positive response provided by our parents, followed by the considered feedback and finally the stories of unintended positive outcomes.

From our perspective, one of those positive and unintended outcomes came to light because we were unable to deliver the Year 10 Pathway and Course Selection Day in its usual format. Traditionally this event would be held over two days with the first day presenting information on the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), and the second day on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Throughout the event, students also had the opportunity to hear from six teachers whose courses they were interested in studying.

During COVID-19, we had to rethink the way we delivered these two days. As a result, we found a new programme called MyEdOnline that allowed us to create a series of modules that became like a 'choose your own adventure' story.  The day started like every other school day, with students working from home through MyEdOnline. They were welcomed to the day by the Dean of Teaching and Learning, Shirin Reyhani, via a video and then I presented the various benefits and learning styles required to be successful in each of the three pathways on offer at Scotch. This enabled the boys to consider carefully which pathway best suited their future plans. They navigated through videos hearing about the WACE pathway from Mr Peter Frusher, the Diploma pathway from Mr Brendan Zani, and the huge variety of courses available for them to choose from, presented by Senior School Teachers. Every subject on offer had an informative video that the students could watch.

By 8.30am, 78% of boys had already logged on and started the programme. Their progress was monitored in real time by the school as the boys watched videos, filled in questionaries or responded with their feedback. On average, 95% of parents said they were either satisfied or highly satisfied with their son's engagement of the information provided about the pathways, courses on offer and the ease at which they were able to move through the information. Although we may never have seen the need to trial this method before COVID-19, the feedback from students is that they were able to explore more subjects on offer, go back and re-watch videos for important information, include their parents in the decision making and engage without the weight of their peers' opinions.

We were delighted with the way our Year 10s showed independence and maturity by following this programme at home. Our Year 10 boys have so many important choices to make at this time and we are pleased that they will make informed decisions.