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

Unconditional University Offers for 2020  

Many Year 12 boys this week will be letting out a sigh of relief, as unconditional offers from the University of Western Australia (UWA) arrive in the mail for 2021.  

Six weeks ago, UWA announced they were inviting students to apply for 2021 admission direct to their university using Year 11 grades and course scores. The rationale behind this move was to decrease the uncertainty for Year 12 students who were facing the prospect of online learning for extended periods of time as COVID-19 began to impact Western Australia.  

Last year, UWA, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University introduced an early offer scheme where students could apply in May and be accepted on the condition that their final marks were in line with the predicted result. Therefore, it came as quite a surprise to schools when UWA declared the offers given to students, based on Year 11 predicted ATARs or IB points were unconditional, regardless of the student's final grades, course scores, ATAR or IB points in Year 12. Considering that approximately 85% of Scotch College students qualify for university each year, with 70% earning the necessary score to enter UWA, one might question the impact this could have on the motivation of our Year 12 group when their end goal is taken away. 

Although concerning for some,  on the whole , Scotch College students aren't driven solely by a score. As a College we often speak about the journey, the need to develop intrinsic motivation, the reward of hard work, the skills acquired from stretching yourself and the commitment to a greater pursuit over individual success. On asking our Year 12 students "will this early offer impact your desire to work hard?", many indicated that regardless of the offer their main goal was to finish well. This was pleasing to hear since individual student performance can have a significant impact on how each subject is moderated. If students perform lower in the final examinations than expected, the school scores will be moderated down, impacting all students who take that course. Our Year 12 students understand the process of moderation and have a sense of commitment to the College and their friends so are less likely to disengage from the important learning that occurs throughout their final year and will prepare them best for university, whilst providing a strong academic and co-curricular resume that will no doubt result in scholarships. 

Monitoring Academic Progress

Staff are working very hard to ensure the impact on academics caused by COVID-19 is  minimised . As Year 11 and 12 reports are released, it will give us the opportunity to track and monitor the progress these students are making. At the House Head meetings students will receive important information about their predicted final result , exam performance, meeting graduation requirements and tracking information from each semester since starting Year 11 and we strongly recommend parents schedule an appointment.  

Finally, like teachers, parents also have an important role to play in monitoring the academic progress of your child and any significant change that may cause you concern in relation to his study habits, performance across subjects, and wellbeing or motivation, needs to be communicated to the school so we can respond in a timely manner.