From the Director of Planning and Organisation, Career Practitioner & VET Coordinator

Selecting Subjects

Last night students in Years 8, 9 and 10 spent time at School discussing 2018 subject choices with teachers. There was a positive vibe around the school with lots of insightful conversations taking place. Selecting subjects can seem like an incredibly daunting process for some students and families. Empowering the girls to make informed choices is something we take pride in here at St Catherine’s School. The students have had access to subject offerings since before the holidays, thus allowing them to explore content, assessment and learning areas within each subject.

Last night was an opportunity to further research subjects by having conversations with staff about suitability and exploration of content. Students will now utilise the tools available to them, such as Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC), (posting information about Universities – pre requisites, entrance criteria), the School Career’s website, Morrisby report and, of course, continue to hold conversations with teachers and the Careers team.

Here are a few important pieces of advice that students should consider when selecting subjects throughout Senior School;

Firstly, having a strong self-awareness enables a student to choose subjects, courses and ultimately careers, which best suit their interests, skills, values and goals.

Secondly, access your resources and allies. Be aware of the resources available, both in and out of School. The more research tools used or conversations students have with others, allows a student to consider various aspects of the subject choices they will make.

Thirdly, enjoy the process of choice. In some countries your Senior School curriculum is fixed. We are fortunate in Australia and, in particular, at St Catherine’s, as students are able to explore subjects initially via the elective program and then by selecting a range of VCE subjects that are of interest to them.

Important things to consider prior to subject selection:

  • Choose subjects you enjoy and for which you show aptitude. This will help you to be motivated, gain good results and develop strong learning strategies
  • For VCE, choose subjects which are prerequisite studies. Pre-requisite studies are subjects, which are compulsory at VCE for certain university courses. These are listed in VICTER, which is provided to students at Year 10, or via CourseLink on the VTAC website at
  • It is very important to be aware of prerequisite studies. Students are encouraged to confer with the Careers practitioners, Mrs Pauline van der Poel and Miss Sally Wilkinson if they require further assistance.
  • Ask many questions of your teachers. They know how you learn best and what your strengths are. They can help you make sound choices that will aid in successful progress and satisfaction.
Pauline van der Poel and Sally Wilkinson, Careers practitioners
Pauline van der Poel, Director of Planning and Organisation, Career Practitioner & VET Coordinator