Heathdale flower 08th August 2019

4 Questions to Ask when Selecting Subjects

Selecting the right subjects in school can be difficult, here are four things to think about when talking to your child about their future.

Heathdale flower

Last night was the second of our two information evenings about Years 9 – 12 next year and it was wonderful to see so many of you there. 200 seats wasn’t enough and we had to open up the rest of A-Block to add more space. It’s a wonderful problem to have and a reflection of the excellent work Mrs. Bawden, Mrs. Letcher, Mr. Parker and Mr. Pullar do in building the understanding within our Community of the learning opportunities available to your children.

I wanted to add some further assistance to the conversations you will be having around subject selection. It can be summed up in four words: Interest, Exploration, Success and Preparation.


Whether your child is looking at one or four more years of school, they should take the opportunity to do things they enjoy. Co-curricular activities are one way to do this, but electives and subject choices are another. If your child enjoys cooking, but doesn’t plan to make a career out of it, they could consider taking Food at Year 9 or 10. They’ll develop an important life skill and, the more a student enjoys school, the greater their level of engagement and success across all their studies.


None of us understood ourselves completely and had every life decision made by age 17. So our students probably don’t either. If your child wishes to enrol in a subject that looks like it’s from left-field, at least consider it. Our goal at Heathdale is to prepare young adults to engage with and understand God’s world as well as preparing them to pursue their chosen career.


Another factor to consider is: What’s already working? Which subject areas fall within your child’s areas of strength? This will probably align with their areas of interest. Not only will building on their success increase a student’s engagement, but it is also important to remember that completing the VCE or VCAL and entering University or TAFE is a competitive endeavour. It pays to build on your advantages.


This section could be called pre-requisites (subjects you must complete to qualify for a specific course), but it goes further than that. For example, a student who wishes to study Music at university will find that VCE Music: Performance is a pre-requisite. However, if they also completed VET Industry Skills (Music), they will enter their course with broader insight into how to succeed in the music world as well as at university. Similarly, students used to need Specialist Maths to enrol in Engineering but it is no longer a pre-requisite as they teach it in the first year of the course. However, it’s worth asking how your child will best learn advanced maths. Over two years in a relatively small class, or over six months in a packed lecture hall?

Thank you again to all who took the time to attend the information nights, and we look forward to partnering with you throughout your child’s secondary education.