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Roadmap for education success

High school, here we come! You might be really excited, or you might not be so keen on more school, after having done it for the last number of years.

The good news is, while everyone needs an education, that doesn’t have to look the same for everyone, you’ll have choices along the way!

illustration of notebook with information for year 7 and 8

Year 7 is about finding your feet. Most of us don’t know what we want to do or be at this stage, so it’s all about learning the essentials and exploring options and ways to learn. So yes, Maths, English, Science…they’re all still there. We get that you might not love these subjects, or understand why you need them, but they’re important for a bunch of reasons.

Enter Year 8, where we get our first taste of rotations and the opportunity to explore heaps of different subjects. Maths, English and Science are still there but remember, we’re building on these skills every year and they are helping us make good choices. The rotation subjects like design, food technology, drama and media, give us a chance to check out different areas that we might like to do in the future as we move through high school. These are really fun and depending on your school, often go for 6 weeks per rotation. You’ll get a sense of what you like and don’t like….

lined notebook with year 9 information This is where we take our experiences from the rotations in Year 8 and start choosing some subjects for ourselves.  Yep, Maths, English, and Science are still there, but by Year 9, there are different levels of Maths and English so you get to work at the right level for your ability.  By this stage, some of us are starting to get  ideas about what our future goals and careers might look like.  This can be tricky as we start to question why we are doing some subjects when we feel they aren’t important.  Well hold on, help is on its way!

notebook of year 10 information

During Year 10, you get to work on a Senior Education and Training plan (or SET plan for short). This is a cool opportunity to talk through your future goals and work out what subjects and courses you’ll  do in your senior years to help you reach these goals.

 Your SET Plan isn’t set in stone, you can review and update it as your future goals and preferences become clearer.

In Year 10, options such as school-based apprenticeships and traineeships become available  too  as do VET courses(vocational education and training). These can give you a start on your career pathway and count towards a QCE, and (if you do a Certificate III or above) an ATAR . 

Vocational qualification options include courses available at school if the school is a registered training provider, through other training providers outside the school like a TAFE, or through school-based apprenticeships or traineeships.

year 11 and 12 notebook with information

In Year 11 we get to choose subjects again – in fact, we get to make a few choices about our education pathway.  In our senior years, we can work towards a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), vocational qualifications and/or an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) .

  • The QCE is the qualification Queensland students receive at the end of Year 12 if they complete enough learning.
  • If you want to go to university, you will need an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
  • You may also wish to consider vocational education and training qualifications too (which can count towards your QCE and ATAR).

If you don’t know what you want to do by Year 11 and 12, that’s totally okay –  you are definitely not alone there. By completing Year 12 you are giving yourself the best range of options for your future and helping set yourself up for success – whatever that looks like to you.

School doesn’t have to look the same for everyone – we’re all different and have different goals and dreams. There are many different pathways so take a look at the options and work out which one suits your abilities, interests & goals – you can get help to work this out too.  

Regardless of whether you are starting Year 7 or Year 12, there is support if you need it.  There are even more options than those listed above to help  if you are finding yourself in a tough position – it’s just a matter of reaching out to your school.  You’d be amazed at how many options there are to make your education work for you.

Want more advice before starting school?