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SENIOR SCHOOL AT TVCS
BEING STEWARDS AND DISCIPLES
In Senior School the focus is on SACE and on students preparing to finish school and enter the big wide world of tertiary study and work. The key question we encourage our students to explore in senior school is:
“What is God’s plan for my life? - how can I serve him and his world through my chosen career and through my life generally?”
This is a big question; we can be assured God has a plan for our lives Jeremiah 29:11, but how to find out what it is? Really, it is a question that takes a lifetime to answer fully! A good place to start looking for an answer is in the bible; in particular in the biblical calls to stewardship and discipleship.
Stewardship is the great creational task given to all humanity, the task of caring for and developing God’s creation (Genesis 1:27-28). Because of sin, however, much of the work of stewardship now involves restoration: repairing the damage and solving the problems caused by sin, in all areas of life - in the environment, in the biological world, in culture, in political and civic life, in personal life and relationships.
Discipleship is about growing as a disciple of Jesus, and helping others to become disciples. In the so-called great commission (Matthew 28: 18-20), Jesus tells us (his disciples) to “make disciples of all nations, ………… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded”. Only with Jesus in our lives can we overcome the power of sin, and truly operate as stewards: loving and serving God, our neighbour, and God’s creation generally.
THE WORLD OF WORK
In our discussions with senior students at Torrens Valley Christian School, a key focus is on how we can be stewards and disciples in our working life.
All work involves caring for and developing God’s creation in some way - whether it is as a builder, a hairdresser, a musician, a flight attendant, a lawyer, or a pastor - even if it seems to be only a very small corner of it! This is more than just taking the opportunity to tell people about Jesus, although this is important; it is about doing the job well, working hard, working with integrity, looking for opportunities to improve work practices and deliver better services and products. It is about being creative and caring in all that we do.
LOOKING TOWARDS THE KINGDOM
What, ultimately, is the point of all this stewardship and discipleship? God may have a plan for each of our lives, but what plan does he have for the world? Simple: the Kingdom. The message of the Kingdom is the central focus of Jesus’ ministry: the fact that it is coming, what it is like, how we are to live now so that we are ready for it when it comes. It is the bringing to fruition of all God’s work in creation throughout history: the final destruction of sin and evil, a new heaven and earth, the triumphant return of Christ.
In a very real sense, looking towards the Kingdom is the focus of all teaching at learning at Torrens Valley Christian School. In each of our subjects we are exploring different parts of God’s creation, developing our skills and understanding, and looking for ways to solve problems and make things better in these areas. As our students go out into the world of further study and work, we hope they will carry this Kingdom-vision with them: to make a difference in the world and contribute to the building of God’s Kingdom.
THE NEW SACE IN SENIOR SCHOOL
What is the new SACE?
The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) is a qualification awarded to students who successfully complete their senior secondary education (years 11 and 12).
The SACE is being updated and strengthened to ensure it meets the needs of students, families, higher and further education providers, employers and the community. The new SACE will build upon the achievements of the current SACE and help students develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed – whether they are headed for further education and training, university, an apprenticeship or straight into the workforce.
The certificate is based on two stages of achievement: Stage 1 (normally undertaken in Year 11) and Stage 2 (Year 12). Students will be able to study a wide range of subjects and courses as part of the SACE.
When will it start?
The new SACE begins in 2009 with the introduction of a compulsory subject called the Personal Learning Plan, normally undertaken in Year 10. The SACE then continues through Year 11 and Year 12, with the first group of students graduating with the new qualification in 2011.
Who will be affected?
Students in Year 9 in 2008 will be the first to undertake the new SACE, starting in Year 10 in 2009.
What are some of the features of the new SACE?
As part of the new SACE students will:
- receive credits for many different forms of education and training (such as academic subjects, learning a trade, TAFE, vocational training and community service) provided they are recognised by the SACE Board
- be able to return to their studies at any time in the future to complete the SACE without losing credit for work already undertaken
- receive A-E grades in every Stage 1 and Stage 2 SACE subject
- be expected to gain and demonstrate essential skills and knowledge for their future, focusing on communication, citizenship, personal development, work and learning
- have 30 per cent of their work in every Stage 2 subject externally assessed. This will be done in various ways, including exams, practical performances and presentations
- have outside moderators check the school-assessed parts of Stage 2 subjects to ensure consistent grading across the State.
To gain the new certificate students must earn 200 credits. Ten credits are equivalent to one semester or six months’ study in a particular subject or course.
Some elements of the new SACE are compulsory. These are:
- a Personal Learning Plan at Stage 1 (usually undertaken in Year 10), worth 10 credits
- at least 20 credits towards literacy from a range of English/English as a Second Language studies at Stage 1
- at least 10 credits towards numeracy from a range of mathematics studies at Stage 1
- a major project of extended studies called the Extended Learning Initiative at Stage 2, worth 10 credits
- completion of at least 60 additional credits in Stage 2 subjects and courses.
The importance of the compulsory elements is reflected in the requirement that students must achieve either an A, B, C or equivalent in these subjects to complete the new SACE successfully.
In addition to the compulsory elements, students will choose from a wide range of subjects and courses to earn the remaining 90 credits to gain the SACE. These include subjects and courses from either Stage 1 or Stage 2.
What is it?
The Personal Learning Plan is a new compulsory SACE subject, normally undertaken in Year 10. Students will consider their aspirations and research reliable career information to help them make appropriate subject choices and map out their future. Students will work towards goals they need to achieve as they progress through school towards work, training or further study.
The Personal Learning Plan will help students:
- identify and research career paths and options (including further education, training and work)
- choose appropriate SACE subjects and courses based on plans for future work and study
- consider and access subjects and courses available in and beyond school
- review their strengths and areas they need to work on, including literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) skills
- gain skills for future employment
- identify goals and plans for improvement
- review and adjust plans to achieve goals.
How will the Personal Learning Plan be taught?
The Personal Learning Plan is designed to be tailored to the needs of students. While many schools will offer the Personal Learning Plan in Year 10, others will introduce it as a Year 11 subject. Schools may work with students after they have formally completed the subject to encourage students to review and update their goals and plans.
The Personal Learning Plan at TVCS
At Torrens Valley Christian School students will commence formal study towards the Personal Learning Plan in Year 10. The Personal Learning Plan will support all subjects, however specific tasks will be undertaken within a range of subject areas in Semester 2 of Year 10, and then in a lesson once a week in Year 11. Students will need to complete a range of tasks by the end of Semester 1 in Year 11 in order to complete their own individual Personal Learning Plan requirements.
In semester 2 of 2008, we are trialling the Personal Learning Plan with the current Year 10 students. At the end of 2008 the trial Personal Learning Plan will be reviewed with adjustments made for 2009 as needed.
A summary of the strands of activities identified as contributing to the Personal Learning Plan at TVCS are as follows. We believe these activities will prepare students for subject selection in Year 11 & 12 and the commencement of the Extended Learning Initiative to be completed as a unit of Study at Year 12 level. These activities will also encourage students to reflect of their own personal gifts and talents and contribute to society through a community service activity.
|Strands at TVCS||Activities||Assessment Tasks|
|Personal skills & Attributes||Self identification of learning styles/career match & plan||Folio of results commenced in Year 10, carried into Year 11|
|Career Development||Work Education & Work Experience||Career Plan commenced|
Successful Completion of one week of Work Experience by end of Year 11
|Civics & Citizenship||Canberra Trip (term 3)||Attendance & participation in Canberra trip activities in Year 10. Completion of connected assignment in SOSE subject (Sem 2 year 10)|
|Life Skills||First Aid, Driver Education, Finance Short Course||Successful attendance and completion|
|Service||Community Service||Successful attendance and completion by the end of Year 10|
|Life Applications||Future Pathways / Career Plan||Successful attendance and completion and Skills Checklist – reporting to an audience by the end of Semester 1, Year 11|
SUBJECT SELECTION FOR CURRENT YEAR 9 STUDENTS
What is happening?
The Personal Learning Plan will be taught in schools from 2009. Next year it will be the only new SACE subject offered. Most schools will teach the Personal Learning Plan in Year 10. Other subjects in the new SACE will be phased in over the following two years.
Transition: Current SACE to new SACE
No student will be disadvantaged by the transition from the current SACE to the new SACE. Any subject or course that a student successfully completes, whether part of the current or new SACE, can be counted towards the certificate. Generally, one unit of current SACE studies will be considered equal to 10 credits of new SACE studies and vice versa.
Where can I find more information about the subjects being offered from 2010?
Most subjects available in the current SACE will continue to be offered in the new SACE. There may be minor changes to subject content because of the inclusion of new requirements, such as A-E grading in every subject in both Stage 1 and Stage 2, and 30 per cent Stage 2 external assessment.
- Information and updates about the new SACE will be posted on the future SACE website
- Information about the current SACE will be provided on the SSABSA website
- A new combined website is expected to be launched in 2009.