A message from the Director of Learning – Year 10 subject selection 

On Wednesday 5 June, we welcomed our Year 10 students and their parents to our annual Subject Selection Evening.  This event was hosted by the Learning and Careers teams to provide information to parents and their daughters about the Year 11 and 12 courses on offer at Loreto.  Various requirements of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) relating to courses and subjects were explained on the evening.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents and students who were able to attend, along with the many teachers  who made themselves available to share their wisdom and expertise with the students during the Subject Market. 

The content covered during the presentation component of the evening included NESA requirements for the HSC, preconceptions about the ATAR and scaling, the role of the University Admission Centre (UAC) in the ATAR process, the guiding principles of subject selection and the role of parental guidance in the process.  

A PODCAST of the evening  will be available in next weeks Learning article .

Principles to guide decision making:

The Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model (LNSGM) embraces a holistic education that fosters growth across all aspects of our FACE curriculum.  It is imperative that as students transition into their senior studies  at Loreto, they don’t lose sight of this holistic approach.  Whilst the academic focus is essential in Years 11 and 12, a truly enriching and valuable experience can only occur if the faith, community and extra-curricular aspects of the curriculum are equally embraced.  On Wednesday evening, and for the past number of weeks, we have urged your daughters to be mindful of this as they move into this process of discernment with subject selection.  Research and experience tells us that contentment and success arise from making choices that are aligned to our PASSION and our PURPOSE.  It is difficult for Year 10 students to have a clear grasp of their passion  and purpose at such a young age, however if they own their subject choice decisions and they make them whilst being mindful of their interests and motivations, then they will find their senior years sustainable and enriching. 

Role of scaling in the decision making process:

When I referred to scaling on Wednesday evening I referenced this informative YouTube clip from the University of Sydney.  The clip explains how the ATAR is calculated and why scaling is utilised in this process.  Scaling is something that parents and students often over-emphasise when moving into the process of subject selection; whilst it is something that exists, it should not be used as the primary basis for decision-making around a student’s pattern of study.  The point that I made on Wednesday evening is that students should consider subjects that they enjoy, are good at and may need for future pathways.  They should also choose subjects that extend and enrich them.   The issue with using scaling as a factor in this decision-making is that its impact on subject results varies from year-to-year, as it is dependent on the performance of a specific cohort, not historical data.  Additionally, a point that I failed to mention at the information evening, is that students need to consider the balance of their subjects; if a student chooses a subject that is too difficult for them simply because they believe it will scale well, it can detract from their performance in their other subjects as it will take far too much of their time and attention – therefore the perceived benefits of the ‘scaling’ process are lost!  Please ensure that the balance of the pattern of study/subject choices is considered when making these selections. 

The next step in this process is the Subject Selection Plenary that students and parents will attend across Weeks 8 and 9 of this Term and Week 1 of Term 3.  The PTO Booking system will open to parents on Monday 17 June and an email regarding the booking process will be sent to parents shortly. Best wishes to Year 10 students as they begin this important process. 

The Year 11 2020 Subject Selection Handbook will also be emailed to parents at this time.  Year 10 students can currently access the handbook in CANVAS under the Learning Office tile. 


Ms Kieryn Bateman

Director of Learning


Year 12  Student Study Skills Session with Dr Prue Salter

All Year 12 students will participate in a study skills session with Dr Prue Salter on Thursday 27 June 2019 during Periods 1 and 2. This will be a follow up session from one carried out with the students in Year 11 and will provide them strategies to help prepare them for their Trial and HSC Examinations.

A reminder that the Study Skills handbook is available to parents and students at Loreto Normanhurst.

For the handbook go to:

  1. studyskillshandbook.com.au
  2. Login as a subscriber with the following details:
  3. Username: loretonh
  4. Password: loretonh

Parents can also find extra study skills tips here. All secondary students also have access to the study skills website to help them develop their skills.

After this study skills session, Year 12 students will be participating in a Careers Conference at school for the remainder of the day.


Ms Michelle Albert

Dean of Learning