From January until week four of term one
The year level Deans oversee all changes to subjects at the start of the school year. They work from the subject blocks sheet, according to best fit of subjects and class size. They complete the database subject change sheet to send to the data operator, who will notify the timetable. Any class sizes can be adjusted at this point so that information remains current. There are a number of these changes as students adjust to the reality of their choices and of learning at a higher level than before.
Week five in term one onwards
Subject changes may be initiated by a student, parent, Head of Subject, Counsellor, Dean, Learning Support or High Performance Learning Coordinator. Once a clear reason for the change is established, the Assistant Principal- Curriculum is contacted to manage the process. The girl’s Dean/Counsellor/parent as relevant, must be notified that this is happening. It is made clear to the student what the process is and how she will be notified of the decision.
The process of changing, dropping or picking up a subject involves a range of considerations. Not all of these affect all subject change requests:
- Is there a strong reason for a change to be made?
- Does the change involve picking up a new subject?
- Does the change mean dropping a subject?
- Does the student have the commitment required to take a new subject or use the resulting new study times wisely?
- Does the change negatively impact on the student’s NCEA results?
- Do the parents understand the reasons for /benefits of the change? Have they written a consent note for the change to happen?
- Do the two subject teachers and/or the Heads of Subjects involved have concerns about the student leaving or joining their subject?
- If the student is in Year 11 what are the long term implications of dropping a subject, in terms of support, future choices and results?
- If the student is in Year 12 doing six subjects, there can be a problem if the subject is very small. Now the school has to carry a tiny class because of this student. We cannot stop the student dropping the subject but all six subject students must be committed. Some do six as a trial of their best five.
- Otherwise, the only objection to dropping to five should be that they were advised previously that taking six subjects is challenging. They may have some internal results that can be entered on the database.
- The timing of changing a subject is self-evident. In the majority of cases it can only comfortably be managed within term one. There can be exceptions, however. A student who wishes to pick up a subject normally has compelling reasons and can sit externals and some internals in the new subject.
Once there is consensus for the change (whatever kind of change it is) to occur, the following actions are taken:
- The Assistant Principal-Curriculum meets with the student to give the final decision
- The student speaks to both subject teachers (class leaving /class joining) and return subject material if relevant
- A subject change sheet is completed to detail the change (this is accessed through a students personal profile online). This includes study arrangements and any changes to NCEA entries. Those consulted are identified. The sheet can be emailed in PDF format or given to the database operator to enter and thus ensure the student is on the relevant class rolls for attendance, markbook, NZQA entry file, and other purposes.