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The Student And The Transition To Senior Maths

Every year, students will come to you as their Maths teacher in year 10 seeking advice on what level of Mathematics to select for their senior years at high school.

It is a crucial decision because it can impact the choice of courses the student will have available to them if they seek to go to a tertiary institution. 

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Obviously, their talent for the subject is a consideration. However, many students in their junior years develop a dislike of Mathematics which leads to a lack of motivation in the subject. Many can't see its relevance to their future lives.

All is not lost for the future if a student selects not to do a Mathematics subject in the senior school or chooses a lesser version of the subject. Most tertiary institutions offer catch-up opportunities to those who find they want or need to revive their education in Mathematics to proceed with the tertiary course of their choosing.

Initially, I would discuss with the individual student their past success, their strengths, and weaknesses in the subject and what they need to do to remedy any deficiencies. We would also discuss their future career goals to see what level of Maths was appropriate for that career. Then I would make my suggestion.

Once I have given my advice to the student on which Maths subject to select, I would attempt to give them an understanding of what doing senior Mathematics entails.

This is what I would say to individual students and to students as a whole in my role as Head of Mathematics.

It is your decision to remain at school and to choose the subject/s you want to study.

Therefore you must accept ownership of your decision and the responsibility for your success or failure.