DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRIMARY & HIGH SCHOOL?
If you think of your primary school as a large family think of high school as a community. Communities are made up of different groups: age groups, interest groups, social groups and so on. These groups co-exist in the same community, helping each other out to make our community the best it can be.
In primary school your teachers tell you what subject your going to do. In high school you’ll be given a timetable that tells you what class you have, when and where it is and who your teacher is. It is your job to know how to read this information and make sure you are present at the right time ready to work. Of course if you’re not sure you should always ask. Someone nearby will help if you’re not sure.
Here is an example.
In primary school you probably didn’t get much choice in the subjects you studied. This is for a good reason. As you mature you get more choices. In high school you have to do some subjects. As you move from middle to senior school you get greater choice. In middle school you get to choose some elective classes.
When it is time for senior school you choose the subjects you want to study. We help you to do this by holding interviews where you talk about your goals and what courses will help you achieve those goals.
In primary school your teachers teach a lot of different subjects. They are generalists. That means they know a bit about a lot. In high school you are taught by people who specialise in particular subjects. They are experts in their own areas and can help a lot in that area.
In primary school you are expected to be responsible but we know that your parents and teachers help to make sure you have everything you need and that you’re doing what needs to be done. In high school this changes. You are expected to take on more responsibility. It is your education; you have to learn to be responsible for it by making good decisions. Your parents and teachers will still help but will watch first to see what you do.
Like primary school high school has rules. These rules tell you exactly what is expected of you. On the whole they are based on good manners. Be respectful of yourself and others. They are also based on building a community. For example, one of the reasons, aside from safety, that we insist on a uniform is because it encourages a sense of belonging to a community: in this case a community committed to a good education.
Getting You Ready For High School
We don’t expect you to arrive knowing everything. We want to help you get ready. That’s why we run a Transition Program. This provides you with the opportunity to come and have a look at the school, sit in on some typical high school classes and get to know your way around. It also provides you and your parents with the opportunity to come to an information evening to meet some of the teaching staff and to ask any questions you may have.
South Fremantle SHS is divided in to 5 learning areas:
You will study courses from each of these areas as you progress through each year of high school. As you get older your choices will increase.
High School Work
Your contact time (how much time you’re in class) in high school varies depending on the type of program you’re enrolled in. Every student will do a minimum of about 25 hours per week in classes. But, if for example, you’re enrolled in Approved Specialist Music, Baseball or Marine you’ll add rehearsals, performances, site visits, competitions and so on to your normal class time.
On top of class time you will have homework and study. This will increase as you get older until, in a senior school ATAR (university) pathway, you’ll need to do at least 3 hours per subject per week of home study.
In high school your results depend on your effort. If you work hard and methodically you will achieve.
Looking After Yourself
You need to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in high school.
An important key to success is BALANCE:
- Study well: focus in class, have a plan for homework and study. Make sure you have quiet, well-lit and aired work space at home. Regular, small, focused work sessions at home are better than one or two big sessions a week.
- Community: Do something for other people. It’s a funny rule but it seems the more you give the more you get. What can you do to make someone else’s day better?
- Eat well: Eat lots of fruit and veg, eat regular meals, especially a good breakfast. Your eating controls your energy through the day. What you want is a good even spread of energy across your whole day. Too much sugar and will have spike of lots of energy (and poor concentration) and lows where you just can’t be bothered. Nobody works or learns well when they feel like that.
- Rest well: your body is growing and changing and it does lots of this growing at night when you’re asleep. Good rest gives you the best chance of a good day.
- Play well: We’re not talking about online games here. We’re talking about activity. Get out on your skateboard. Join a sporting club. Go for a walk or run. Get a group of friends from school and organize a gym club.
What services are available to help you along? In high school, with all the changes you have to manage, it’s likely you’ll need a hand at some time. On top of a whole lot of caring teachers high school provides Student Services. This is a section of the school that just looks after your well-being. If you need someone to talk to this is where you go. If you need some advice or information this is where you go. If you have a problem you need some help to fix this is where you go. It is a service there to help you.