At this stage you might want to help your child set some goals to focus on – this might help answer some of the 'why' questions you are bound to be getting, and also help with social commitments and part-time jobs.
Year 9 is the first year of Stage 5. Start talking with your child about what they might want to do after Year 12. At this age, many often question why they need to learn certain things – having a goal can help them to focus.
Assessments, homework and study
In Year 9, students will become familiar with more formal assessment processes. Print out our term assessment planner (DOCX 47.04KB) and check your child is writing down all exam and assessment dates – keep it on the fridge as a reminder. Your child will also do the external NAPLAN tests this year.
Encourage your child to read for pleasure, to try different genres and more difficult books. This will build their vocabulary and show them different styles of writing – helping with their own writing and comprehension.
In Year 9, some students seem to swing from one extreme to another with all the changes going on. Relationships are changing with their peers and their families. They are asserting their independence but often without the good judgement that comes with maturity. The teenage brain is a ‘work in progress’ – the brain structure is changing and teens are flooded with hormones. The habits they learn now, good and bad, will form the basis for later years. This could be a good time to be talking with your teen about alcohol and drugs.
Some students in Year 10 start part-time jobs, many have sporting and social commitments and life can get busy. It’s important they schedule time to study, as well as do homework and assignments, so they don’t get behind with their school work.
Assessments, homework and study
In Year 10, students follow a formal assessment program. Make sure your child writes all assessment task dates on the term assessment planner (DOCX 47.04KB) for each term and stick it on the fridge as a reminder. Late assessment tasks usually mean penalties such as reduced marks, so keep an eye on upcoming tasks – especially those that require a lot of preparation. Adding tasks to their smartphone calendar with alarms to remind them before each is due will also help keep them on track.
This year, your child will choose subjects for Years 11 and 12. Start talking about this early – with them, the careers adviser and their teachers. Students planning to get their HSC will have opportunities to sit the HSC minimum standard online tests from Year 10 onwards.
Vocational education and training (VET), including school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, is a great option for students who think they may wish to pursue a trade after school. Not only can they get a taste of a career, they can finish high school with a qualification and an ATAR, if eligible subjects are chosen. This leaves their options open and can give them a great head start in getting a job.
It’s important to keep talking openly with your child about alcohol and drugs as they get older. Also, keep a track of social media use. Learn more about staying safe online from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner – eSafety information. If bullying becomes an issue, the NSW anti-bullying website provides resources and information to help.