How to help your son or daughter really succeed in Year 12...

(and I mean actually surprise themselves - and you)

Tell the others about this


How to help your son or daughter really succeed in Year 12...

(and I mean actually surprise themselves - and you)

Tell the others about this

...and achieve their best possible ATAR...*

(*no nagging required)

Hi, I’m Amanda Kendall, founder of VCE Book Club.

As a high school teacher in the Victorian education system, I’ve walked the journey with hundreds of parents and know just how big our hearts are to help our kids do the very best they can in school. 

And as a mum of teenagers myself, I also know just what a challenge that can be sometimes.

So, how can you help your kid (or kids) be prepared for senior English when you know they just aren't readers...

You’ve dutifully bought the stack of books from the reading list, but now they’re sitting on the desk gathering dust… how do you get them to open a page??

The thing is, for a VCE student everything hinges on their English performance...

Why? Because if your son or daughter is aiming to go to university after school finishes… their final English score directly affects their ATAR, which in turn directly affects the options that will be open, or closed, to them beyond school! 

Why? Because universities base their selection to fill their courses on ATAR – the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank. This ATAR comes from your Year-12er’s highest scores in their best subjects, PLUS their English score.

In Victoria, English is the only compulsory subject … so if your student is great at Chemistry or Economics or Art, but struggles with English, their English score will bring their entire ATAR down. And down far enough to limit their options, significantly.

Meaning, they potentially miss out on the uni course offer they have their heart set on.

This is why understanding that pile of new English texts you’ve bought is so really important!

In Year 12, your teen will study not one, but FOUR separate texts. Typically this is two full-length novels, plus two other texts – these could include a play, a non-fiction book like a biography, a film or book of poetry.

Your teen needs to understand them well because they need to analyse them.

Compare them.

They need to write essays on the characters, ideas, author’s intention, symbols and social and cultural context. Not to mention the literary qualities, the language of the text.

Then, at the end of the year, your teen will face the final exam. Here they’ll need to write three essays in three hours – without blanking out.

The problem and the challenge...

It’s this: In Year 12 there simply isn’t enough time for students to read their texts in class like they did back in Year 9. The teacher is relying on your teen to read each one in their own time ahead of time. 

Now, some of us are bookworms, and we like nothing better than to curl up on the couch with a fresh new novel. I was one of those kids, and my love for books has continued into adult life.

Hence my passion for VCE Book Club!

But I'm well aware that increasingly for teens, reading is just not a part of everyday life...

  • For some kids it’s a struggle as they battle with learning challenges. 
  • For some students, English is their second language. 
  • Some do the reading, but don’t retain what the words on the page actually mean

And for many, reading just isn’t enjoyable and the thought of reading those books is almost torture!

Unfortunately in this digital age, the pull of instant distractions is everywhere and our attention spans seem to be getting shorter and shorter! 

So how can you help set your student up well for their final year of English? 


How can you, without pushing, nagging and worrying - make sure that they read and understand their texts?

This is something that as a mum and a teacher I wrestled with for years. 

Although there are tons of great resources on the internet – study guides etc that help kids break down the text – this still doesn’t take away from the fact that your teenager actually needs to first read the actual story

To hear the writer's voice and the language, the story needs to come alive in their own mind...

Possible, if they actually experience the story unfolding. 

Presuming they were to have this experience… with the story alive in your Year 12er’s mind, they’ll be set to write deeply – and write well. 

In turn, they’ll be much more likely to get the ATAR they want (or need) – which means there’s a much better chance of the career path they’ve dreamt of becoming a REAL possibility – instead of just a dream.

And even if they’re not sure what they want to do yet – thanks to their stronger ATAR, they’ll have a long list of higher (than they would’ve otherwise had) pathways available to them.

I've channelled my passion for reading and stories and my experience as a VCE teacher into solving the problem of kids not wanting to, or not having enough time to read their books...

And so VCE Book Club’s Book Dive series was born.

A VCE Deep Dive is a unique short program designed for students heading into Year 12 to boost their ATAR

…and ease the pressure of their Year 12, and ultimately give themselves the opportunity/potential to secure for themselves either the career path they’ve dreamed of

Or open the door to a choice of great career paths.

How do Book Dives work?

  • Book Dives run over summer in the space between Year 11 and 12
  • They are short streamed sessions where I read the book IN FULL and explain in plain language what’s unfolding as we read…
  • I discuss all of the important things, the plot, characters, setting, symbols, key ideas and important quotes
  • Kids can ask questions, and make notes as they go right inside the Book Dive program so the notes are never lost.

Imagine your kid - walking into their Term 1 English class full of confidence... because they’ve read and understood the texts!

They’ll already have an incredible head start on most of the class!

  • Your year-12er will get exclusive access to a section of the VCE Book Club website
  • They’ll log in with their text and a cuppa and enjoy a self-paced streamed video. We read the book together, and I explain the plot, themes, symbols etc. in plain English as we go.
  • Each new session unlocks when your student has marked the previous session as complete – so you can be sure they’re progressing through the book.
  • Once a new session unlocks it doesn’t expire – it can be re-watched as often as needed throughout the year, along with the notes they’ve taken that are saved with the Book Dive.
  • By the end of the summer holidays, your teen will have read the entire text and be ready to step confidently into their new English class.

Important - please don't skim this quick cake analogy 🍰...

Now instead of playing catch-up with what’s going on in the plot, your Year12er has already done the work – they’ve baked the cake, if you like. 

Meaning, anything they pick up in class from now on is icing on that cake.

This, as opposed to them rushing to bake the cake in the classroom.

And having done a Book Dive, they get to focus their class time on honing the all-important skills of writing well

Succeeding in VCE English is mostly about understanding the text. Then, communicating that understanding in writing...

Their Book Dive takes care of that first component. Now – with that understanding locked away before Year 12 even begins, they can target their precious class time to polish their writing with their teacher. 

  • Of course, the Year 12 finish line is a long way off… but another great feature is that Deep Dive sessions never expire!
  • Your teen can come back to the videos as often as they like to review the text.

This means they have a great resource throughout the year, and a powerful refresher tool at their fingertips to help prepare them for their final exam! 

So – how you can help your teen succeed in Year 12 and get their best possible ATAR… even when you know they just aren’t readers?


Once you know the books they'll be studying, sign them up for a Book Dive! (or two)

You’ll be empowering them to read their English texts in full with as minimal pain as possible!


  • They don’t have to read their book alone
  • You don’t have to nag them to ensure they’re doing their reading – the pressure’s off you!
  • They’ll experience the text read with passion and expression (who doesn’t love a good story read to them!)
  • They’ll get a very good understanding of of their book, delivered by a qualified English teacher
  • They can view their Book Dive sessions to suit their family or summer social calendar, at any time of the day or night
  • New sessions unlock as they go – so you can be sure they’re making progress
  • They retain access for the full year so they can refer back whenever they need to
  • They’ll have completed their text at a leisurely pace while still enjoying their summer

All of which means that as their parent, you’re doing something that will make a visible and tangible impact to on your teen’s English result and, in turn, boost their final ATAR to reach their career goals!

Quite frankly, a Book Dive could potentially give your kid an almost “unfair advantage”. Last year’s Book Divers testified to that.

“Amanda thank you so much for running this program! There’s no possible way I’d have got the result I did without doing the two VCE Book Dives!” ~ Marley. M

You can tell your kid(s)...

  • We take breaks along the way so we don’t lose concentration
  • And each new session unlocks when you’ve marked the previous session as complete
  • Once a new session unlocks it doesn’t expire – it can be re-watched as often as needed throughout the year, along with the notes you’ve taken that are saved with the Book Dive.
  • You can do your Book Dive sessions at any time of the day or night to suit your holiday plans or work hour
  • There’s a graphic organiser pack you can use during the Book Dive or throughout the year too, You’re welcome 🙂
  • And some great bonus resources are included as well – but that’s a secret 😊

“So by the end of the summer holidays, you’ll have read the entire text and you’ll be ready to step confidently into your new English class where you can focus on your writing skills instead of trying to figure out what’s what!”

Reading deeply + writing well means a better English score, a stronger ATAR and a great start to a uni/career path!

If you’d like to help your Year 12er get through their texts with as little pain as possible, book a spot on a Book Dive now!