Posted on July 21, 2020 / Matters
July Curriculum Matters
Welcome back to Semester Two after a most unusual Semester One! I sincerely hope everyone in our community, especially our students, found some much-needed time to rest and re-energise during their holiday break. I know the staff certainly appreciated the break after what was a term of much challenge for us all on so many levels.
Secondary Semester Reports were distributed early in the holidays through the school portal and these gave our students the opportunity to reflect on the feedback received from teachers and to gain insights to help them rise to the challenges of their upcoming coursework and end-of-year assessments.
During the coming week, Pastoral Mentors in the secondary school will be leading students through a self-reflection process. Students will set goals based on their Semester One reporting feedback and will acknowledge what they have done well, alongside the areas of their work which still need improvement. These self-reflections provide the students with a focus as to the way forward with their learning and also serve to provide teachers with some insights into students’ own understandings of their learning. These are powerful tools for encouraging a growth mindset within our student body.
Our staff undertook a similar process on the final staff day of Term Two, where they reflected on their own achievements during Semester One. Never have we had such an intense period of Professional Learning as the one we experienced at the end of Term One, when we were all thrown into the deep end of the technology pool and had to very quickly acquire skills and learn how to ‘swim’ (aka teach online!).
On our staff day, our teachers reflected on elements of our teaching and school practice which changed during remote learning and pondered ways of working online which they have found improved their teaching and assessment practices. We all learned new ways of providing online feedback to students, many of which we are planning to retain and further develop.
Staff were asked to share what attributes of students surprised them during remote learning (most were pleasant surprises) and what elements of their own responses and feelings towards the situation satisfied them. One of the most oft-repeated responses was an expression of pride and surprise in their own resilience in coping with the challenges we faced and the wonderful sense of collegiality as staff rallied around to support each other and our students. Some staff had stronger technology skills than others at the outset of this experience and willingly shared and coached colleagues to ensure that everyone was able to move forward at their own pace, whilst utilizing their recently acquired skills to ensure the best learning outcomes for our students.
The ability of our students and staff to participate and, for the most part, thrive in these recent unexpected learning cycles so openly, positively and collaboratively is a marker which sets up our school to continue to develop a culture of learning which encourages growth, tolerance and greater understandings in all of our classroom experiences, both onsite and online.
Subject Selection Showcase, 23 July (online)
Parents are reminded that the Subject Showcase Evening for Years 9 and 10 will take place this Thursday 23 July. This will be an online Teams event this year. Details of the event will be sent to parents via email today.
Normally, Year 9 students and families are invited to attend a special information session at school. This presentation is available behind the Subject Showcase tile. Families should view this prior to the start of the interactive sessions which start at 5.00pm on Thursday.
For Year 10s, there are four Maths and four English subjects available and the overview videos on the portal should be viewed prior to Thursday to provide guidance with subject selection in those areas. All individual senior subjects on offer next year are outlined behind their respective tiles and subject teachers will be available to answer specific subject-related questions at the Showcase on Thursday evening. We invite you and your child to attend and hear specific details about the various VCE and VET subjects on offer in Senior College.
As in previous years, subject selection will be made on-line. This year, that process will commence on Saturday 25 July and will close at 6pm on Sunday 2 August. All students attended online interactive Subject Selection Assemblies last week, where they were given instructions on how to follow this process.
Students will receive a personal message via their Tintern email account on the evening of 24 July with a link to the on-line subject selection portal.
Course Guides and Handbooks are available behind the ELC – Year 12 Handbooks tile.
The Showcase Evening mentioned above will assist students to select the most suitable pathway and subject choices for 2021. Individual teachers and our Careers Consultants are available to assist with this process throughout the evening. Please read the instructions in your invitation email carefully, so you know how to access staff on the night.
Parents are reminded that it is not possible to meet all student preferences during the subject allocation process, due to the constraints of timetabling and blocking based on an overview of all students’ choices.
Please stay tuned for further information about our upcoming Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences which will, of necessity, need to take place in an online platform this term. We have almost finalised plans for these and look forward to meeting with both students and parents to discuss your child’s progress.