Curriculum Matters

Curriculum Matters

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Why do we ask our children this question? They have yet to experience the range of educational delights and experiential offerings which will be laid before them during their time at school. Would it be better to ask “What do you most want to do when you grow up?” Do we tie up too much of our future identity in selecting a career and setting that goal at a young age? All evidence points towards it being highly unlikely that the whole adult life of our students will remain focussed on one particular profession. Better to encourage our children to experience much, follow their passions, develop curiosity and confidence and be willing to evolve on many fronts throughout their lives.

Tintern offers a wonderful grounding in all areas of the curriculum, but also provides opportunities for students to broaden their perspectives, explore their passions and excel in their areas of interest. We are always delighted to see students challenging themselves to be creative, taking risks, being brave and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones by sharing their work and ideas with experts beyond Tintern.

Here are details of just some of our students who have excelled in various areas of passion this year:

Emma Jones, Year 12 – first place in the Years 11 to 12 ISV Student Poetry Competition, where her poem ‘Father and Daughter’ drew the following comment from the judges, “An utterly gorgeous sensory journey through childhood ….” Visit the ISV ‘The Parents’ website here to read the poem and see a video of Emma reciting it: https://theparentswebsite.com.au/father-and-daughter-a-poem-by-emma-jones/

Josh Choong, Year 12 – first place winner in the Years 10 to 12 Category of Little Stories, Big Ideas micro fiction competition, with the theme of ‘Acceptance’, which earned a judge’s comment that his work was “beautifully emotive and intelligent”.

Sage Idnurm (Highly Commended) and Leon Jiao (Commended) for their entries in the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition.

Sarah Chen, Year 12 – performed piano works live-to-air on 3MBS’s 2021 ‘The Talent’, a competition open to all instrumentalists, vocalists and chamber groups under the age of 35. Sarah also achieved her Associate Diploma in Music (violin) this year.

Josh Choong, Year 12 – successfully completed his Licentiate Diploma of Music with Distinction (viola). The Licentiate diploma has a national success rate of around 10% of candidates and fewer than 2% of candidates for Licentiate are awarded the diploma with distinction. He can now be referred to as Joshua Choong AmusA, LMusA (distinction).

Elisha Sze, Year 8 – who received a Certificate of merit in the Melbourne University Mathematics Competition – a competition which requires a higher level of mathematical insight and creativity.

Eight students in Years 7 to 12 won Distinction certificates in The Science Talent Search. Three Year 12 students (Alec Chen, Victoria McKenzie and Maija Darzins) and two Year 7 students (Leon Jiao and Chloe Pike) won Minor bursaries.

Skye Sriratana (Yr 9) and Holly Whitfield (Year 12) won Major bursaries. Holly and Skye have both entered their work in the National BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards to be judged later this year.

Well done to all of these students. They are only a small selection of our students who are “putting themselves out there” and having an impact in the wider world whilst they are learning and growing.

 

Examinations, assessments and the upcoming transition period into 2022

Our IB and VCE examinations are well underway and will conclude over the coming week. Our staff and students again have experienced significant disruptions to their preparation due to ongoing lockdowns and our staff have worked tirelessly during the past few months of remote learning to ensure that all of our students, but especially our Year 12 students have experienced the best tuition and educational experiences possible under the circumstances. I know the whole community joins me in congratulating our students on their fortitude and resilience this year.

This also is a busy time for our Years 9 to 11 students, as they prepare for the upcoming brief examination period. We trust all students will do their best and take away as much learning as possible from the outcomes of this period.

Final projects are being submitted and assessments undertaken to allow our teachers across Prep to Years 8 to commence their end-of-semester reporting on the progress made by each student in their various classes. Our standard ongoing progressive reporting regime covers class results in Years 8 to 11 and, in 2021, we have trialled a new Progressive Reporting system in Year 7. Through the school’s Portal interface our staff have been able to provide gradings for tasks, and also include formative comments, giving feedback on the level of achievement, areas for improvement and strategies to achieve those improvements. These regular updates and more expansive feedback on individual assessments have kept parents of our Year 7 students better informed of their child’s progress and provided occasions for more timely and useful reflections, regular conversations and opportunities for goal setting between parents, students and staff. The Year 7 end-of-semester reports will be a composite of these Progressive Reporting Assessment Tasks (PRATs), with the aforementioned gradings and comments, and an overall grade for each subject alongside gradings for behavioural indicators, as currently appear on reports.

Our Transition phase into the 2022 timetable for students currently in Years 7 to 11 will commence on Wednesday 1 December. Monday 29 November is a non-school day for Years 7 to 11 students, allowing staff time to correct exams and tests and to write reports.

Some subjects (particularly VCE) will commence a unit of 2022 work during the Transition period whilst others will consolidate units of work which may have been disrupted by lockdown and needed completion from the Term 4 program. It is, therefore, imperative that students attend and continue to maintain their focus for this period immediately after the examination/testing sessions. Year 7s and 8s will continue with their transition classes through to the last day of term, Friday 10 December. Year 9s will be engaged in their Summer Expeditions from 29 November to 3 December and will return to participate in a final five days of transition classes from 6 to 10 December. Year 10s and 11s will have a full 8 days of transition classes from 1 to 10 December.

I wish you all a happy and safe holiday break. I am sure we will all appreciate our greater freedoms during the summer period.

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