From the Principal

This week we have a special guest introduction from Oriana Constable, Head of Senior College. 

Senior College is a lively, dynamic and ever-changing environment, full of possibilities for students as they prepare for life beyond school. If you were to sample a group of Year 12 students as they approach their halfway mark of the year and asked them what they plan to do post-school you will receive a variety of responses, some quite set and well developed, others less certain. For many students this uncertainty about what they want to do in the future and feeling like they need to have it all figured out can cause them (and often parents) to worry. Over the past few weeks, students have been involved in conversations and programs to help develop their understanding of their interests and what opportunities will be available to them in the future. From our Year 10 students who have been preparing for Work Experience through to the Year 12s participating in the Careers Expo at Caulfield Racecourse. Exposure to such events, conversations and ideas is important as students begin to shape their future and on Thursday 17 May our Careers Night will provide another such opportunity for students to engage with Alumni who themselves have experience across a range of industries. All secondary students can benefit from participating in evenings such as this and it would be fantastic to see families make the most of this opportunity to speak with Alumni and hear about their studies, travels and work life since leaving school. 

Term 2 is always a very important time that sees many of our secondary students involved in examinations in June and major assessment tasks are taking place over the coming weeks. Mid-year and end of year exams are a genuine opportunity for students to test themselves in real examination conditions and gain experience in managing time, workload and emotional needs ahead of Year 12 VCE and IB final examinations. To ensure these exams are a beneficial experience (and worthwhile ‘practice’ for final exams) preparation needs to start long before the exam period.

Preparation for exams involves:

  • Developing notes that are organised and up to date
  • Regularly engaging in class discussion
  • Acting upon teacher feedback both formal and informal
  • Using personal time at home and during study periods to consolidate and extend their learning.

Parents can support their child by encouraging consistent and productive work habits while helping them to maintain some balance and a healthy lifestyle. Provision of a suitable study space, encouraging your child to undertake a regular study routine, and keeping informed of key assessment dates would all benefit them in the lead up to key assessment assessments and exams. Mentors and subject teachers can work with students to develop and refine these skills. We will also from time to time engage with external providers such as ‘Elevate Education’ who have been working with our students to run workshops on effective study habits.

How students feel about themselves and their abilities can affect their confidence and performance. Confidence is something that can be built and a positive self-image can be encouraged through re-enforcing and helping your child to:

  • Practice positive self-talk – not comparing themselves to others but instead focusing on their strengths and work to those strengths
  • Focus on the things they can change – there’s no point in wasting energy on things that can’t be changed. Instead, focus on the things they can control and put energy into that.
  • Make time for doing the things you enjoy (this is the balance part). If students can make time every day for some scheduled fun and relaxation then they are more likely to think positively.
  • Celebrate not only the big stuff but the small stuff too. Recognise when they have achieved something.
  • Surround themselves with supportive people who lift you up and not hang around with people who bring them down.
  • Exercise – regular exercise and movement are proven to help improve your mood.
  • Not strive for perfection – it’s great to want to do things well but perfectionism isn’t realistic. Mistakes happen for everyone and the important thing is to learn from it and move forward.

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