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Senior School Report - February 7, 2019

author: Hamish McCrum

7 Feb

Senior School Report - February 7, 2019

Welcome to the Senior School for 2019.  The start of each school year provides us with the opportunity to continue as we were, or to choose to do some things better than we did previously.  In all of aspects of our lives, be that our learning or relationships, we will achieve more and be better if we put in the effort.  Next week we will celebrate some excellent results from some of our better performers at the Academic Assembly.  Each of these boys developed their talents by choosing to put in effort.  We all know that students who put in the time and effort with their mathematics for a particular topic always score more highly on the assessments than they would have had they not put in the effort.  What many people fail to realise is that when a student has done this they have also improved their ability in mathematics, and after a number of improved scores, they and others will view their abilities as greater than they did previously.  So it is with all things, our abilities are not fixed, and through application they can be grown, and grown again.

It is known that high (and realistic) parental expectations of students’ performance typically leads to higher performance by students.  So we need to dare to expect our students to do as well as is realistic for each of them.  In many cases this is higher than people might think.  With this expectation then comes the expectation that they will apply themselves while at school and with their homework.

Typically, a Year Ten would average 7.5 hours of homework per week, a Year Eleven would average 10 hours per week and a Year Twelve 15 hours per week– some will do much more than 15 hours.  Study is more effective when it is done in many small blocks rather than “leaving it all until Sunday”.  Busy students who do well tend to use every spare 20-minute block of time to get something done.  For many students setting them up for homework where they can be passively supervised (e.g. kitchen table) may result in more effective learning than if they are hidden in their bedroom with phones and computers.  Please encourage students to place their phones in another room while studying.  Students (and the rest of us) tend to under-estimate how long tasks will take, so it is a good idea to start early.

Most adolescents require nine hours of sleep per night.  Being tired before learning or missing sleep after learning both reduce memory.  If you want to avoid a decrease in your son’s mental health or academic results, keep their phones and computers etc out of their bedrooms.

Part-time jobs tend to be good for students, however exceeding five hours per week is not advised during term.  Some businesses will roster students on for up to 15 hours per week but this may be better for the business than the student.

Some sport is good, but playing in three teams each week and the practice that goes with this can also be a limiting life choice in the long run.

Socialising is also healthy, but saying no to some parties depending on other time constraints may be required (ideal if the student can say no, but sometimes it will be the parent’s role).

Please name all items: clothing, calculators etc. unless you don’t mind buying another one at short notice.

At the end of last year, we held the 2019 VCE Information Evening.  A copy of the PowerPoint from this evening and the 2019 VCE Rules and Procedures document may be found at this link.

http://www.stpats.vic.edu.au/en/students-parents-staff/curriculum/senior-school/

 Year 12 students received a hardcopy of the Rules and Procedures on Wednesday.

Once again, welcome back and I look forward to seeing you all involved in many of the different aspects of College life.