Senior School Report

August 7, 2020

by Director of the Senior School, Mr Hamish McCrum

At the time of writing we find ourselves back in remote learning.  Remote teaching and learning pose many challenges and difficulties.  Staying physically and mentally healthy are two of them.  Effective teaching and learning under these conditions are also challenges for all of us.  There will be many rumours flying around from time to time about all sorts of things, in part because not all schools will choose the same approaches.  You may hear from time to time that ATARs will not matter this year; this is not the case.  While some universities will give out some early offers based on the school recommendations, this will not be for all courses or all universities or all students.  At this stage, the GAT will take place on October 7 and VCAA exams are scheduled to run from November 10 to December 1, with results (ATARs) coming out on December 30.  There is then a very tight window of a few days for students to change preferences.  While the conditions for learning are not ideal, those who can make a reasonable effort under the circumstances are presented with an opportunity to overtake others across the state who become overwhelmed. 

Our Year 10 and 11 students will complete their assessments remotely as they become due, rather than saving them up for a barrage on their return.   

At this stage Year 12 SACs will not be completed remotely by our students.  Year 12 SATs (projects) will be able to be completed at home for some subjects but will be problematic in others.  Aspects of some VET and VCAL courses are also problematic. 

We are still waiting on further advice from VCAA and DHHS regarding what is allowable in terms of bringing students on-site for practical work and assessments, be that for VCE, VCAL or VET.  We will update students and parents when this advice comes to us.  Year 12 students can expect to do a large volume of assessments in a short period of time should we successfully return for the last week of term: they will need to be ready as time will not permit a catch-up period for those who have fallen behind.  We still plan on doing practice exams on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the second week of the school holidays. 

The following list of points cover some of our expectations and hints for success in remote learning for all students in Years 10 to 12. 

  • Log-in on time for every class 
  • Use the scheduled class time when directed by your teacher to do the work set for that time, without putting distractions in front of yourself (and remember, you will still have some homework on top of this) 
  • Keep up with the weekly tasks 
  • Do a little bit for most subjects every day rather than thinking you will be some hero that gets it all done in one day (learning is more effective this way) 
  • Make a study time-table 
  • Get some exercise a few times a day, even if it is a walk or some push-ups 
  • Be kind to those in your house 
  • Encourage your peers to do good things 
  • Praise yourself for your good efforts: the improvements will follow 
  • Ask teachers for help with specific parts of content, often 
  • If drowning, wave one arm for assistance.  I.e. let somebody (Counsellor or YLC or Director of School)  know before any problem becomes too big. 

And finally, take good care of yourself and those in your house.  I hope and pray this virus misses our community.