Senior School Report

September 3, 2020

by Director of the Senior School, Mr Hamish McCrum

I was thinking yesterday about a significant incident that occurred early in March, before any of our lockdowns. It took me a while to realise that it had occurred this year, that it had happened less than six months ago. It feels like it was years ago. I am sure all of you will have similar items, things that occurred early in 2020 feel like they happened so long ago. I guess this is due to how different and how difficult this year has been and will continue to be for some time yet, but eventually we will come out of this.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week we had students onsite to complete assessments in some Year 12 subjects that could not reasonably have been done remotely. Students appeared delighted to see one another face to face, and glad to be able to get some of their assessments behind them. For many it provided some motivation to continue or to lift their efforts. I thank the boys and their families for how well they were able to make this work, particularly any boys who had to travel significant distances. I also thank the teaching and support staff who assisted, making it all run smoothly.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of Week 10, we will repeat this exercise. Early next week a SAC schedule will be distributed to Year 12s (and Year 11s doing a Unit 3/4 subject) along with information and protocols relating to these days. Yesterday our Year 11 and Year 12 Students were emailed the VCE Exam Navigator. This is from VCAA and has information regarding Exams (timetable, permitted materials, rules) and how results are accessed at the end of the year. This is also attached and can be viewed by clicking on the folowing link: VCEExamsNavigator2020 and I recommend parents also download a copy. The GAT this year will take place on Wednesday of Week 1 Term 4. Year 12 students will be taken through some preparation for the GAT and have time allocated to working through some practice commencing at 10:55am this Monday. They will receive an email making them aware of which MS Team meeting they should join. This preparation will also be made to Year 11s to do in their own time. This year more than ever before students are encouraged to undertake this preparation.

All Year 12 students who might be attending Tertiary Education in the next two years are encouraged to lodge a VTAC and SEAS application. The VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre) website is now open for Year 12 students to put in their application for courses, and their SEAS applications (Special Entry and Access Schemes). Mr Meehan will be putting out a survey early next week to Year 12s which will help the school complete the COVID-19 part of their SEAS applications. We ask this be completed by Friday September 11. He will also issue some instructions regarding how to do the Rural/Remote part of the SEAS application (a quick process done by the student), and will re-issue instructions on how to make a VTAC application. Timely applications for courses close at 5pm on September 30 and cost $41. While this is in the holidays, we also ask that this be done by September 11 as no SEAS applications can be done without this. If you miss the date, the price goes up (x4) and not all courses will be taking applications. Preferences can be changed, so get the application in. SEAS applications close at 5pm on October 9- however we ask the basic rural/remote section be completed by September 11. Other SEAS applications may require supporting documentation so don’t leave these until the last week.

Our Year 10 and Year 11 students are also having a lot asked of them. They need to be moving forward with their studies as best they can if they are going to be ready for next year. Most have engaged quite well under these difficult circumstances and I encourage them all to ensure that they do the best they can. Early in August I included a list of dot points and I include them again now. To do your best or just to get moving in the right direction, the best way is to get the little things right.

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 timetable
• 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.
• Get enough sleep by getting to bed early enough (not by sleeping in)

Kind Regards,
Mr Hamish McCrum