Senior School Report

February 18, 2021

by Director of the Senior School, Mr Hamish McCrum

Hooray, we are back at school once again, where the teaching and learning is more effective and the social interaction is more natural.  Too many hours on screens either taking lessons or completing work is draining for staff and students alike.  I commend the students and staff who have pivoted very quickly into this mode of teaching and learning, and I am grateful to be back out of it after only three days.  It would be reasonable to expect that we are likely to have a few more occurrences of remote learning.  As such it is important students make the most of their face-to-face learning at school and their remote learning when it occurs if they are to maximise their intellectual growth.

Last week students received their school diaries.  Students are to use these to help them take responsibility for knowing what work needs to be done and when. The diary also contains blank study / homework planners (page 100).  Having spoken with a number of students last week, they articulated that they had every intention of filling these in, but in many cases these good intentions had not materialised into actions.  Students who tend to get the most out of their time at school make and roughly adhere to a homework planner.  For this reason I ask that parents of all Year 10, 11 and 12 students assist their son with this process.  When assisting, the student should be doing the writing.  A few clues to assist with this process are listed below.

  • Use pencil, it is likely that the first draft will need to be altered
  • Put in the known fixed items first: sport (games and training), part time work, some of the socialising / down time
  • Then add scheduled study times, aiming for 7.5 hours/week @ Year 10, 10 hours/week @ Year 11 and 15 hours/week @ Year 12 – includes study periods if used properly.  Some will do more hours of study than this.  An eraser may be required at this point if there is too much sport or work.
  • Lots of smaller study times tend to be more effective than big chunks of time
  • Getting some study done before dinner can make this manageable – students may work in the library until 4:30pm most nights if this helps.
  • “I’ve got none” is not something that successful students say.

At the end of each week help your son evaluate how well he has been able to adhere to the planner and make alterations if necessary.  Making the choice to do homework as a Senior School student or not making this choice, will lead to successful outcomes or disappointment respectively.  Application to studies has more than twice the impact on results (ATARs) than does IQ.

Last week our VCE Coordinator, Mr Steven Biggin, spoke with the Year 12s about the rules and procedures for the VCE, including when absent for assessments, and a request to contact him regarding Special Provision (special exam arrangements) if necessary.  A copy of the PowerPoint used has been emailed to parents of Year 11 and 12 students.  A similar presentation will be made to the Year 11s in due course.

This Friday our rowers will have the opportunity to compete in the BAS 2021 Head of the Lake. Our First Crew in 2021 is : Tom Foley, Jake Polkinghorne, Austin Reinehr (captain of boats); Angus Murnane and Edward Peucker (Cox).   It is disappointing that COVID restrictions prevent schools having Spit crews in attendance, however a few days ago there was the possibility that we would not be rowing at all.  We recognise that the rowing crews from all schools and divisions have put in many months of hard work and hope they are all able to give a good account of themselves on the day.  But we do hope that we win.  Good luck boys, enjoy the contest and leave nothing in reserve.