Senior School Report

April 30, 2021

by Director of the Senior School, Mr Hamish McCrum

Welcome back to school after a timely Easter break. The weather was fantastic, I feel it was warmer than January. I hope families were able to enjoy some time together doing the things they like. Congratulations to Lachlan O’Keefe for clearing 2.00m to become the U17 National Champion in High Jump over the break, well done.

Now that we have settled into Term 2, students in Years 10 to 12 will be finding there is a steady stream of assessments taking place. It is important that students at all year levels are conscious of steadily acquiring the content knowledge and skills to improve in each subject and developing the habits and behaviours which will allow them to be successful into the future. A student who has fallen behind will often state that they need to work harder, and we will agree with them. Then with the best intentions they are unable to sustain their efforts.

Some basic hints to all students would be:

1. Make a start on a big task, you will be glad you did (or have). It is then easier to continue.

2. Don’t wait until you feel like doing your homework (this does not happen enough for anybody)– redo your homework timetable so that it is effective (realistic) and allows enough time to do the schoolwork and other things.

3. Don’t kid yourself that you can be effective studying while also giving some of your attention to your phone or laptop – unless directly related to what you are doing, put them in another room.

4. Understand that you and your time are valuable. You are investing in your future.

5. Do practice questions rather than just reading and highlighting.

6. Appreciate your progress. If you are better at something today than you were a week ago, give yourself a pat on the back and see if you can be even better next week, or have improved in something else. This is much more productive in the longer term than trying to beat another student.

7. Get 8 hours of sleep each night.

8. Be aware of the time spent on your phone and computer. The various social media apps and computer games are all designed to be addictive. This can initially result in a lot of lost time, and even more concerning is the anxiety and depression that can then follow any addiction.

On May 5 we will celebrate Edmund Rice Day. It is a day of celebration and a chance for students to enjoy each other’s company and the company of their teachers in a relaxed setting. This year we are using this as the launch of our fundraising campaign which will run through May, resulting in us donating some money to various charitable organisations, some local and some global. This in itself gives the students the opportunity to be doing something of value for those less fortunate. The benefits to the students who embrace this are: the fostering of their empathy – very important if they are to become socially constructive adults and are to go on to enjoy positive personal relationships; the feeling of self-worth that is gained by helping others – “if you want to feel good about yourself, do good things”; and finally the gratitude for your own life situation that can come from considering life from the perspective of somebody less fortunate.

Enjoy the term, and the sun while it lasts.