Senior School Report – March 23, 2017

March 22, 2017

It seems hard to believe that Term One concludes next week on March 31, 2017. Coinciding with this is the release in PAM of the mid-semester reports.- As parents we tend to focus on the work habits component of the report to ensure that our son is putting in an effort, behaving respectfully and generally doing the right thing in class. Once we are satisfied (or relieved) that all is in order in this category we then turn our attention to academic performance. For a very small minority of parents their son will have done splendidly well in all subject areas but for most of us there is room for improvement in at least one subject area and this is what I wish to focus on today. General comments like -‘You need to work harder’ or -‘you need to pull your socks up and do better’ may assuage a parent’s worry or concern but in reality will do nothing to improve your son’s performance or motivate your son to actually strive to improve his results.

– I suggest two strategies which you may or may not choose to adopt.

The first is a reflective exercise. Questions like –Are you happy with that result?-How did you prepare for the assessment task?- -What could you have done differently leading up to the assessment task which would have improved that result?– are more effective. These and questions like them, force the student to acknowledge his preparation and identify and accept that if he is to improve his result then he has to change his preparation leading up to the assessment. The statement, -If you always do what you have always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got-. – Couldn’t be more true in this area.

The second strategy is to set a specific indicator of improvement. Something measurable. Generally, I suggest a 5 or 10 % improvement on the mid semester result. This is both realistic and achievable and therefore more likely to be embraced. For example, if the first English assessment mark was 59% then an improvement of 2.95% or 5.9% is realistic and achievable as opposed to unrealistic and therefore unachievable and self-defeating. This slow and steady approach can lead to significant improvement in the course of a year. –

Year 10 Programme

Year 10 students will deviate from their usual classroom routine from Tuesday, March 28 through to Friday March 31.- The four days will consist of a Retreat, Morrisby Testing, Occupational Health and Safety Training (OHS), and Health and Wellbeing programme.-

The New Evangelisation Team (NET) has been engaged to facilitate the Year 10 Retreat. NET use a peer-to-peer model, where they bring their own stories, lives, passions, and experiences to present to the students. Their ministry is value-driven and guided by a willingness to listen to the students in front of them, seeing them not as people they talk down to, but people they stand alongside on the journey towards God. For this retreat, God’s love is the theme, focusing on where it is expressed in everyday life.

Year 10 Parent Date Claimer: Wednesday, May 1 from 7:30pm-9.00pm

Morrisby testing consists of a range of recognised formal standardised tests which measure a variety of aptitudes. The results of this testing can be used to assist and support boys with their career direction(s) and inform decision making as they continue their Senior School journey. There will be a parent information evening on Wednesday, May 1 from 7:30pm-8.30pm to give parents the results and explain how to interpret the data. In the past, this session has proved to be invaluable to parents and logistically cannot be duplicated so please note the date.

The OHS training is to prepare students for possible work-experience opportunities which they can avail themselves of during the school holidays or at the end of semester one.- It is a legislative requirement that all students gain certification in OHS prior to commencing work-experience.- Students who miss gaining certification will find it a significant hurdle at the end of semester one when the cohort embarks on work experience.

Finally; the Health and Well Being session will address four important issues concerning young men including the TAC presentation -Keys Please-.

Each of these experiences provided the ground work for further activities and programs. Accordingly, I strongly recommend that parents ensure their son participates in each event.

Year 10 and VCE Assessment Calendars

Parents are encouraged to regularly peruse the Year 10 and VCE Assessment Calendars published on the St Patrick’s College homepage and in PAM. These calendars are a tool to inform you of your sons forthcoming assessments tasks and alert you to possible home study tasks which he may have.-

May Gods peace be with you and your families.-

Mrs Elizabeth Ryan