Message from the Director of Learning
- Mr Jason Tickner
Another couple of weeks have passed and we have officially entered the final stages of Term 1. It has been a very busy second half of the term for all VCE and VCAL students in the Senior School. Our VCE students have now completed a majority of their first round of SACs & SATs, whilst our VCAL students continue to work hard in all aspects of their program, both in and out of the classroom. For students, this can be a challenging time getting the balance right between school and outside commitments. Once again, to help prepare for assessments and completed coursework requirements, all VCE students are encouraged to:
- Actively seek feedback and assistance from teachers in all facets of their learning;
- Summarise and review content by writing and reviewing study notes;
- Create a study timetable that includes an allocation for both homework and study;
- Complete practice SAC and exam questions on a regular basis;
- Study without technology in the room;
- Eat healthy;
- Have a minimum of 8 hrs sleep per night;
- DO NOT WORK OVER 12 HOURS PER WEEK . . . there is research to show that any more hours will have an adverse effect on your ability to achieve your personal best;
- Use free period and study time effectively. DON’T WASTE TIME!
By implementing the above techniques and practices on a regular basis, students will develop positive study and revision techniques to improve learning growth and development.
With the continuing impact of COVID-19 virus, it is important to note that the senior school teachers and students are well advanced in preparing for online delivery of curriculum via the use of Compass and Office Teams. This is not a big shift in our practice as many senior teachers are currently using online platforms to provide extension and/or revision learning activities within their individual subjects. However, online delivery methods can only work if students are able and willing to access these platforms. Please check-in to see that your son/daughter is able to access emails, Compass and/or Office Teams within subject areas. If the need arises, we are ready for remote delivery of curriculum via these platforms.
It was great to see our school leaders take part in the International Women’s Day celebrations last week. Staff celebrated this important day in the school calendar with the International Women’s Day Breakfast held during recess. Year 11 & 12 school leaders took part in this event by joining this celebration with staff.
Our Unit 3/4 Environmental Science students took part in an excursion to Gippsland last week to gather information for their upcoming SAC in this outcome. By all reports, students had a great day with completing the investigation, and more broadly, learning a lot about the coal industry in the La Trobe Valley.
Throughout the past 2-3 weeks, Mr. Bandara has been organising the Year 12 Mentoring program for students who have applied and formally registered their interest. At this stage, 24 students will be involved in the program. Students will be allocated to either a senior school teacher or a member of the school leadership team, to provide them with support throughout the year. Historically, this program has provided great support to our senior students and we are looking forward to this tradition continuing for the 24 mentees selected for the program.
With the holidays fast approaching, it’s important that students rest and re-charge their energy levels after a very hectic Term 1. This time is critical for VCE students to reinforce the learning that has occurred throughout the term and perhaps get a jump-start on content to be delivered in their subjects in Term 2. During holiday periods, VCE students should:
- Catch-up on summary notes and coursework that they are behind in;
- Elaborate on content areas that have already been explored in class;
- Go over SAC/SAT or coursework feedback provided by teachers;
- Work ahead of the delivery timeline, so that when the content is taught in class in Term 2 or 3, learning has already occurred;
- Fine-tune essay writing techniques;
- Refer back to the study design at a subject level to ensure that you are across the key knowledge and skills;
- Complete past exam papers which are all available from VCAA:https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/assessment/vce-assessment/past-examinations/Pages/index.aspx
The key point is to relax and take a break, however, allocate the time to consolidate the learning of content and apply that understanding via subject-specific exam preparation techniques and practices.
KEY REMINDERS FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS & STUDENTS
- Please ensure parent contact is made with the school when students are absent. This can be done by phoning WSC main office, who will then direct your call to senior sub-school office. Alternatively, parents can email Ms. Karayiannis Karayiannis.Vicky.V@edumail.vic.gov.au who records and monitors all student attendance at a senior level. A reminder that VCE/VCAL students must maintain a 90% attendance standard throughout the year to ensure coursework can be authenticated. Additionally, making contact with your subject teachers is also good practice to ensure that work missed can be caught up on at a later stage.
- If a student is absent for a SAC task, a medical certificate is required. An alternative SAC task will be re-scheduled and completed the following Wednesday after school from 3.30pm-4.30pm. This session is supervised by either the Director of Learning (Senior School) or a Year Level Coordinator. Students cannot be graded for a SAC or SAT without a VCE/VCAL approved absence.
- Students have all been issued with a copy of the WSC school diary. It is essential at a senior level that students are using their diaries on a daily basis. The diaries should be used to record work tasks that need to be completed and reminders for SAC/SAT or coursework requirements. They are also used for all internal communication throughout the day if students need to leave class and move around the school. Students are required to bring their diary to school every day!
- Although we have seen a general improvement in the standard of uniform from senior students, can I please encourage all parents to ensure your son/daughter is wearing the correct uniform to school. As the weather is getting cooler, there may be a temptation for students to wear hoodies to school. These will be confiscated by staff and kept in the sub-school office for pick-up. It is a basic requirement for all students at WSC to present to school in the correct uniform. Parent/Guardian assistance will ensure student compliance in this area.
- Please ensure that both parents/guardians and students are checking Compass on a regular basis. Students should be accessing lessons plans and school news daily, as well as, checking feedback provided on school-based assessments and coursework. Parents/Guardians can access all of the above information and use Compass to approve events and excursions.
- A reminder also that mob
BRILLIANT ATTITUDES WORKSHOP
On Monday, 24th February, Year 11 VCAL students attended the Brilliant Attitudes Workshop run by Bob Allright. The workshop aimed to guide students to realise that they have control over the choices they make, as well as, over their own mind and attitudes. During the day, students undertook numerous activities, and at times, they would have probably felt some discomfort and anxiety as they were pushed outside their comfort zone.
The final activity of the day will hopefully remain with students for a long time to come, as it encouraged them to believe in themselves and literally break through barriers that might be holding them back from achieving the goals that they have set.
SENIOR VCAL LITERACY
On Tuesday, 25th February, Mr Bandara ran a Senior VCAL literacy class that was somewhat different from a mainstream English/EAL lesson. This lesson required students to listen to instructions, communicate and work together as a team, problem-solve and persevere because things may not always go the way you expect it to. This is an example of the flexibility of the VCAL program, which allows for outcomes to be achieved in many different ways. Teachers can be very creative in how they structure their lessons, which makes it interesting for students to participate and take up new challenges.
SENIOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS
Year 12 VCAL students have been busy in their free classes over the past couple of weeks, completing their painting of what VCAL means to them. Almost all students have completed their painting, and you can see them displayed on the walls in B7.
2019 VCAL STUDENT VISIT
Last week, a couple of our VCAL students from last year, dropped into the Senior School to collect their official Year 12 certificates. These two students were very close throughout their final year of high school, and it was great to see that this is unchanged even though they are out in the working world! Kyriakos and Christos are working together for the same company, doing carpentry during the week. In the evenings and weekends, they are working as bartenders and in their spare time in between working two jobs, they can be found at the gym. It was great to see them looking happy, healthy and young adults in society.
Ms Ngarelle Gordon