Senior School Report
Message from the
Director of Learning -
Mr Jason Tickner
Dear Westall Secondary College School Community,
I want to firstly congratulate our senior students for the effort and dedication they have collectively demonstrated throughout Term 1. It was a very busy term, which saw many senior students involved in a range of curricular and co-curricular activities. We continue to have high expectations and strive for improvement both in and out of the classroom, displaying our iCare values in our behaviours and actions. Collectively, our students have maintained high attendance and a mature approach to their learning. However, there is always room for improvement. I would encourage parents and guardians to check in with their children over the break and discuss how they have fared, and the possible areas for growth or improvement, moving forward into the next term.
Getting the basics is always a good start. Ensuring that your child is attending school regularly and catching up on work that is missed when they are away. Assisting your child to come to school on time and ready to learn and having eaten a nutritious breakfast gives them a good start to the day. Monitoring their progress by accessing Compass also provides you with the most up to date information and feedback regarding their academic and behavioural progress on a daily and weekly basis. I would encourage parents to ring our sub-school office or make contact to subject teachers via email if you have concerns to questions relating to your child’s progress.
Senior school years can be a challenging time to try and get the balance right between school and outside priorities in a young person’s life. These outside priorities can take the form of part-time work, and social and/or family commitments. These activities are fine and should be a part of a senior student’s life, however, it is vital that enough time is set aside to complete coursework and prepare appropriately for assessments for both our VCE and VCAL students. At the beginning of the year, we advised VCE students that they should be regularly completing (2.5-3hrs) of coursework and/or revision per day on weekdays and 5-7hrs over the weekend to ensure academic success. Of course, effective study and revision is not just about quantity, but the quality of the time spent. In the classroom, our senior teachers have not only taught and assessed content knowledge and skills but spent time building students’ capacity to identify where improvement is needed and the way to best achieve that improvement. In addition, VCE students are encouraged to prepare for assessment by:
- Planning for and implementing a systematic approach to revision adjusting study timetables as needed.
- Ensuring that topic coursework is complete so that time can be used to memorise, practice and clarify content for SACs.
- Seeking feedback and assistance from teachers in all facets of their learning not only content knowledge & skills but how to best prepare for assessment at a subject level.
- Summarising and reviewing content by writing and revising study notes and completing practice SAC or exam questions in preparation for assessments.
- Studying without distractions, including the interference of technology.
- Using a range of techniques to connect and remember content. You can’t apply content in an assessment if you don’t know the content in the first instance.
- Using your study periods effectively while at school. You will never get this time back and it counts for the 2.5-3hrs of work that you should be doing outside of class time.
By implementing the above techniques and practices on a regular basis, students will develop positive study and revision techniques to ensure growth in learning.
It was great to see our senior students participating in co-curricular activities offered throughout the term. We had a great number of students that celebrated ‘Harmony Day’ by dressing up in their traditional dress. We have had many senior students involved in several excursions and leadership initiatives and programs. Recently, senior students also represented Westall SC in a range of sports, training and preparing for these events. This effort and desire to engage in all areas of school life is to be celebrated and I can only hope that pattern continues throughout the year.
Next term will see the launch of the Senior School Mentoring Program offered to our senior VCE and VCAL students. Led by Ms. Rankin (Yr12 Coordinator) and Ms. Simadri (Assistant Principal Yr10-12), 27 of our senior students will be paired with an experienced teacher so that one-on-one support can be provided to that student throughout the year.
Similarly, our partnership with Monash University continues this year with our Access Monash Mentor program. Led by our Careers & Pathways Advisor, Geraldine Borgonha, this program pairs Yr11 &12 VCE students with a Monash Mentor to assist them with all things relating to effective study and learning. Having this well-established program assisting so many of our senior students provides great support and assistance to these students throughout the academic year. These students are to be congratulated for volunteering for these programs as they look for additional supports to achieve success in their studies.
With the holidays fast approaching it is important that students rest and re-charge their energy levels after a very hectic first term. 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, successful VCE students will:
- 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.
- Re-engage back with the study design at a subject level to ensure being across the key knowledge and skills.
- Complete past exam papers which are all available from VCAA:
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.
Mr Jason Tickner
Director of Learning: Senior School
VCAL Product Design
VCAL students have been working on redevelopments of original products using a range of materials. In the attached images you will see the exploration and production stage of redeveloping the traditional basic black plastic rubbish bag into a fashion item. The students worked through the stages of production by examining and assessing the durability of the plastic material and how it can be sustained in making jackets, evening gowns and street wear. Students were given a timeline of 150 minutes, materials were limited to a mannikin, scissors and a sewing machine. The aim was to create a wearable item that will later go on exhibit. Energy and enthusiasm was high as each group was on a mission to create their unique redevelopment.
Ms Helen Ifandis
Year 11 & Arts Coordinator
VCE Studio Arts Workshops
Thank you to our lovely representatives, Tahlia from Zart Art and Dani from Eckersleys, who ran workshops for Studio Arts. The students were given a 'hands on' opportunity to explore, trial and work with a range of media, materials, techniques and processes. This was an integral part of their studio practice Unit 1 and Unit 3, where they document their exploration journey that will lead to final ideas. The students were enthralled by the range and limitations of media available, as well as the opportunities that certain media provided.
The images show 'expanding foam trials' that appear very ice-cream like, circular lino for printing and mixed colour media of acrylics and pastels. Dani demonstrated the two part process of making the expanding foam - it was a thrill to watch the expanding foam grow twice its capacity!!
Ms Helen Ifandis
Year 11 & Arts Coordinator