Message from the
Director of Learning -
Mr Jason Tickner
Once again, I would like to extend my thanks to the parents/guardians of our senior students, for the guidance and support you have provided through this extended period of remote learning in Term 3. Once again, it has been incredibly challenging in education and our passionate senior school staff have continued to provide our students with tremendous academic and wellbeing support in difficult circumstances. Our senior students have been able to maintain a high level of attendance and engage productively in their classes being delivered and, in some cases, assessed online. Our student leaders, Mr Jared Bandara (Yr 12 Coordinator) Ms. Ellen Rankin (Year 11 Coordinator), and Ms Ngarelle Gordon (VCAL Coordinator), have continued to work with students and support them individually and connect them to our wellbeing team when required. Overall, our students continue to demonstrate great resilience to push ahead with their learning despite the challenges of social isolation and remote learning. Every attempt has also been made by our teachers to ensure that students' wellbeing has been prioritised daily by maintaining online connections within the timetabling of normal classes.
Currently, our senior VCE students are being asked to complete school-based assessments in select VCE subjects via Teams, to maintain the flow of delivery and assessment. At home, I would ask that parents and caregivers try to support students in this endeavour by creating a calm and quiet environment to complete these essential assessments as required. Teachers will email via Compass when these assessments occur so that home is kept up to date with the latest information at a subject level. Further planning modifications will need to be made moving ahead as we try to adapt to extended remote learning periods. These changes will continue to be made available on Teams and Compass as they come to hand. A reminder that the GAT has now been set to take place on Tuesday 5th October from 10.00am – 1.15pm. It is mandatory for all VCE students currently completing a Unit 3/4 subject to sit the GAT. Students need to arrive to school no later than 9.30am on the day of the GAT. Information has been sent to students on multiple occasions with how to prepare and what to bring for the GAT. These will be repeated on Teams and Compass closer to this event.
Another significant update that has been sent through by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) in recent days has been the Consideration of Educational Disadvantage (CED) process that accounts for the disruption to student learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It applies to all students completing one or more VCE or scored VET Unit 3-4 sequences in 2021. Essentially, the process makes sure that the final VCE results are valid and fair for all students. It considers how students have been affected by circumstances, including:
- school closures
- direct impacts on the health of a student
- Students dealing with substantial extra family responsibilities
- ongoing issues with remote learning (including intermittent access and suitability)
- mental health challenges
- family crisis caused by the pandemic
In the coming days, all eligible VCE students will have the CED process explained to them via sub-school assemblies, including their own responsibility to complete the Student Impact Statement, which initiates the process for every student. If parents and caregivers could please discuss this with your son/daughter, this will further clarify to students how they have been individually impacted. Full details regarding the CED process to be used this year can be found here.
Despite the impact of remote learning, we have continued to plan for and implement a range of co-curricular programs and events within the senior school this term. This term, all Year 11 VCE students completed their final mindfulness workshop in a 4-part series, which was delivered by our Mental Health Practitioner, Ms Meaghan Morley. This skill-building program focussed on providing students with hands-on strategies to practice mindfulness within daily routines, build resilience and reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Additionally, our Year 12 VCE students took part in an online presentation last week during study space titled ‘Success without Stress’, which was delivered by Success Integrated. The focus of the presentation provided students with motivation and tips to prepare and complete final VCAA exams to the best of their ability. Once again, the message and content within the presentation was engaging and motivating for our VCE students to achieve academic success in the weeks and months ahead.
Our VCAL students have also been working hard to adapt to remote learning despite the very practical nature of content delivery within their programs. Led by Ms Ngarelle Gordon (VCAL Coordinator) and the passionate VCAL teachers, students have been consistently turning on their cameras and engaging in class conversation and learning activities. Our VCAL students are encouraged to keep showing up to class on time and work hard to catch up on their work if they are behind. Your teachers couldn’t be prouder of the resilience that you have shown to this point. Some of the key events and activities that have run successfully in our VCAL programs this term include:
- Online communication game called ‘Chinese Whispers’.
- PDS treasure hunt in Teams
- Partner Tik Tok challenge
- working on numeracy in industry
- collaboration in teams to create their product for product design
- completing online talks and conversations for literacy
- journaling about their lockdown experiences
Approaching the end of term, the priority for senior school staff and students is to maintain a positive mindset and continue to complete required coursework and assessments. For our VCE students, final exams are approaching fast so it is crucial that students are revising content and completing practice exams. Our VCE students will be provided with both internal and external opportunities to engage in exam preparation, tutorials, and programs over the coming weeks. Recently, the email details of all VCE students studying Unit 3/4 subjects were forwarded to Skyline Foundation, who are running the Skyline Hatch Exam Revision Series over the September holiday period. The exam revision series is designed to help VCE students prepare for their Year 12 exams. Led by high-achieving tutors, who are recent VCE graduates, the sessions provide exam information that students need, including exam strategies, practice questions, and more. As WSC is an educational partner, these workshops are free to all our students. This is a great additional resource for our students in preparation for their VCAA exams. There are several subjects on offer within the exam revision series. All VCE students completing 3/4 subjects should look out for this email in their inbox!
In a very busy and tumultuous term, the staff and students within senior sub-school have come through this difficult time reasonably well. Our team of teachers is now looking forward to finishing off the term well, supporting our students’ academic progress and personal development.
Mr Jason Tickner
Director of Learning - Senior School
Done at Home!
Just because we are in remote learning, the learning doesn’t stop! Students who are completing VCE Biology do not have to miss out on practicals because the practical biology kits were sent home for them to plant the seeds and can watch them grow! Year 11 students got barley seeds based on the topic of heritable traits, while Year 12 students got mustard seeds and will measure the height growth by testing out variables such as light, water types, or coloured lights! A big thanks to Ms Priscilla Hansen and Ms Susan Parlanti for dropping off kits to students’ houses, and a bigger thanks to our fantastic science Lab Tech, Ms Jennifer Phillips, for preparing multiple biology kits and dropping them off to students’ houses.
Ms Loan Luong
Learning Specialist: Numeracy and STEM
Year 12 Studio Arts
Year 12 students visited MUMA Gallery Caulfield and Duldig Studio in the virtual world this term. The tour was in preparation for their SAC, 'Art Industry Contexts', where they examine different gallery spaces - public, commercial and private. Students go behind the scenes to observe curatorial considerations for exhibition purposes, conservation, storage, display, and promotion of a range of artworks.
We would like to thank our wonderful presenters for taking us behind the gallery floor spaces and sharing their remarkable resources with our students: Gina Panebianco, Vice President and Board of Management, and Lyndel Wischer, Museum Director of Duldig Gallery, as well as Melissa Bedford, Education Officer at Museum University of Modern Art. The Virtual exhibition and gallery tours prepare students for their own presentation and display for their final artworks. The students take on the role of the curator and consider who their target audience is and how best they will promote their work for exhibition purposes. Year 12 students completed their SAC this week with incredible results.
Ms Helen Ifandis