Leone Smyth Editorial 12 May 2023

This term, Year 7 and 8 students will be completing most of their assessments within normal class time during weeks 5 and 6. Year 9 and 10 students will have an examination block from Monday 22 May to Thursday 25 May and are only required to be at school for their specific tasks. We expect students to be studying at home, although the library will be available for student study if preferred. We ask that students arrive at school at least 20 minutes prior to their task commencement time.

At this point in the term, we want to remind our students that the assessments are purely an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned so far this year. We understand that assessment periods can be stressful and we want to normalise anxiety as a natural response to challenging situations like exams. It is essential to acknowledge the feelings of anxiety and understand that it is okay to feel nervous about assessments. It is also important to remind ourselves that we can manage our anxiety by using various techniques such as deep breathing, visualisation and positive self-talk.

We encourage our students to approach assessments with a growth mindset. Instead of viewing them as tests with a pass or fail outcome, students should focus on learning and improvement. A growth mindset means understanding that we can always learn and improve, and exams provide us with feedback on where we are at a given point in time. By adopting a growth mindset, students can approach assessments with a positive attitude, view mistakes as opportunities to learn and persist through challenges. Assessment is not about achieving perfect scores but about identifying areas of strength and gaps in knowledge, and then developing strategies for ongoing improvement.

Our teachers have also been busy this term ensuring that assessments are comprehensive, challenging and aligned with our curriculum. They have been working hard to provide our students with all the necessary resources and support including practice questions, revision materials and guidance on exam techniques. Our Library staff are also running sessions during pastoral time on study and organisation skills. We encourage students to seek additional support and guidance from our staff if they are unsure about anything.

We also urge parents to support your daughter during this period. Encourage them to take breaks and practice self-care, including getting enough sleep and eating healthily. You can also help them create a study plan, keep them organised and provide a quiet and comfortable environment for them to study. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or questions during this period.

There are a couple of other important events happening this term worth mentioning here. Firstly, we are very lucky to have a representative from the University Admissions Centre (UAC) presenting to Year 12 students and parents on Thursday 18 May about how ATARs are calculated and everything you need to know about the university application process. We hope to see all Year 12 families in attendance.

Secondly, as part of their assessment block, Year 10 students will be completing Morrisby Career Testing during periods 1-3 on Wednesday 24 May. The results of these tests will be released to students and parents the following evening on Thursday 25 May. This presentation and individual student results will be very important in informing the subject selection process for Year 11 2024. Students will be choosing their subjects for senior study at the beginning of Term 3.

We thank our community for supporting the many events taking place this term.

Leone Smyth
Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning

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