There have been some great events, moments, excursions and opportunities for our students this term. GCC families will be able to see all the photos in Pixevety in the links below:
Athletics Carnival – photos coming soon
This term the Year 7 and 9 students have also completed the online NAPLAN tests. It’s the College approach that there is no specific NAPLAN training, practice or test preparation but rather the all-year focus is to ensure that every subject at every year level is being taught well. During this year’s NAPLAN tests, I was impressed with our students as they undertook these tests in a calm manner and then went on to their regular timetabled lessons after these without fuss or bother.
There is often a great deal of press around the pros and cons of NAPLAN but without these tests, we would not have the rigorous data to interrogate our practice to ensure that the teaching and learning strategies in place are the best they can be for each of our students. Over the past eight years, the GCC teachers have successfully improved the Year 7 and 9 reading and writing levels through intentional strategies. The NAPLAN data, in the first instance, has highlighted this need and, has since, demonstrated a growing improvement in these areas.
Year 7 and 8 students will be venturing off in the first week of Term 3 to visit our nation’s capital, Canberra. Parents will be able to access the Trip booklet with the itinerary, ‘What to Pack’ list and other important information on Gateway News. If your child will be taking medication to Canberra, please ensure this is given to the First Aid office before the end of the school holidays. Staff will not have the time to accept this on the day of departure.
Getting enough rest and managing stress
Teenagers can often be sleepy resulting in moodiness – due to being overtired. Teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep and it’s not uncommon that many are not getting enough or struggling with this.
Right now it’s that time in the term when students are demonstrating what they have learned by completing assessments but this can be a stressful time with due dates and tests coming up. Not managing stress related to pressures can also impact on quality sleep. One of the Year 7 students shared this article with me which has the following worthwhile advice that could be used as a checklist.
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine. Have a light snack (such as a glass of milk) before bed. Try to go to bed at about the same time every night. Keep your room cool, dark and quiet but open the curtains or turn on the lights as soon as you get up in the morning.
- Always fall asleep in your bed. Use your bed for sleeping only. Avoid doing homework, using a smartphone or tablet, or playing video games while in bed. Try to be in your bed with the lights out for at least eight hours every night.
- Napping during the day can make it difficult to fall asleep. If you want to nap, keep it short (less than 30 minutes). Definitely don’t nap in the late afternoon.
- Get exercise every day, but avoid very hard exercise in the evening.
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks), especially after mid-afternoon.
- Limit screen time before bed. Using electronic media and being exposed to the screen’s light before trying to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.
- On weekends, no matter how late you go to bed, try to get up within two hours to four hours of your usual wake time.
- Make sure you are not trying to do too much. Do you still have some time for fun and to get enough sleep? If you are having trouble sleeping because you have too much on your mind, try keeping a diary or to-do lists. If you write things down before sleep, you may feel less worried or stressed.