Is stress a good thing?
I recently came across an article on stress that used the analogy of how a lobster grows a new shell. Underneath its shell the lobster has a soft jelly like body. As it grows up its body gets too large for the shell and it becomes painful, when this occurs it finds a safe place to hide from predators, moves out of its shell and then waits a short while while it’s body grows a new one. If it took medicine or allowed another lobster to try and alleviate its pain, it may alleviate the pain in the short time, but not permanently. Likewise stress in our lives is often good, it motivates us to make changes and allow for new growth. We have had a few stressed students in this first term. Working with families and the teachers to help them find their ‘safe place to grow’ and acknowledging ‘it IS painful but it will get better,’ is a privilege. Please keep working with us, contacting your child’s Pastoral Care teacher or Year Level Coordinator to work it through with them.
Interim Reports and Student Led (Parent – Teacher) Conferences
Reports will be emailed out over the holidays as an electronic copy. Thanks for your continued patience as we move over to our new database system.
A booking sheet will be sent to you as a link in your emails with the reports. Parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to meet with any of their child’s teachers as needed or desired next term on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 April from 3:30pm – 7:00pm (8:00pm on Tuesday night). All Middle School parents and caregivers please make sure you book an interview time with the Pastoral Care teacher. Students established several personal learning goals at the start of the year and these have been revisited in preparation for this conference. Having a round table discussion about their schooling in general is very helpful in assisting them in their progress.
Professor John Hattie (formerly University of Auckland) recently published a revised list of the most effective influences on student achievement which identifies student self-reporting as the most significant indicator linked to raised student achievement.
Another international researcher, Absolum, further comments, ‘If the focus is to be kept on learning, and the ownership of the learning with the child, then the best person to talk about the learning is the learner’… ‘Not only is the student the best person to tell their parents what they have learnt, but if we believe that students build their knowledge by communicating what they know, then providing an opportunity for the students to tell their family what they know can significantly assist with that learning.’ Absolum, (2006).
Uniform Term 2 and 3
Students need to wear their winter uniform commencing Term 2. Please take the opportunity to repair/replace items during the holidays. Boys must wear the College tie, and a black belt. Girls may wear black stockings and boys may wear College trousers. Only College jumpers will be allowed with formal uniform. The jumper can also be worn with the sports uniform or alternatively students may wear the College sports jacket. Scarves are only allowed in maroon, white or bottle green.
Another interesting point, as determined by John Hattie (already mentioned previously), is that Outdoor Ed programs are also high on the list of factors that make significant gains in a child’s progress. GCC recognises this by placing camps as a high priority in our programming. Coming up early next term are the following week long programs:
Year 7 Canberra Camp
Year 9 Outdoor Ed Camp (Kenilworth)
While studies from Educational research giants like John Hattie are worthy, you would only need to speak with any of our senior students to ask them about their experiences in these camps, perhaps not all glowing stories; however, their experiences in the ‘less glowing’ times were likely more significant and where they are most proud of themselves and how they got through the challenges. Camps are a compulsory part of our Middle School program and all students are expected to attend.
Homework Study Skills
Our recent Parent information night on Study Skills gave the following few invaluable tips:
- A study timetable is helpful. Block out the times where a student is involved in sport, watch a few favourite TV shows and have some down time. Then set aside times where each subject that requires study/work time is set.
- Looking at the task criteria sheet is important in ensuring time isn’t wasted researching unnecessarily and the final product is actually what is required.
- Study must involve making notes, the notes are better in diagrammatic form.
Clean-Up Australia Day Legacy Cup Event
What a great event. Students worked hard to make our school sparkle. A great reminder of the importance to take good care of the world we live in – starting at home and school. Photos of this event here.
At a recent assembly Trish Jackson, spoke on how she has managed life with a significant disability.
Some of our leaders helped serve groceries in the local Woolies to help raise awareness for the Children’s Hospital Foundation Fundraiser.
Praying you have a safe break and a special time as your reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us and the new life we can experience though his death and resurrection.
Jacqualina Vreeling, Head of Middle School