Academic Focus

Academic Focus

As we conclude our third week of remote learning, I congratulate students for the fine way in which they have stepped into the online learning environment. They have organised themselves to be in the videoconference at the appointed time, followed the protocols, participated, contributed, asked questions, led discussions in Teams breakout rooms, submitted their learning evidence, taken feedback … and turned up the next day to go again! We would like you to know that we are immensely proud of our young men.

The middle and senior schools are heading now into the final three weeks of assessment programmes. During this time, teachers will focus lessons upon consolidation, revision and preparation for these final tasks. Teachers will be supporting students to take up the opportunity to demonstrate what they now know, understand and can do. The tasks themselves, and the learning time leading up to them, have been purposefully designed for students learning in remote mode; they are shaped to support student success. Lesson time will be devoted to students doing the work they need to do in preparation for submitting or completing tasks, with their teachers available via the videoconference to answer questions, provide guidance and work with individual students to consolidate understanding.

Students in Years 10 and 11 will be completing assessment tasks in lieu of examinations during weeks 5 and 6. The intent is not to replicate the examination experience, but to ensure a final opportunity to demonstrate learning. These tasks will be focused upon targeted outcomes and selected topics undertaken in Semester 2; they will be completed during a timetabled period. Lessons leading up to these tasks will offer time for consolidation, revision and teacher guidance.

Teachers are working to ensure students feel well supported to do their best in these assessment opportunities. We know that it is quite a different experience to ‘do’ an assessment task at home without your mates and without your teacher right there. We have therefore designed the lessons before the task, and the task itself, and the online environment during the task, to give students best opportunity to feel confident and be successful. Students and parents are encouraged to reach out to teachers if they have any questions about these next few weeks in which assessment programmes will be completed.

Our Year 12 students are continuing to prepare for Trials in Weeks 6 and 7, while their teachers and School continue to work out answers to the many questions about what COVID-safe examinations will actually look like. My encouragement to Year 12 students is to focus upon the most productive learning that you can do day by day, to take breaks and rejuvenate often, to know that the School is working for you in many ways, and that we will continue to communicate with you as clearly as we can as information updates.

As always, the Curriculum Office warmly invites you to contact us if we can be of any assistance as you navigate remote learning over these next few weeks. At the moment, the best way to contact is us is via

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

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