Academic Focus

Academic Focus


This week on the morning Quad Assembly, Year 12 student Rory Briscoe addressed the school about the value of planning thoroughly and seeking feedback on your planning. His speech was a witty and entertaining start to the day – but he also made a series of important points. Rory explained the ideal of planning academic tasks early and thoroughly, and then working with someone who has more expertise than you to get feedback on your planning. As good as you might think it is, an expert can probably offer more nuance to refine and deepen your thinking!  He acknowledged, however, that in the real world, our ideal intentions are often compromised, and often we find ourselves running out of adequate time to plan thoroughly. In this case, Rory offered the pragmatic maxim: do something – because something is always better than nothing. There is never an occasion where doing nothing is the best course of action. Finally, he encouraged students to accept responsibility for a lack of adequate planning and understand it as explanation of why we did not achieve as we may have hoped, but not as an excuse, and to learn from the experience so we can manage our academic work better next time.

Our Year 7 and Year 9 students have a planning responsibility to execute for a significant task next week. They will sit NAPLAN online during Weeks 3 and 4, and they are expected to take up the task of organising themselves and being prepared to do their best. While there is no academic preparation required – the learning with which they have engaged over the past two years functions as academic preparation in this case – they must plan to present themselves with the required equipment and mindset to take up the opportunity to demonstrate their growth in literacy and numeracy.

Each student must plan to:

  • Bring a fully charged device to school on each of the testing days
  • Bring headphones appropriate to use on his device
  • Brings a pencil or pen to each testing session to plan answers as permitted
  • Know where and when his tests will take place and present promptly to the correct location at the required time
  • Eat a substantial, nourishing breakfast and morning tea, and drink plenty of water
  • Understand that NAPLAN provides one snapshot in a full year of academic assessment and achievement, and focus on doing his best on each test

Parents and students are advised that the School carries only a limited number of loan devices and headphones. Students who do not present with a full charged laptop are likely to be unable to access the online testing and required to sit the catch-up sessions on Friday 20 May. Similarly, the School’s supply of headphones is limited and may not be suitable to the device a student uses. Every boy must, therefore, plan properly, charge his device the night before and pack it with his headphones.

All parents and students in Years 7 and 9 have been sent detailed information about the testing arrangements and schedule. We encourage parents to use that information to support their sons’ planning for next week, and warmly invite you to contact the Curriculum Office if we can assist your planning for NAPLAN in any way.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

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