Academic Focus: Finishing Well

Academic Focus: Finishing Well

As we learn the new rhythms of an academic year aligned with the calendar year, we find ourselves coming to the end of a Semester and glimpsing the marvellous vista of a three-week break, just coming into the horizon now! For the next few weeks, we will manage both the responsibilities of the final weeks of semester, as well as the anticipated enjoyment of holidays. Learning to balance this kind of tension is a good thing.

I have been particularly impressed with many students in Years 11 and 12 as they manage the demands of academic assessment, as well as House, Sport and Co-curricular responsibilities. Their participation in the House Track and Field Championships on Monday, as well as ensuring a number of submissions were made on Tuesday, and then, for some, representing the school at CAS Track and Field on Wednesday, is testimony to the way they have not only developed the skill of time management, but also honed the disposition of resilience and the attitude of commitment to the ethos of the School. Congratulations to these students who have demonstrated the character we wish to see in every Trinity student. These skills and dispositions stand them in good stead as they look toward a future beyond secondary school. My encouragement is for all students to emulate this example and ensure they know what they need to do before the end of term, give it the time it deserves, and execute it the best they can. Finishing well is a deliberate choice and allows us to move into break time feeling satisfied with what we have achieved and the way we have gone about achieving it.

I have often written about the opportunity a break provides to think in ways that can be difficulty during the pace of a Trinity week. Term break offers the possibility for three perspectives. Firstly, looking back over the semester we have just completed is useful – what went well and what was missed? What were the things we would count as successes? What might we have done differently? The release of Semester 1 Learning Progress Reports for students in Years 7 – 10 will undoubtedly assist these students with this kind of reflection. Secondly, looking beyond ourselves is perhaps easier when we are not so focussed on our own schedules. For whom are we grateful and how might we let them know? To whom could we make a difference and how might we do it this holiday period? What is about our world that we would like to better understand? And thirdly, we can spend some time looking forward, readying ourselves for the term ahead. What goals will we set and what habits do we need to begin?

Thinking once again about our senior students, term break can be profitably utilised if we again consider three perspectives: time to study, time to relax on one’s own, time to spend with family and friends. Our senior students will need to manage what can initially seem a deliciously endless time of freedom, and deliberately planning time for each of these focuses will ensure a purposeful and honest use of time. I am confident our Year 11 and Year 12 boys take robust study and organisational skills into this time of independent work; I encourage them to embrace their own creativity in designing a programme that will work for them, and problem-solving as they tackle the challenges of organising complex knowledge.

So, as we look out to the horizon of the term break, heralded perhaps by this long weekend, I trust we can enjoy the knowledge that a rest from routine is coming, and plan to manage well the tasks that lie before us in these final weeks of Term 2.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

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