Secondary Academic

As we draw towards the coming break and look towards Term 4, there remain many uncertainties about what Term 4 could look like. With the release of the updated HSC Timetable, we can now plan what we hope their end-of-year celebrations might look like. We do not know when the current Public Health Order will ease and allow us to resume the camps, excursions and incursions, special assemblies, and celebrations that normally mark Term 4, but we will work within restrictions to ensure as many of these celebratory moments are shared with our community when they arise.

What we do know, however, is who we are and what we value. We know that we are a College community that values the academic learning of our students. For this reason, we are continuing our assessment program throughout the Senior School, with appropriate modifications in place to help students engage appropriately in our online context. We are also continuing to adhere to our structured timetable, with students engaged in learning activities in each allocated time period. We also know that we are a College community that cares deeply about the wellbeing of our young people. For this reason, we have initiated this week’s “Wellbeing Wednesday’ activities as well as last week’s “Screen-Free Friday” learning. We are continually seeking feedback from our Tutors who reach out to students and do everything possible to ensure that our young people are cared for in this challenging season.

We are also a College that values the partnership we enjoy between parents, students, and our staff. Thank you to all those parents, students, and staff who have responded to various surveys over recent weeks. As we plot our course through the coming weeks and months we will continue to use the feedback you have provided to ensure that we provide the outcomes that matter most in our community. In that spirit of partnership, thank you also to the many parents who have taken the time to write messages of encouragement to our staff over recent weeks. Like many of our parents, our teachers and staff are working from home, many juggling the demands of their own children in online learning mode, ageing parents needing care, and all the other challenges of this COVID-19 season. Your kind words mean a great deal to our team.

Study Skills Tip

NESA has published a great website (aimed at Year 11 and 12 students, but very pertinent to all secondary students) called “Stay Healthy HSC”. One of the tips from this website encourages students to set up virtual study groups by:

  • Keep it small
    • A small number means you can take turns and run the group, building up your confidence through collaboration and leading. These are also useful skills for when you’ve left school too. Ensure that the people in your study group are going to be supportive of the intention of the group and the ones that you work well with.
  • Make a plan
    • Before you meet up, each study group member submits one or 2 goals they’d like to meet by the end of the session. If the goals range across many subjects you can decide to hold them over for the next study session. Try focussing on one of two subjects only per session.
  • Care to share
    • Take turns to lead a topic for discussion that you care to share. If online, you could share your screen. The leader can help keep the topic going, avoid distractions and push for an outcome, such as meeting one of the study goals. If online, you could share your screen.
  • Avoid distraction
    • Phones off. No really. Off. Change locations or whose house you meet at to avoid familiar distractions. If online, find a place where you won’t be distracted.
  • Make notes and share resources
    • Put your subject notes and information in a shared online folder, like Google Drive. Ask questions, give examples, or provide sample answers in dot points. Whichever way you use it, keep it active.
  • Don’t waste time
    • Make sure you start on time and don’t spend too much time recapping things that you all already know.
  • Change locations regularly
    • In a virtual world, this could include your background or the platform you use to hold your study-group meeting.


Ms Tania Lloyd

Deputy Principal / Head of Secondary