Vol. 3, Issue 5, 7 May 2021
A message from the Deputy Principal
By the time you read this, the NAPLAN tests for Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 will almost be upon us. As someone who grew up in the UK, there were no equivalent tests in the early years of my schooling, but by the time the final two years of secondary education rolled around, such academic challenges, with questions set and all answers marked by unseen teachers on the payroll of something very boring called, ‘an exam board’ were the only way our success or failure was measured.
In fact, in order to be considered for entry to university a typical final year (and we had an extra year, Year 13) student would have to negotiate roughly 20 hours of extremely formal examinations with not a single mark to be awarded by any internally-set and marked assessment or test. The pressure was intense, but I must admit to relishing the challenge and it came as no surprise to me when Queensland, rather belatedly, followed all other Australian State and Territories in deciding that such methods, trusting teachers to prepare students well for unseen, externally-devised and marked tests, are a fairer reflection of ability than the old, OP system and so worth introducing. Not that Queensland’s Year 12 are yet to have more than 25%, or in some subjects 50% of their marks awarded this way, but I strongly suspect there will be an ever-increasing reliance on external assessment types to determine an overall ranking of young Australians.
While NAPLAN tests are not designed to rely on intensive revision of school-delivered academic programs, the new QCAA Year 12 courses are, at least to the extent outlined above. This is why our Year 7-12 students are now involved in examinations every term, to mimic the experiences awaiting them at the crucial final hurdle. Excelling in formal examinations requires meticulous and time-consuming preparation, the majority of which is only possible at home.
We are now in an era where it is essential that parents/carers and students focus on establishing the best possible environment, and routine, in which to study at home. Everyone is different, but vast swathes of research agree that for the majority of us, quiet conditions are vital (listening to music with lyrics distracts our minds, compared to a deep silence as background) as is breaking study up into manageable spells, with regular breaks, plentiful sources of hydration and even the much-derided chewing gum apparently stimulates blood flow to the brain! (It worked for me!). Sufficient sleep is also a must, unsurprisingly.
Those of us who are parents/carers of youngsters approaching their final years of formal schooling thus have the power to greatly aid our children’s performance by providing such opportunities. And as loathed as the NAPLAN tests are by many, the challenges they present really do help in a process of, ‘practise makes perfect’.
Update on Anik, our Campassion Child in Bangladesh
The impact of coronavirus has been felt by every human in the planet, and more significantly in developing and struggling nations and people groups. In his most recent letter, Anik shared that his school in Bangladesh has been impacted by Covid-19 and students have had to learn from home. He would rather be at school. Now in Year 6, he is excited about the books he has received enabling him to learn from home. Anik and his family are all safe and well.
His birthday is in August, so if students would like to send him a birthday greeting or picture, that would be so wonderful. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to do this.
Due to privacy considerations, we have not used Anik’s photo. (Stock photo from unsplash.com)
New Building Progress Report
As you visit the college or drive past, you may have noticed that work on our new classrooms is progressing nicely. The heavy earthworks have been completed, closely followed by laying of all the services to the building, such as water, sewerage, power and data. Well done to the grounds staff for rectification of the grassed areas, footpaths and fences after the machinery had dug the trenches for these services.
Formwork for the slab is ready and it won’t be long before the concrete is poured. Stay tuned!
District Cross Country Carnival
On Tuesday the 4th of May, 28 students participated in the district cross country carnival held at St James Lutheran College. Students embraced the challenging course with enthusiasm and determination with many of our students never before experiencing the tough competition faced at district events. The course was muddy, wet and consisted of an array of terrain such as rocky paths, thick bushy tracks and unsteady sloping fields. We had some outstanding performances with 4 of our students progressing to the regional competition held on Tuesday 1st of June at Gayndah. We wish these students the best of luck at the next stage.
Below is our top 10 finishers:
9 years girls
- Emileigh V 5th Place
- Sophie F 9th Place
11 years girls
- Elizabeth F 7th Place
14 years girls
- Abbey M 2nd Place
11 years boys
- Cooper D 2nd Place
12 years boys
- Cale S 3rd place
Years 5 and 6 Camp
Yesterday (Tuesday) the area outside the Chapel was abuzz with lots of excited students eager to board the buses bound for camp. Lots of fun was the name of the game for the first day. See here for more photos.
Registration is open now for the Hervey Bay Oztag 2021 Senior Winter season. Register a team or as an individual at www.herveybayoztag.com SENIOR men, mixed, family and friends mixed and ladies divisions are available to play in for fun, non-contact footy action. We have a great new promotion for qualifying school or workplace mens and ladies teams to have a FREE season! Visit the website, email email@example.com or call 0414 893 840 for all of the info. We are ready to assist you in every way possible.
Fair Play vouchers are accepted for U18s, check out if you are eligible for a fair play voucher to cover all fees at https://www.qld.gov.au/recreation/sports/funding/fairplay/apply We also have online payment plans available if you don’t qualify for a Fair Play voucher.
Team Registrations closing May 20th
Don’t miss out on the fun. Join the Oztag family and Come and “Get Your Tag On”