Years 7-9

From the Director of Learning

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb
Winston Churchill   |   

The above is a poignant quote that aptly draws the focus of the Junior School (Years 7-9) towards the last few weeks of Term 3 and the forthcoming weeks prior to Step Ahead. The attention to our student engagement in purposeful cycles of learning, formative assessment, feedback, applied learning and summative assessments allows for them to develop mastery across their subject areas. The students' ongoing engagement with the feedback provided by their teachers allows learning conversations to occur and, importantly, cultivates a sense of learner responsibility.

Fostering student responsibility contributes to creating assessment-capable learners. Professor John Hattie's research highlights that through robust assessment, students not only demonstrate their knowledge and content mastery but also gain insights into their motivations, goal-setting strategies, feedback responses, and self-regulation levels. These principles align with the Junior School's core values as outlined in the Universal Learning Programme, reinforced by Coaching & Mentoring. A timely reminder to our learning community that there are many structures to support high quality learning beyond the classroom including Academic Bridging (for all missed assessments), Academic Consolidation for Everyone (A.C.E.) (subject specific support from a range of teachers) as well as the learning conversations that occur outside of timetabled class time.

Conversations centered around learning not only help students articulate their knowledge but also nurture essential interpersonal communication skills. You will have recently received an Approaches to Learning report and, for the applicable year levels, a NAPLAN report. I encourage our students to not only take charge of their learning, but also share their learning journey with their families, drawing from the provided information.

Outstanding learning opportunities are unfolding throughout the junior school. he Year 9 STEM students have been applying their knowledge of aerodynamics to flight, Year 8 Humanities students are delving into the Renaissance in Italy, and Year 7 Health & Physical Education students are examining the transition into young adulthood.

As we conclude the term, let's reflect on the words of A.S. Roma F.C manager Jose Mourinho, “you win by effort, by commitment, by ambition, by quality, by expressing yourself individually but in the team context.” In the junior school context, students must consistently apply themselves, set purposeful learning objectives, develop mastery of content knowledge, understand their individual characteristics and passions, and actively participate in their school community.

Chris Needle
Director of Learning (Years 7-9)