From the Senior Years

In the last fortnight, Senior Years students in Years 11 and 12 have risen to the challenge of various assessment tasks and the need for personal organisation and responsibility for their learning. Whether this has been submitting practice tasks for feedback or seeking individual support from their teachers to clarify understanding outside of normal scheduled classes, students stepped up in their learning.

A central component of VCE success is the relationship with their teacher. This is an important working collaboration that, by Week 8 of Term 1, must have a solid foundation. For teachers, this is the core of our professional life – supporting students with their learning. We are here to help.

In conversations with students across both Year 11 and 12, a recurrent question has been: “Have you spoken with your teacher? And what did they suggest?” Students should be regularly approaching their teachers for guidance and feedback on their learning. Of course, this does not mean that questions have to be lengthy and in depth on all occasions. It could, of course, be simple clarification of ‘preparation’ (pre) tasks for the upcoming lesson or sharing a revision strategy that students have implemented for themselves. I encourage parents to direct their students to their teachers as an important resource to maximise their learning.

For Year 11s, this is an important behaviour to establish as a routine part of their learning in preparation for their Unit 3 and 4 courses in 2024. According to Harvard University Researcher Ron Ritchhart, routine is one of the major cultural forces in highly effective visible learning. Routine establishes the norms and behavioural expectations for highly effective learning. Put simply, routine becomes ‘the way we do things everyday’ at St Aloysius.

For half the Year 12 cohort, the last fortnight also saw a return to Hardrock Climbing centre. This was enjoyed by numerous students who had beaming smiles of accomplishment having scaled the climbing walls of the centre to great heights. Reflecting on the day, College Co-Captain Chloe Colin, commented on how much the students were grateful for the opportunity to spend time together, to challenge themselves and to have ‘outdoor’ activities. For Chloe, the sense was that this was an important experience having had the experience of lock down that interrupted the ‘normal’ and important markers of school life – school camp and the various outdoor adventure activities that come along with it.

Tom Crowle
Senior Years Leader