Deputy Principal - Learning & Teaching

“We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.” (John Dewey)

Welcome back to Term 4. It’s great to see the sun shining, and was lovely to welcome our student’s back with warmer weather. As always it was wonderful to see so many of your at our recent Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews. I hope that you received clear, purposeful feedback and that your children have had the time to reflect and begin Term 4 in a really positive way. Reflection is a key theme for us during Term 4 and one of our most important learning muscles. As you know we have been focused on Guy Claxton’s Building Learning Power (BLP) for some time now. Reflection play’s a crucial part in the BLP model and giving students opportunities to reflect is a key way to deepen their learning and understanding.

"Reflection is indicative of deep learning, and where teaching and learning activities such as reflection are missing… only surface learning can result." (Biggs, 1999 in King, 2002)

Reflection leads to greater self-awareness, especially a deeper understanding of where one is currently at and what can be done to progress to the next level. Reflection is also the key to meaningful change and this is why we place such great importance on it during the learning process. Reflection is an important part of our College life, whether we use it to develop our student’s cognitively, socially, emotionally or spiritually. Our teaching staff often engage in reflective practices too, and it underpins our learning coach model for staff.

What can you do at home to help your children be more reflective?

  • Ask them about what they learned at school, not what they did.
  • Give them opportunities to make decisions and ask them why they have decided to choose certain options over others.
  • Encourage them to take more responsibility for preparing for school and their learning at school.
  • Help them to think about, and plan, activities.
  • Ask them if they did things again what would they do differently and why.
  • When they are studying ask them about their plan and the order that they are studying in. Most will study what they are most confident with first, it’s a waste of time as they usually already know it, and they leave the things they don’t know until last when it’s often too late.
  • Use numbers to help gauge an understanding of where they are at. For example, where are you at on a scale of 1 – 10 with how well you have prepared for this task? What would a 10 look like? What could you do to score one number higher next time?

Year 12’s

We are at that point in the year where our students can become quite stressed. Good learning doesn’t happen when we are stressed, unmotivated or feel helpless. It isn’t too late, we still have 3 weeks until the exams so let’s focus on the positives and keep their confidence, motivation and perseverance as high as we possibly can.

At Salesian College all students doing VCE sit their exams, it is not an option to opt out and this is something we have made very clear since Year 11. It has been discussed at year level assemblies, it is written in all of our school policies and procedures and it is in the VCE handbook. Students who do not attend exams will not be attending graduation, unless there is a very good reason for their absence. They have worked hard and the exams are part of the course so we expect them all to attend and try their best.

To assist us with this you can check exam dates and times with them on the VCAA website to ensure they are well prepared and here. Students know what they can and can’t take into the exams and the rules were exactly the same during our practice exams, so they should be very clear. We strongly recommend they have all equipment ready and set aside, they should have their school ID cards and write their VCAA numbers on the back of their ID cards.

We wish them well and thank you for your support and assistance at keeping them focused, on track and as calm as possible.


  • Jazmine Anderson
  • Matt Barkman
  • Bianca Need

These 3 students (along with Alannah Jury) spent their holidays showing cattle, at the Royal Melbourne Show. They did a superb job and finished with a 3rd and 5th ribbon. Well done to those of you who helped prepare our students and to Jason and Sarah Keays for our Year 9 Agricultural Scholarship.  


Subject Selection

Our 2016 timetable is well underway. Our Year 9 – 12 students will receive their subjects in the coming weeks. This will be staggered starting with 2016 Year 12’s, so other year levels will need to be patient.

They will be advised of their subjects via school e-mail and instructions on what to do if there are problems/questions will be included. There will be a week to make changes, if they have good reasons, and a note from home.  Please understand that changes are not always possible, as the grid is built around students initial preferences, and this is why we encourage them to take these selections very seriously.

Jodie FitzGerald

Deputy Principal - Learning & Teahing