Deputy Principal -Learning & Teaching

Exams
I wish all of our students the very best with their exams. They are very important and so is the time that they allocate to study and preparation. Remember that hard work and perseverance are crucial. There is no recommended amount of study time, they need to study until they have a deep understand of the material and can apply it. They will know that they have a deep understand if they can teach someone else, so giving them time to teach a family member or friend will be helpful. Exam results are used to determine eligibility for some subjects during our subject selection process for 2017, so we encourage all students to try their very best.

As we move into exam week it’s important to highlight the fact that our Year 10 and 11 students will not have scheduled classes during their exam time. If they are on site when they don’t have an exam they must be signed in at the library. This ensures their safety. Year 8 and 9 students will have classes as normal, except for their exam times. Year 11 students who are doing a Unit 3 & 4 subject should aim to attend their Year 12 classes during exam week where possible.

On Tuesday 7th June we have the General Achievement Test (GAT). All Year 12 Students, and any Year 11’s completing a Unit 3 & 4 subject must be at school to sit the GAT. 

 

Semester Two
Semester Two begins on Monday 14 June. Any student wishing to change subjects should collect a form from their relevant Campus Assistant, complete and submit it by Friday 3 June.


BOOST Enrichment Showcase
Our Year 7 & 8 BOOST Enrichment students have been working hard and are looking forward to showcasing their work to an audience. Please come along to the Mansion Dining Room on Thursday 23 June from 5pm – 6:30pm to see their projects and hear about their learning.

Report Writing Day / Student Free Day
Just a reminder that Friday 10 June is a Student Free Day for report writing, however our Year 12 English students will have a SAC on this day.

What’s happening in the English Department …

So far, it has been a very busy year in the English department. All staff have been working tirelessly to help our students and staff have also worked passionately together to discuss, plan and implement various initiatives to further strengthen our department.

To date, many efforts have been made to establish consistency in regards to cross-marking and cross-checking materials in the course. We have worked together to develop a culture of consistent cross-marking and blind-marking procedures across all year levels of English and we are also working diligently to use assessment task results to identity and nurture high-performing students. We are also making many efforts to consciously use VCAA’s Study Design material to regulate and cross-check changing and pre-existing courses taught and studied at VCE level in the department and we are continuing to pit subjects against AusVELS standards so that we can closely regulate and cross-check English subjects taught and studied, from Years 7 to 10.

                                                        

It has been a time of great reflection and building for our department, too. Staff also had opportunities at the beginning of the year to assess and explore AITSL’s teaching standards, in order to reflect on their own current teaching practices going forth. There have also been discussions around the possible need for a word limit system (and dialogue has also opened up on how we can help our students) when it comes to essay writing. The English department has also been in discussions with other schools for the purposes of VCE cross-marking, activity cross-checking and subject material cross-checking. We have also consulted other English departmental heads in the Catholic education system about assessments, planning and teaching going forward. There have also been various movements in the department regarding testing and course re-structuring, too. We have explored approaches and testing procedures for students with low levels of literacy (in 7-11 English), we have re-vamped and developed the Year 9 Enrichment subject and the Year 10 English Language subject and we have started using tools to track bell-curving in VCE English. As you can see, 2016 has been far from a quiet year for us.

Staff have also worked well together to utilise each others' expertise. For instance, we have now established a ‘revision lecture’ culture for students in English and some staff have participated in these already. We have also worked together to create the 'English department's statement on good teaching and learning', which is a document that outlines the department's shared vision for teaching and learning going forward. The department has also provided students with great excursion opportunities (such as ‘Shakespeare in the Park’) and competition opportunities (such as the ANZAC poetry writing initiative), in order to enrich the learning and minds of our students. The English department has also worked with other departments to further strengthen learning among students at SCR, too. For example, we have worked with the LOTE department to explain the relationship between English Language and Italian studies to Year 10 students already.

As demonstrated above, it has been a busy but exciting year in the English department. We are, therefore, looking forward to seeing the department continue to grow.

Meet our New Staff …

Matthew Edwards

Matthew Edwards is an experienced English teacher, hailing from Sydney, and has
joined Salesian this year as an English and Humanities teacher (and, from Term 2, Bunjil House Leader). Prior to arriving in Melbourne, he was teaching in both the State and Catholic systems, holding both Head Teacher English and Head Teacher Student Welfare positions at various times. He has marked both the NAPLAN and the HSC English Paper 1 Area of Study papers, and has taught Advanced and Extension English. Matthew is enjoying the transition into the Victorian school system, particularly as he earned his Dip. Ed. through Monash University in 2009.

Prior to this, he was a man consumed by wanderlust, travelling the world taking on any job that would pay his board, doing his utmost to avoid growing up and settling down. Now that he is all grown up, he still loves to travel, and is enjoying the contrast of Melbourne to Sydney, having settled into the inner city vibe of Collingwood with gusto. He has a particular interest in student welfare, and moving into the pastoral role of Bunjil House leader has been a rewarding addition
to his appointment to Salesian.