Last week our Year 12 VCE students completed their final exams. I would like to commend them on their approach and attitude towards their exams, and we wish them all the best as they wait for their results which are released on Monday 12 December. We would also like to thank all staff who were involved in preparing our students for these exams, as well as our Head of Mt Sion Learning Mr Brad Smith who coordinated the process with the assistance of Jules Holt.
This week all our students completed their final assessments for the 2022 reporting year. This includes end-of-semester examinations, where the final grade will be included in the end-of-semester report. Friday 25 November is a student-free day to provide time for teachers to mark examinations and prepare lessons for our Head Start program.
Student reports will be released to all parents through the PAM portal by the end of the day on Monday 12 December. This coincides with the release of the VCE results. As there will be an upgrade of PAM accounts over the holiday period, it is advisable to download the reports and store them on your computer should you need them. A celebration of student achievement will occur next year very early in term one as part of our awards ceremonies.
Head Start program provides an opportunity for our current students to transition to their 2023 timetable, enabling our students to be familiar with their new teachers and learning environment.
At Mt Sion, many of our students begin next year's VCE or VCE Vocational Major program, enabling our senior teachers to get a jump start on their courses early. Our Year 10 students are introduced to their new homerooms based on their House groups, setting the foundation for new friendships and establishing familiarity with their homeroom teacher who will be available to support them throughout their time at Mt Sion.
Our Westcourt team welcomes our Year 9 cohort for 2023, transitioning them from Waterford to our Year 9 Campus in Herne Hill. This is an equally important transition stage in the College and Head Start provides the opportunity for our students to acquaint themselves with the facilities, teaching team and begin our newly revised curriculum including the Westcourt Project.
The Waterford students will transition from Year 7 to Year 8, following their new timetable, meeting their new Homeroom teachers, and being introduced to their elective programs. Our new Grade 6 students will transition on Tuesday 13 December, after our students have finished, providing them with the opportunity to explore the Campus on their own.
The Head Start program provides a chance for our teachers at each subschool to outline our subschool norms and expectations, as well as opportunities to establish new friendships and routines. All students will receive their Head Start timetable via their email, and it will also appear on SIMON the weekend prior.
There are many elements that contribute to the engagement of a child’s experience at school, and one of the most important elements is parental involvement. Discussing school activities, nurturing aspirations, imparting expectations, helping with homework, and respectful and effective communication with the College are all ways to increase parental engagement.
Whilst teachers and staff appreciate and encourage the open dialogue between parents, there have been times when communication has been less than productive. Often this form of communication breaks down when parents and teachers have differing viewpoints, and they voice this in a less than respectful way. As parents, it’s evident we want the best for our children, we want them to know right from wrong, but we also find it difficult when other people including teachers point out that our children can be less than perfect at times. At St Joseph’s College, we take both an educative and restorative approach, and one that may result in issuing consequences for poor behaviour. Lieutenant General David Morrison, when addressing the International Women’s Day conference in 2013 said “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”, and “he needs everyone to support him in achieving this”. This was about changing culture, and it is the mandate that we need to ensure our students respect each other and our broader community.
As parents and teachers, we need to value our role in modelling positive behaviour. We need to be mindful of our own feelings and reactions, and identify the best way to communicate with each other to get an outcome that is educative and supportive of all individuals involved. We often refer to parents having relational knowledge of their child, they know how they learn and the influences that impact their learning. Whilst the teacher has expert knowledge in the curriculum, the developmental stages of learning and the ways to deliver it. Parents are the most influential teachers of their children, and our teachers are your colleagues, working alongside you, as they guide and educate your son. So, let’s keep the partnership strong and the lines of communication open, as we work together to support a thriving and respectful learning environment.