The Semester 1 examinations are just around the corner, and this can create a level of stress amongst our students and families at home. The objective of exams is to not only test a student's knowledge but to do this under pressure, and mirror the style of assessments that we currently see in obtaining VCE or TAFE and University degrees. One of the biggest challenges for students in exams is mental blocks, preparing students to synthesize information, study, and persevere through exams as part of the process of becoming accountable and resilient learners. By teaching our students these skills we are providing them with the tools and practice they need now, so when those important hurdle exams come around, the hurdle does not seem as large.

Ways in which parents and carers can support their teens as they head into exam periods is to maintain a calm and supportive environment. Making sure your child has a designated study space that minimises distractions is a great start. Reviewing your son's exam timetable, and identifying when and where they are required to sit their examinations is also beneficial. Encouraging your child to develop a study timetable whilst supporting them to continue with their regular sporting commitments or other hobbies, and incorporate these into their study timetable, as they need to step back and clear their head between revision sessions. Healthy sleeping and eating habits, such as going to bed at a reasonable hour, eating well and staying hydrated are equally important to maintaining optimal concentration and application.

It is also beneficial for students to revise previous assessments, and obtain copies of practice exams to identify areas or gaps that require further development. I would also encourage students to ask questions of their teachers about the format of the exam, and tips to ensure they are putting their best foot forward. Each Head of School for Learning will have emailed both students and parents a copy of the examination schedule and any subsequent testing that will be completed by the end of the term.

Thank you to Karen Shum who recently coordinated the Year 10 Careers Week, culminating in our students completing Morrisby testing and unpacking their Morrisby profile. Early in Term 3, our students will begin to explore their 2023 Handbooks to begin to identify the subjects they would like to study next year.

Finally, I would like to recommend access to the Parent hub of the Resilience Project, with the link to the third instalment on empathy. Links to the presentation and video are below:

The Resilience Project - Parent Hub

This next presentation from The Resilience Project is all about Empathy and Kindness. Empathy is our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others to feel and see what they do. We practice this through being kind and compassionate towards other people.

Brain imaging data shows that being kind to others registers in the brain as more like eating chocolate than like fulfilling an obligation to do what’s right (e.g., eating Brussel sprouts)!

Research shows that practicing empathy, such as performing acts of kindness, taps into our brain’s ‘mirror neurons’, builds compassion and our behaviour becomes more social and community-based.

View Part 3 of the series here - Empathy