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Senior Academic Support
Very early in Term 1, year 11 students participate in an intensive and dynamic workshop, ‘Achieving Your Personal Best’. Organisation is a key focus of this session, with practical guidance provided on setting up an effective home study environment, managing resources for school (both paper and digital), working effectively at home and dealing with distractions, as well as using their Learning Curve Student Planner as a planning tool, making brain-friendly study notes and using a wide variety of active study techniques.
In Term 4, as students are entering year 12, they are introduced to the Academic Advisor program. This program links each student starting year 12 with an academic advisor. The focus of the program is to give Hurlstone students the extra support, advice and encouragement needed throughout their HSC year, with a strong focus on effective preparation for their important assessment tasks. A series of meetings between students and advisors continues throughout the HSC year. Students are also encouraged to seek out their advisers at other times if needed.
Final meetings coincide with an organisational workshop presented by an outside professional educational support company. This occurs after the Trial HSC in that countdown period to the HSC exams when some students need to re-focus and have a clear direction in mind.
Students in year 11 and 12 will also participate in study workshops run by Elevate. Elevate’s high impact seminars & workshops help students improve their study techniques, increase motivation, build confidence, and lift exam performance. Along with year 10, the senior school will be undertaking the Elevate ‘Study Sensei’ program which covers:
- Utilising the syllabus to frame study
- Structuring and reviewing organised notes
- Conceptual learning to develop deep understanding
- Utilising practice exam papers
- Standing out through independent learning
An evaluation survey of the Senior Academic Support program was conducted and students stated:
‘(The program) helped me to identify problem areas and allowed me to realise and form a study routine that was much needed and helped me in improving my marks in the trials.’
‘(The program) was personalised and the teachers interacted with our individual needs.’
‘(The folders) helped me to remain organised, keeping all my assessment notifications and timetables together, and clearly outlined examination procedures and what to do in the case of appeals.’
These programs are being offered to give the students every opportunity to set and to achieve their academic goals, with students and staff working together.
Junior Study Skills
A student’s success at school can be greatly enhanced by developing his/her personal study skills. Students need to learn to organise assignments, books, equipment and time; students must also be able to set goals and develop effective research skills.
A well organised student is more able to achieve his/her goals and enjoy school life to the fullest. The expertise that is gained in study skills early on in high school will better equip the student to achieve to their potential in senior school.
Time management is critical to a student’s overall organisational effectiveness. Students must learn to schedule and use time wisely, e.g. use class time effectively and keep up to date with homework; plan a task by breaking it down into steps and write dates for these steps in the student planner. Student planners are essential for all students to keep track of classroom events, assignments and homework, test dates, and co-curricular activities. In addition to underpinning the school calendar and supporting a student’s learning and management of homework and assessment priorities, the Learning Curve planner also contains practical tips and strategies for students’ socioemotional wellbeing as well as tools to build their skills in collaboration, creative and critical thinking to better equip them for high school life and beyond.
The study skills program for year 7 students provides a strong basis for each student’s organisational skills, starting with how to use their student planner efficiently and effectively in roll call sessions with prefects and later, group sessions that address specific skills for study.
During 2017, years 7 through to 9 will also be participating in the Elevate study workshops.
Years 7 and 8 will participate in the Study Skills Kickstart program, which focuses on the transition to high school, dynamic reading skills, effective note taking skills, conceptual learning techniques and independent learning.
Year 9 will participate in the Memory Mnemonics workshops which assists students in minimising distractions, and developing high level techniques to assist in memory and reduce rote learning. These skills lay the group work for the senior skill workshops.
Hurlstone students and parents also have access to the Online Study Skills Handbook and Elevate’s student portal https://austudent.elevateeducation.com/. Both sites are valuable resources for both junior and senior students.