What is learning like after the examinations?
You can feel and hear the reverberating sigh of relief at the end of the examination period. HSC exams finished last Friday, with Design and Technology being the final hurdle for our girls. Years 7 to 10 exams are also over – so what happens in classrooms now?
Most of the assessments and examinations that are undertaken at School are low stakes. They function as a diagnostic tool to inform teachers about individual and year group strengths and areas for growth. Teachers are busily marking and preparing feedback for students. They will ‘tweak’ lessons between now and the end of the year to address any areas of need that emerge from the exams. In this way, students are as well prepared for the academic year ahead as possible.
The time after exams is rich with opportunity and for some subjects, there is a focus on student-focused and collaborative work. In Year 10 English, students undertake an ambitious sweep of literature, understanding the thinking behind the evolution of ideas and the ways these are represented in a text of their own choosing. In Year 8 Music, students collaborate on Rock music projects and Year 7 students explore the enduring appeal of Disney themes. Some of the elective subjects focus on the more practical components of the course. Food Technology students are learning how to prepare food for large-scale events. Students in Years 7 and 8 Visual Arts are working towards showcasing their sculptures – a fitting reward for their diligence and creativity.
Looking forward is important for Year 10 as preparations for Stage 6 study continue. Students are in the process of completing Minimum Standard requirements and will focus on “All My Own Work” modules to ensure that they understand what quality scholarship looks like. It is vital that students are aware of the conventions of referencing and acknowledging the work of others. Much of the groundwork has already been done through the efforts of classroom teachers, supported by Dr Jocelyn Laurence, Coordinator of Learning Link –Research and Critical Thinking and Dr Ann Goeth, Research Fellow.
We are looking forward to the inspiration and challenges of Creativity Week in Week 7.