Dear Families, Students and Community Members,
Exams Years 9, 10 and 11
Firstly, a huge congratulations to all students from Years 9, 10 and 11 who have completed their exams. As we all know, examination periods can be a time of pressure and intensity and we were proud to see so many of our students approaching the last two weeks with resilience, character and determination. We have been particularly impressed with the Year 9 students who sat their first round of semester one exams in the new gym this year and coped well. Also, we have been pleased to note the number of students who have approached the exam period with a positive focus on their learning and who are now making the most of their feedback to rework and improve their skill set so that they can achieve even more in the future. Well done to all.
If you would like to read some more about appropriate mindsets with which to approach examination periods and learning at school in general, please take a moment to read these summaries of the work of Stanford University Psychologist Carol Dweck. She has researched extensively how people should try to think in order to reach their full potential (access her research by right clicking here and/or here).
A special well done as well to the Assistant Principals, Ms Wilson, Ms Barker and the Year Level Coordinators who have done an exceptional job in organising the logistical challenges of so many students sitting exams over the last two weeks. We are pleased to note how smoothly they have all proceeded.
End of Semester
As we move past exams and into a new semester it is worth taking a moment to reflect on the targets we set at the start of Term 1. At the start of Term 1 all students at Mordialloc set goals for themselves based on what they knew about their learning behaviours, academic achievements and aspirational pathways into the future. As reports are released shortly, it is a good time to pause with family or carers to reflect on what we are proud of and what we would like to improve further. For students seeking advice on career pathways, please make an appointment with Jane Jamieson, our career pathways advisor.
Also, through mentor time and at home, students should be starting to plan new targets for the coming semester. For Year 12 students, these are the last semester targets they will set themselves at Mordialloc, before stepping out into the wider world. We hope you all feel excited and prepared for the challenges of the short time before you finish your secondary schooling. For students lower down the school, we hope you enjoy the next two weeks of your new electives before your well earned holiday.
Extra Curricular Engagement
It has also been fantastic to see so many events around the school, even whilst exams have been continuing. Some of the events this week include the John Monash Science School excursion, the VCAL SCOPE Young Ambassadors Community Service Activity, the Monash University VCE Enrichment Programme, the SMR Cross Country and the career profile session for Industry and Enterprise students. Congratulations to all students and staff extending themselves in these contexts as well. We are also pleased to note the appointment of private tutors to VCE in order to help support students across the last term.
This year Mordialloc has continued its commitment to literacy, working from the ethos that every teacher is responsible for teaching literacy in every classroom and that every child needs strong literacy skills, not just to succeed academically, but to function effectively in society.
In 2018 we launched a ‘Writing for Learning’ program, alongside a school wide editing code, to almost double the volume of continuous writing students are doing with a pen and paper across the school day as well as provide a shared language for feeding back on writing tasks. We also introduced a recreational reading program last year; all students from Year 7 to 9 have at least one lesson every two weeks in The Hub so they can borrow a book. We also give students twenty minutes of recreational reading time a week during lessons, and encourage them to read at home at least three times a week for twenty minutes or more (it is worth noting that through conversation students are exposed to only around 7000 new words between Grade 5 and Year 10, but through reading they are exposed to over 80,000). Led by James Nicklen, we are currently also looking at developing our recreational reading program into an independent reading program based on some promising research and outcomes. Now is the time for students to visit The Hub and borrow their holiday reading.
Continuing to build on this, we have also run a series of professional development workshops focused on teaching spelling, vocabulary, writing conventions, sentence structure and engagement with writing processes, for all staff. Across the school, we are moving forward to develop conventions guides for all writing responses across subject areas so that students, parents and staff have a shared language about how to write in the various specific styles required by different learning areas right up to VCE.
Finally, we have also more than tripled our provision of extra curricular opportunities - a huge thank you to Mr Vicary for his work with debating, Mr Nicklen again for his work with the Writers' Collective, and to the whole English team for their tireless efforts organising a wide range of high quality incursions and excursions. In Term Three we look forward to The Writer’s Festival, The Australian Poetry Competition and our annual outstanding incursion, the performance of the poetry of Wilfred Owen (thank you to Ms Rodrigues).
A huge thank you and well done to all students who have been involved in pushing literacy forward at Mordialloc in the first half of this year. We look forward to some great successes in Semester 2.
Director of Literacy Improvement