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Middle/Senior School Bulletin Issue 09 / 13 June 2014

Middle & Senior School News Honour Inspirational Teaching – ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) Parents may like to consider nominating a member of College teaching staff for a NEiTA award. For 20 years, these awards have given communities the opportunity to formally thank their hard-working, inspirational teachers, principals and directors in early childhood, primary and secondary school education. ASG NEiTA Chief Executive John Velegrinis says: “These awards recognise the important role of teachers and educators in our communities. I encourage communities to nominate their teachers—by nominating a teacher for an award you are showing them how much you value and appreciate the work they do.” Nominations for the awards close on 31 July 2014. To nominate go to: School Absences From the commencement of Semester 2, the College will be implementing an SMS messaging system for notifying parents if their child has an unexplained absence. As per usual, parents are asked to notify the College if their child is sick or absent from the College via phone or email. If we have not received notification and a child is absent without explanation, an SMS message will be sent. Year 11 & 12 Exams A reminder that Year 11 & 12 students are on Exam Block from Thursday 12th June until Friday 20th June. During exams, students do not need to be at school outside their exam times. But, they must sign out if they are leaving after a scheduled exam. Those students who want to study in the CRC during exam block are welcome to do so. All Year 11 & 12 students have an exam on the morning of Friday 20th June and will be dismissed at 12.40pm. Middle School students will attend classes until the end of the day. Empowering Young Women – Words of Wisdom Secondary parents and girls in Years 9 – 12 had the opportunity to hear from a panel of experts including past students and parents last Wednesday evening. Thank you to all of the families who attended, and to Ms Stewart for coordinating the event. I would like to share with you a few words of wisdom shared by one of our guests, Dr Lee-Ann Prideaux (Psychologist and Student Counsellor).

Advice for Students: • You are much more than what you look like and what you achieve. • Gather people around you who make you feel good and be your authentic self. • Be aware of negative thinking. If you have a negative thought, acknowledge it and send it on its’ way. • Stillness and gratitude are both important parts of wellbeing. Find time to be still, calm and grateful each day. • Get involved. Make connections wherever you can through being involved. And connect with your family too. • Read, watch, and listen to things that inspire you. • Sleep. It is just so important. Advice for Parents: • You have to start to let go. Understand that balancing your and your children’s needs for independence and attachment is hard but a natural part of raising older children. • Be consistent with your parenting styles. Share the burdens of discipline and make sure you are both on the same page with the things that really matter. • Don’t let your anxieties and stresses slip into your child’s world. They have enough stress and anxiety to deal with as a teenager. • Give your child space to grow and teach them to give and take. • All young people need to hear 5 messages from their parents as they prepare to leave school. You can go. We believe in you. We will miss you. We will be ok. And, please stay in touch. Senior Drama – College Musical Last Tuesday night I had the great pleasure of watching the Senior Drama students perform their assessment pieces for Semester One. It was compelling, ‘dramatic’ and featured amongst other performances, an original piece from the Year 10s relating to the pressures of Social Media. The talent of our young people never ceases to amaze me and I would like to thank Ms Scott and her team for their work with our young performers. A reminder that tickets for the College Musical (Jesus Christ Superstar), are now on sale via the College website. It is sure to be a show not to miss so

I strongly urge you to secure your seats, before tickets are sold out. Semester One Reports Semester One reports will be posted home at the end of the first week of the holidays along with information regarding the start of Term 3. Parent teacher interviews are to be held in Week 2 of next term, on Wednesday 23 July from 3.30 – 6.30pm.

ment. We are obviously nurturing the individual. We are empowering life-long learning in everyone who participates in College life. And it is great to report that we are celebrating the gospel in obvious ways and that God’s goodness is quietly working away in young people’s lives where we are barely aware of it.

A Final Note As we enter the busy assessment period and our Year 10 students prepare for their work experience in Week 9, I remind parents that teachers are always happy to hear from you. If you have any questions, concerns or sentiments of gratitude to share, I encourage you to send an email or to contact the College. We are all here to help. Virginia Warner Deputy Principal Head of Secondary School Graeme Schache Chaplain

Chaplains Chat Celebrating the Gospel It is assessment and reporting time! Junior school students have worked furiously to complete units of inquiry while Middle and Senior School classes have put the finishing touches to assignments, sat tests and Year 11 and 12 are in the middle of exam block as you read this. Schooling is such an important part of life for young people and it is taken very seriously by the staff here at St Andrews, along with parents who work so hard with us to provide the very best possible educational experience for the young people here – whether they are 5 years of age or 18. At St Andrews we are blessed with great staff, modern facilities and overarching curriculum that ensures students receive a coherent, positive education. Along the way it can sometimes appear that our first part of the mission statement – Celebrating the Gospel, is lost amongst all the busyness of PYP, Australian Curriculum and QSA…. But thankfully, God’s Spirit continues to be active as we are obedient to His leading. In the past few weeks there have been wonderful examples of celebrating who God is and his role in our lives here at St Andrews. Examples include students seeking out opportunities to sing praise songs together in class. This is part of normal proceedings in Junior School but on one occasion this happened in a Year 9 class! Another example has been seen in the honest, sensitive responses constructed by Year 10 students in Christian Studies tasks. As we finish up the semester and head off to holidays it is good to celebrate all the positive things that occur and assess how we are going with fulfilling our mission state-

Senior School News Positive Education – Power Posing At the recent Senior School Girls Assembly we talked about how body posture, that is, high-power poses (think Wonder Woman) can have a positive impact on the way you see yourself and others perceive you, as well as decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. Professor Amy Cuddy has conducted extensive research in the area of body posture and positive thinking. Attached is a link to Professor Cuddy’s TED Talk where she details how body language can shape who you are. body_language_shapes_who_you_are Empowering Young Women to Make Positive Choices Last Wednesday evening we hosted five guest speakers who addressed our young women and their parents about the issues that girls face. It was lovely to welcome back St Andrews ‘Old Girls’ Emily Rawlings and Rebecca Petersen. Emily is now a nurse at Robina Hospital and Rebecca is studying Engineering at Griffith University. Rebecca’s Mum, Dr Pia Petersen talked to us about the health issues that young women need to be aware of and Dr Lee-Ann Prideaux, a psychologist, presented information on the mental health issues that adolescent girls face and how to deal with them. It was also fantastic to have our adopt-acop Constable Tracey talk all things legal when it comes to helping our young ladies navigate their rights and responsibilities. Mrs Frost, College Counsellor, also spoke about how to keep the communication lines open at home. Thank you to our special guest speakers for giving up their time to provide such relevant and useful information for the girls and their parents. I hope that you all found it useful.

Leo Club Congratulations to the Leo Club who participated in Coats for a Cause recently and sent off two bags of warm clothing for homeless people on the Gold Coast. Over the holidays we will be involved in our regular barbecues and also assisting our 60’s & Better in the Currumbin community to learn how to use their mobile technologies. The dates for this intergeneration program are Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd July from 12.30-3.00pm. This was a huge

success last holiday and I am glad to see that we have some new volunteers on board. It is not necessary to be a Leo to be involved and if your child is interested in being involved please email me on the email address listed below. Congratulations to: • Kate Parsons, in Year 10, who was named in the Queensland Gymnastics Team to compete at the Sunshine Coast over the holidays. Naomi, her twin sister, was named as first reserve for the Queensland team. • Thomas Marshall and Finn McLynskey who have been accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium State Honours Ensemble Program. • All Senior School students – this term I have been impressed with how our students are working, seeking teacher feedback, focusing on their studies and pursuing excellence. It has been a pleasure to work with them all this term. If you have any concerns or queries please contact me on Tania Stewart Head of Senior School

Middle School News Diaries, deadlines and disasters Developing academic organisation skills is a key component to a successful path through school. Using the College diary effectively can certainly assist this development and aid in avoiding some of the planning disasters that can affect students within middle schools. Ensuring that homework is written down is a minimum and I would hope that students are helping their planning by recording due dates and key steps in the scaffolding of assignments. Please assist by holding your child accountable for the planning skills that they are developing through the use of their diary. Air-Powered Vehicles For the past few weeks the corridors around the Year 7 classrooms have been alive with air-powered vehicles as students have been completing Balloon Car prototypes for Science. A range of fabulous and fantastic vehicles have been created as students investigate forces and motion. The grand ‘air-off’ was held in the MPH and highlighted the inherently motivating value of practical engagement. Semester Two Electives Elective choices for Semester Two have now been published and there has been a considerable number of changes made to students’ subjects already. A reminder that students should be selecting from a range of key learning areas and not just from prior interest or the interests of friends. We ask students to place a number of preferences onto their forms as it is impossible to allocate all students’ top choices. Changes to electives choices will close at the end of the second week of Term Three. Tom Casey Head of Middle School

Student Development Attitude Through Action, Determines Altitude Appreciating how hard adults have to work is not something that young teens fully appreciate. Teenagers can be fearful of hard work or consider it a waste of time as they hope for short cuts to success. Some might have no empathy for the trials and perseverance of their parents or grandparents before them. Some teenagers have such a sense of entitlement that they think wealth, success and health is simply in their destiny. It will not be until they have crafted and matured skills, habits of hard work and persistence, not until they have experienced the accomplishment of overcoming adversity that they can have a mature approach to work attitude and effort. And yet to contrast with this common experience, some of our teenagers already show this maturity already and dedicate themselves to service, learning and development.

A challenge for each of us as parents and teachers is providing opportunities for experience and reflection on the results obtained from consistent and persistent attitude, skill and effort. Hopefully the reflection section on page 61 of the Student Diary is useful for parents to reflect with their children at the end of this term. In this reflection, the focus on actual behaviours and habits which worked should inform goals and actions which will then be transcribed onto page 81. Consider again the Goal Setting Ideas and tips as a guide to help form meaningful goals and connect these to an Action Plan. We will provide opportunities for students to review these with teachers next term and hope that the Student Diary remains a useful resource for parents to obtain feedback on how their children are applying a positive attitude to committed action towards meaningful goals. James Nelson Director of Student Development

Careers News As the Year 10 students head off on their week of Work Experience next week, we wish them all the very best as it is for many their very first taste of the wonderful world of work! Students have been given a Work Experience Journal to keep throughout the week and once completed and signed this is due back to Learning Advisors early next term. The main focus of Destinations next term will be for students and parents to research and finalize Year 11 and 12 senior subjects. With this in mind, Year 10 and Year 9 students and parents are asked to bookmark Tuesday 5 August from 5pm until 7pm as it is the Senior Studies Expo in the RBT. This informative event can provide many valuable details about senior subjects on offer as well as information about career pathways. Looking ahead to Term Three it is, in many ways, the most exciting and busy one in terms of careers for our senior students as many important decisions are made and exciting career plans begin to take shape. At time of writing we await the arrival of the QTAC GUIDES 2015. It is hoped that each YEAR 12 student will receive their own copy of the QTAC GUIDE by the end of this term which will provide them with comprehensive information about tertiary education, courses , universities and colleges in Queensland. Year 12 Students are urged to carefully research their QTAC guide to identify courses and institutions of interest. The QTAC Guide includes an informative leaflet for parents about QTAC and the university application process. Students must apply online and applications will open on August 1. Senior Students and parents are strongly encouraged to attend the various institution open days most of which are scheduled during next term. Visit http://www. at the QTAC website for key dates this year.

In school QTAC Workshops will be offered to the Year 12 during Term Three so that they can find out more about the specifics of the application process. Parents and students are also most welcome to meet with Mrs Wrigley to discuss university options and the application process. For any students who are still uncertain about their desired course of study at university, there is a very helpful selfassessment to be found at the QUT website. Go to Studyfinder and then to Match My Skills. Even if QUT is not the university of choice, the survey results can give students food for thought regarding their tertiary study. Students planning to apply for a Bond Scholarship are reminded that the closing date is Thursday 31 July. For more information and to apply, go to au. Note that Bond University will run an information evening for students and parents called Investing in your Future on Monday 23 June go to about-bond/news-and-events/events/BD3_030442 for more details. All universities offer scholarships so students/parents are encouraged to check the various institution websites for more details and application processes. However, special interest to our students will be the Academic Excellence Scholarships on offer at Griffith and the Guaranteed Admissions scheme. More details of these can be found at the Griffith University website or from Mrs Wrigley. All Year 12 students have been emailed the information about the Griffith University Guaranteed Admissions Scheme. Applications for this year will ALL be online and this facility will open on 21 July. More details will follow! As a valued partner school to Griffith University our students are eligible for the Guaranteed Admission Scheme which grants appropriately qualified students, based on their Year 11 and semester one Year 12 results, guaranteed admission into a range of Griffith degrees. A similar partnership scheme called the SCU STAR Entry Scheme exists for our students applying to Southern Cross University. For students planning to continue their studies at Gold Coast Institute of TAFE there is an early, Direct Entry scheme for selected Diploma Courses. Contact Mrs Wrigley for more information about these schemes. Details are now available about the AVCAT Scholarships on offer to children and grandchildren of ex-service men and women. Phone 02 9213 7999 or email avcat@ or visit for more specific information about eligibility and applying. University of Queensland: SPARQ-ed Cell and Molecular Biology Experiences SPARQ-ed Cell and Molecular Biology Experiences are a selection of half to two day programs aimed at providing senior secondary students with an opportunity to explore concepts and use techniques not normally covered in a school laboratory. Visit the website for available dates and an overview of the experiences: sparqsingle University of Queensland: WE Explore Engineering Day Thursday 17th July, 8:45am - 2:30pm @ Hawken Building, UQ St Lucia Campus. The WE Explore Engineering Day is set to excite and inspire Year 12 students to consider a career in engineering. Students participate in interactive work-

shops and learn about careers in engineering. SAE Creative Media Institute Open Day Saturday 23rd August, 11am - 3pm @ SAE Brisbane, Cnr Jane Street & Riverside Drive, West End. Thinking about a career in Animation, Audio, Design, Film or Games? Visit the SAE Perth campus to check out the facilities, and take in course presentations and live studio demonstrations. There will also be opportunities to chat with staff and current students to get your questions answered.

Drama Evening Last week, our Year 10 and Year 12 Drama classes presented their work to an appreciative audience. The Year 12s, presented scenes from Contemporary Australian plays and the Year 10 Drama Class presented an original piece called Once Upon a Time, that took themes from fairytales as a device to explore contemporary youth issues. Well done to all involved.

Antipodeans Abroad Language Immersion Program Are you a school student studying French or German? Do you want to improve your language by living just like a typical teenager in Europe? Antipodeans Abroad offers 5, 7 or 12 week home-stays in France or Germany over the Christmas period for students in Years 9-11. My Future Scholarships The My Future website has recently been updated with an additional 105 scholarships to join the 4000 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships currently listed. The type of support the scholarships provide ranges from course fees, accommodation, grants, and travel within or outside Australia, and covers fields of study across all Australian universities. To view, visit: Christina Wrigley Director of Learning and Teaching

Art News

Jesus Christ Superstar Tickets on sale and selling fast so make sure you don’t miss out on this amazing production that showcases some of our very talented senior students. Tickets available via the College Website

PAT Fee Increase Semester 2 As of the start of Semester 2 2014, our PAT Fee structure will increase. This is the first increase since Jan 2011 and still provides families with an affordable and convenient option for Private Tuition at school. The PAT Fee structure will be as follows: · Individual $30 · Pair $17.50 · Group $11 (Group Size determined by the teacher) Please note that it is up to the Individual PAT Teacher whether they charge GST. In line with these changes, Animi Dance Fee Structure will also increase as follows: · 1.5 hour classes $17 · 1 hour classes $12 · 45 min classes $11 · 30 min classes $9 Any enquiries regarding this increase can be directed to Head of Arts at

Priscilla Scott Head of Arts

Year 3 and Year 9 Cooking Year 9 and Year 3 students made banana muffins together as part of Year 3’s how the world works unit of inquiry into food production. This is what they thought....... Ben: “Lots of fun! It was interesting because I’d never been in the Home Ec Kitchen before.” Misha: “Working with the Seniors was excellent! They were very helpful.” Ainsley: “Entertaining! My Year 9 friend let us do it all.” Michael: “We made delicious banana muffins! I felt like I was a chef for the day.” Jorja: “I got to meet some Year 9 students and it was really enjoyable cooking together.” Charli: “It was fun to go to the Senior School and work with new people.” Sam: “I got to do most of the cooking and it was a really great experience.” Ethan: “I liked making the muffins with the Seniors - it was fun!” Phoebe: “It was really exciting and the muffins were delicious!” Ella: “The kitchen was interesting and a great way to learn.” Nixon: “It was great getting all the ingredients together. It was interesting following the recipe and making delicious muffins.” YEAR 3 LOVED WHAT WE COOKED!!!!!! THANK YOU MRS BARTEL AND YEAR 9. WE LOVED THIS EXPERIENCE!

Dalley Park, Helensvale on Tuesday 17th June. We wish the girls all the best under the experienced guidance of Level 2 NRL Coach Mrs Leanne Pett and experienced coach and player Ms Carmel McHenry.

Sport News Representative Cross Country This Regional Carnival was held at Runaway Bay on Tuesday June 10th. St Andrews had 14 competitors qualify to compete and achieved some outstanding results yet again. The following students qualified for the South Coast team to compete at the State Championships; Lachlan Irvine – 1st, Kye Wylde – 2nd, Tia Faulkner – 3rd, Will Atkinson – 5th and Kira Mobberley – 6th. Other St Andrews competitors who ran extremely well were; Abbie Hawkins – 7th (1st reserve for South Coast Team), Chelsea Blockey - 11th, Lily Harvie – 14th, Jessica Palfreyman – 15th, Charlotte Chant – 19th and Tyran Sonter 20th Futsal Success Congratulations to all of our Futsal teams who competed at the Northern Rivers Championships recently. St Andrews had major successes with all four teams taking out their respective age group Championships. Those teams were the 13, 14 and 19 years Boys and the 19 years Girls. Mr Tanguy and Mr McGilveray did an amazing job over the 2 days of the tournament.

Netball During the upcoming school holidays, the Senior Netball team will be competing at the annual QISSN carnival. 48 teams split into 6 divisions to compete at Runaway Bay over the week. The girls have been training twice a week for the whole school year. It was the girls decision to train twice a week, Ms Yeo and Mrs Roper share these two days. I think their dedication and commitment has been outstanding! The girls are very determined to improve on their Runners-up position from 2013. They go into the carnival fitter and stronger than last year. A special mention must be made of our Year 12 team Captain, Chloe Ivak. She has been in the QISSN team since the school started competing in 2011. Thanks Chloe for all for your enthusiasm and commitment to netball at St Andrews. Good luck girls! Andrew Manion Head of Sport

AGCC Premiers Semester 1 The Semester 1 AGCC sports roster has concluded and once again we did extremely well, winning 5 Premierships. The victorious teams were 15B White Boys’ Basketball, both Junior Girls’ Futsal teams, Senior A Girls’ Futsal and Senior B Girls’ OzTag. All of our St Andrews teams competed admirably and we look forward to more success in Semester 2 where all competitions except Rugby League will be conducted on a year level basis. Gold Coast Suns Cup Our Year 6/7 AFL team will compete at Coomera on Wednesday 18th June in the Gold Coast SUNS Cup competition. We hope all players have a great day. They have been training under the coaching of parent volunteer Mr Shane Wilson and are very keen to do well. NRL Challenge Day St Andrews will be represented by two 12 years Girls’ League Tag teams at the Annual NRL Challenge Day at

Uniformshop News Customer Service Assistant The St Andrews Uniform Shop is seeking expressions of interest for a Customer Service Assistant to work in the Uniform Shop on a casual basis. Please see flyer at the end of this bulletin for more information. Volunteer Needed The Uniform Shop is still looking for a volunteer on Wednesday mornings from 8am. You can usually leave by 8.45am but if you can stay later we have plenty of things you can help us with. Please phone, email or drop in if you can help. Jacqui Desfosses Uniform Shop Manager

P&F News The General P & F meeting for Term 2 was held on Wednesday 11 June 7pm in the CRC. For those unable to attend, the minutes will be posted on the Parent Lounge under school links. We hope you can make the Term 3 meeting. If you have any agenda items for discussion please email the Secretary at It is a great opportunity to have input into school projects which the P & F fund. Everyone is welcome. We will soon be looking to form the Fete Committee for next year’s Fete, so if you are interested in helping out, please come to the next meeting. There are plenty of subcommittee positions and the more assistance we have the more successful the Fete will be. If anyone has any suggestions or comments and cannot make the next meeting please email the P & F at pandf@

Dates to remember June Monday 16 Year 11 & 12 Exams Year 10 Work Experience Tuesday 17 Year 11 & 12 Exams Year 10 Work Experience Wednesday 18 Year 11 & 12 Exams Year 10 Work Experience Yr 12 Christian Studies Myers Briggs Seminar Year 9 Readers Cup (selected Students) Thursday 19 Year 11 & 12 Exams Year 10 Work Experience Friday 20 Year 11 & 12 Exams - students finish at 12:40pm Year 10 work Experience Last Day of Term 2, Years 7-9 finish at 3:10pm

Grants We are very fortunate that Kim Allen has agreed to take on this important role. Kim has applied for grants from Coles for Junior Landcare, which could be used for a vertical garden for the new Tuckshop. Kim has also applied for a grant from the Cancer Council, which could go towards much needed shelter up at the top oval. Further, Kim has met with Daphne McDonald and her Grants Officer who will advise her of any grants which may be available to the school. If you have anything you wish to discuss do not hesitate to contact a member of the P & F. President: Daniel Renneberg Vice President: Julieanne Andrews Treasurer: Michelle Brown Secretary: Nicole Ainger. P & F Executive Daniel Renneberg

We are selling the Entertainment Books again this year!! Entertainment Memberships contain thousands of valuable up to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers from many of the best restaurants, cafés, arts, attractions, hotel accommodation, travel and much more! The price is $55.00 per book and $11.00 from each book goes to fundraising for the College. Books are available from Reception, Junior School Administration and the Uniform Shop. *CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE NOW*

‘Take 3’ is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2009 that aims to raise awareness of marine debris by encouraging each visitor to the beach, waterway or...anywhere to simply take 3 pieces of rubbish with them when they leave. They also encourage everyone to reduce their unnecessary plastic consumption - and make our lives a little less plastic! Students from Year 4B started this initiative on 25th May with the first beach cleanup. We encourage St Andrews families to join us in our next cleanup morning. Where: Currumbin Alley. When: Sunday 22nd June. Time: 9am – 10am. What to bring: Reusuable gloves (gardening or rubber). Hat, sunscreen and water bottle. All students attending must be supervised by an attending adult. School staff are not able to provide supervision of children throughout the activity.

It’s that time of year to update the interest earned on your LLL account that is credited annually on the 31st May. Please send your books in by last day of term, the 20th June. They will be sent to Adelaide for the interest update and will be returned to you on the first week of Term 3.

Uniform Shop Customer Service Assistant The St Andrews Uniform Shop is seeking expressions of interest for a casual Customer Service Assistant. The role of the Customer Service Assistant is to support the Uniform Shop Manager in the running of the service. The successful applicant will initially be offered 1 x 2 hour shift each school week but must be available to work any day (sometimes on call) during shop opening hours. This includes the 2 week ‘Back to School’ period in January and occasionally during school holidays for new student fittings. Duties include • • • • •

Day to day running of the Uniform Shop either working with the Manager or independently, following set daily procedures and tasks as set by the Manager; Providing exceptional customer service; Maintaining good presentation of the shop which includes cleaning duties; Stock management including helping the Manager with ordering and receiving stock, restocking shelves and conducting stocktakes; Other duties under the guidance and direction of the Manager;

Requirements The preferred applicant would ideally have some retail experience but must: • • • • • •

Enjoy working in a retail environment with a customer focus; Support the uniform standards of the College; Be able to work independently and as part of a team; Have good computer, organisation, and communication skills; Represent the College in a professional manner supporting it’s ethos and values; Maintain confidentiality of all information;

Pay will be in accordance with the relevant award. Any questions regarding the position should be directed to the Manager, Jacqui Desfosses on 0412 904 520 or email Please email your Expressions of Interest detailing any previous experience to the College’s Business Manager, Mr Stephen Cooke at no later than Friday 27th June 2014.

INSIGHTS Building parent-school partnerships WORDS Michael Grose

Reading your child’s report

Reports can mean anxious times for children. Will my parents be disappointed or proud? This is the main concern of most children. Could try harder . . . always does her best . . . lacks concentration. . . easily distracted . . . a pleasure to teach . . . Do these comments, taken from a batch of student reports sound familiar? Student reports bring mixed feelings for parents. Pleasure and pride if they are performing well but considerable angst when children are not progressing as you hoped. Reports can mean anxious times for children too. Will my parents be disappointed or proud? This is the main concern of most children. Kids of all ages take their cues from their parents, so your reaction to their school report can affect the way they see themselves as learners and as people.

Before you rip open the sealed envelope containing the report do a little self-check to see if you are in the right frame of mind: Are your expectations for your son or daughter realistic and in line with their ability? 1

Expectations are tricky. If they are too high then kids can be turned off learning. Too low and there is nothing to strive for. Pitch your expectations in line with your child’s abilities. A quick check of your child’s last report cards may provide you with a good yardstick.


Do you believe that children learn at different rates?

There are slow bloomers, late developers and steady-as-you-go kids in every classroom, so avoid comparing your child to siblings, your friends’ children and even yourself when you were a child. Instead look for individual progress. 3

Are you willing to safeguard your child’s self-esteem rather than deflate it?

Self-confidence is a pre-requisite for learning, so be prepared to be as positive and encouraging as possible. School reports come in different formats. Some are prescriptive while some use grading systems such as A, B, C, etc. with room for teacher comments. Regardless of the format school reports should provide you with an idea of your child’s progress in all subject areas, their attitude and social development.

Here are some ideas to consider when you open your child’s report: Focus on strengths Do you look for strengths or weaknesses first? The challenge is to focus on strengths even if they are not in the traditional 3Rs or core subjects. Take into account your child’s effort and attitude to learning. If the report indicates that effort is below standard, then you have something to work on. If your child is putting

in the required effort, then you cannot ask any more than that, regardless of the grading.

Broaden your focus away from academic performance to form a picture of your child’s progress as a member of a social setting. How your child gets along with his or her peers will influence his happiness and well-being, as well as give an indicator to his future. The skills of independence and co-operation are highly valued by employers so don’t dismiss these as unimportant.

Take note of student self-assessment Kids are generally very honest and will give a realistic assessment of their progress. They are generally very perceptive so take note of their opinions.

Discuss the report with your son or daughter talking about strengths first before looking at areas that need improvement. Ask for their opinion about how they performed and discuss their concerns.

After reports are read and discussed celebrate your child’s efforts with a special activity or treat. In this way you will recognise progress and remind them that the holidays are just around the corner when they can forget about assessment, tests and reports for a while.

from Michael Grose. Join Stay one step ahead of your kids with great ideas & expert advice You’ll be so glad you did. Michael’s NEW Parentingideas Club today at parentingideasclu © 2014 Michael Grose

Middle/Senior School Bulletin, Issue 9, 13 June 2014  

Middle/Senior School Bulletin, Issue 9, 13 June 2014

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