January 2019 we welcomed a new cohort of Preliminary and HSC students. The first day of Year Eleven saw students being reminded that this is actually the first day of their HSC, a dress rehearsal for the real thing next year, and, as such, the expectations are that students will be focused and ready to work. Our new Principal, Mr Bradbury, spoke of his vision for academic excellence, one which is shared by staff and parents and students.
All Year Eleven parents/carers and students were invited to attend the Year Eleven HSC Information Evening last night, where much of the important information about the HSC was provided. Parents and students were also given the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to their Year Eleven Studies.
Year Twelve were involved in a Study Skills session for their first day. This opened with an address by Mr Bradbury, where he spoke of the intention to embed scholarship into every student here at school, and leadership that they can take to the rest of the world. Again the vision of Northholm as a Centre of Excellence was shared and students were encouraged to “aim for the top” in everything they do.
We were privileged to hear from a panel of HSC “experts”, including the Dux of 2018. These past HSC students all had their own strategies that they found most effective in preparing for the HSC, but a common thread emerged from all of them; that you need to know the content (knowledge) and you need to have the skills to show you know the content. Much focus was on the cohort working together, whether it be through peer lecturing, explaining and teaching concepts to each other or simply respecting each other’s learning environment. Making the most of feedback from teachers was also a focus, as well as attending HSC workshops, completing “time trials” and using exam booklets in practise, especially for essay-type subjects. Enjoyment was also mentioned – not necessarily that you love every subject you are studying, but that there is no greater satisfaction and enjoyment than the feeling of knowing that you have done a good job. I am encouraged by these students, as they indicated through their participation in these sessions, that they want to work hard and be the best they can be. As educators and parents, we are here to support them.
My door is always open and I am very happy to talk to parents/carers and students about their individual pathway to the HSC and beyond. Over the coming weeks, I will keep you updated with Curriculum matters, report on fabulous learning activities and opportunities, share advice for maximising learning and provide research that backs up our practice here at Northholm.
Director of Learning and Teaching