Dr Prue Salter – Study Skills
As an experienced Mathematics and English Secondary Teacher, and with no less than six degrees under her belt, Dr Prue Salter knows a thing or two about study. She facilitated an outstanding interactive session with Year Ten and Eleven Northholm students and their parents, designed to improve their study habits and achieve their personal best, not just in the HSC but after school as well. Prue said on a number of occasions throughout the evening, “I like the HSC. It is fair because it rewards hard work and effort”. She highlighted the fact that “if we do the same thing, we get the same results”, so the evening was designed to examine in detail what students are doing and what they can change to improve results. This is what is known as a Growth Mindset.
The session was divided into two main sections: Section 1- Improve your Time Management and Section 2- Improve your Study Notes and Techniques. Students were challenged to openly assess and discuss with their parents what they are doing well and what they find is their biggest challenge.
Throughout the evening, the questions got more personal and specific;
“Out of all the subjects you are doing this year, which one do you find the most challenging and why?”
“How are you finding your work/life balance this year and have you ever tried working to a timetable?”
“Students, what would you like your parents to do (or stop doing) that would help you the most?”
“Parents, what would you like your students to do (or stop doing)?”
“What is your number one distraction and what are you going to do with it moving forward?”
“What do you do for your system of filing study notes? Do you think this will work for you all the way through to Year Twelve? What do you need to change?”
Prue backed up her presentation with research, into what the “successful” students do, how the brain works and the science behind the learning process. The notes she provided were detailed and specifically targeted to give students options for improvement. There is no “one size fits all” for students. The best study techniques are the ones you will use.
Some useful resources for parents were also provided, including apps to minimise time wasting behaviours and reading material such as ‘How to Motivate Your Child for school and beyond’ by Andrew Martin and Reach Out: www.reachout.com.au (dealing with stress and anxiety).
Next year, Dr Prue will return to Northholm to present to Year Seven and Eight students.
Feedback from the evening was extremely positive, with 83% of parents rating the evening excellent and the other 17% rating it good. 60% of students rated the evening excellent, 30% good and 1% average. The area that students and parents found most useful from the session was the study notes section. One student, when asked, “What did you like most about the session?” responded with “The introduction of new techniques and giving me a reality check”. That just about sums it up!
Director of Learning and Teaching