Maximising student results

A central focus for 2018 in the Senior School is ensuring that every students achieves their best possible results. In Year 12, this enables students to achieve their highest ATAR and also equips all Senior School students with the necessary skills for success. Critically, we know that IQ does not predict academic success and can confidently say that there is much that students can do to ensure better results.

Year 12 Retreat provided an excellent opportunity for the Class of 2018 to hone their study skills in preparation for the year ahead. Presentations from Old Scholars, Heads of House, Leader of Wellbeing Ms Carlee Mitchell, and myself, allowed the students to develop an understanding of what the top students do differently, and how they can harness that knowledge into their own behaviours.

Study timetables that record when you are not going to study, as well as when you will, are one of the most important strategies. Students can choose their own ways to develop these schedules, using paper or the many online tools, but the bottom line is, there is enough information that needs to be stored into their memory this year, they should seek ways to record lists, due dates and study schedules externally.

Developing the ability to bounce back from setbacks is also a critical success criteria for maximising student results. There will be many setbacks throughout a student’s Senior School; a grade they’re disappointed with, a task they rushed, a time when relationships took priority. The most successful students, those who achieve the best results, brush themselves off after failure (after the “ant nest moment” I described at the Year 12 Induction) and keep on going. For interested families, this TEDtalk provides some great advice about what the top students do:

Our Wellbeing program is developed to specifically equip students with these resilience building strategies. We are heavily investing in educating and supporting students so that they have the mindset to be successful, and to keep going when they are not, refining their approach and improving their strategies.

This messaging was strongly reinforced at the Year 10 Induction and Information Evening. Thank you to all the families who were able to welcome the Class of 2020 to the Senior School. Virginia Castine, the Careers Counsellor, reinforced the importance of a diversity of skills necessary to maximise student results. The Year 11s, at their Welcome Breakfast on Wednesday morning, were also encouraged to approach their year ready to respond and refocus as the challenges unfold.

With so many wonderful programs supporting our Senior School students, engaging and professional teachers and a rigorous focus on improving Study Skills, St John’s is well on the way to fabulous student results.

Leonie Harwood
Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School