11 November 2021
Dear members of the Marcellin College Community
I have enjoyed seeing our students back on site as we returned to face-to-face learning. While there were some nervous faces on those first few days, these have evaporated, and students are moving back to the safety of routine that Marcellin College offers.
It is important that we monitor students over these coming days and weeks as they acclimatise back to negotiating in a community. This may take some time and we are aware that each young man (and staff member) will approach this differently. Part of our routine will be the holding of examinations. As our Year 12 students come to the end of their exams, our Year 9-11 students begin the process of experiencing timed assessments. For some students, this will be a daunting experience, while others will relish the opportunity. How can parents help in the process?
Below are some key points from an article I recently read.
One of the largest studies on parental behaviors and how they affect their children’s academic achievement found that placing a high value on education and having high academic expectations had the most positive impact. Other tips from this research included regular communication with children about their homework and having clear study and leisure time guidelines.
Setbacks are opportunities for learning
The exam season is an emotional rollercoaster, with a series of highs and lows. How well parents react to their child’s lows may well determine how many highs they have. A recent study found that children are very adept at identifying how their parents view failure. Those who see mistakes as opportunities to learn, instead of as personal judgements, are more likely to develop a growth mindset.
Not all revision techniques work
It is important for parents to know that not all revision techniques are equal. Strategies such as re-reading and highlighting have been found to be ineffective. That’s because this technique doesn’t force your son to think hard and can be done on autopilot. Strategies that have more chance of leading to long-term memory retention include “spacing” and “the testing effect”.
Use deadlines, avoid nagging
Research suggests that the most effective way to overcome this is to set clearly defined deadlines. If parents and children do this together, students are less likely to set unrealistic deadlines, and parents are less likely to feel like they are nagging.
Put phones away
The best thing parents can do for their son during revision sessions is to help them manage their phones. Ideally, students would do this themselves, but some encouragement or rules may be needed.
If students sleep right, they think right
Students should look to about nine hours sleep a night. Research suggests there is a strong relationship between getting a regular night’s sleep and exam results (about half a grade different per subject).
Get young people out of the house
Being in nature helps, too. An experiment on study breaks compared a natural environment to an urban one. The researchers found that students who had taken a break in natural surroundings felt more refreshed and subsequently performed 20% better on returning to their work.
2022 Fees and Capital Projects
By now all families will have received our recent update to 2022 fees, as well as news on some exciting projects that are soon to commence at the College. There were many discussions around the rising costs at the College – even so, we felt it was important for us to keep our fees at their current level.
Marco Di Cesare