In 2021, the learning agenda has begun well for St Dominic’s College. Since the start of the school year, staff and students have engaged in numerous activities designed to support and improve the learning agenda here at the College.
HSC High Achiever’s Symposium
At the conclusion of our High Achiever’s Assembly held earlier this term, Year 11 and 12 had an opportunity to have a Question and Answer session with our High Achieving HSC students from the class of 2020. The feedback our former students gave was enlightening. This included things such as knowing your syllabus inside out, sending multiple drafts to your teachers for feedback, utilising Year 12 study in the ERLC every Tuesday, and completing many past paper practice questions. Year 11 and 12 were given a great insight into what is needed for HSC Success. It was pleasing to hear our former students speak so highly of the support and time their HSC teachers provided them.
All year groups from 7 through to 12, completed a goal setting activity in our Waterford Wednesday session in Week 3 of this term. This process required them to devise a goal, elaborate on why it is a SMART goal, and then plan for how they will reach this goal. SMART Goals are designed to be more effective at reaching our goals. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Page 30 in the College diary gives an account of this process. Please discuss the goal set with your son, and encourage him to connect with his goal and plan over the course of this term. Year 11 and 12 will continue this journey later this term, through the use of the Student Overview Booklet. This booklet will help your son set, evaluate, and reflect on their learning goals for 2021. They will also be asked to bring these booklets to any Parent / Teacher / Student interviews later in the year.
College focus for 2021
Literacy continues to remain a priority here at the College for 2021. This year the particular focus will be on ways to improve our student’s writing. A number of new strategies will be implemented across a range of year groups:
- Year 7 will now use an extra lesson in the Embark program to focus on improving their writing skills.
- The College will be trialling a writing package called Ecree. This is an online writing tool that provides immediate feedback to students as they write. This program will be piloted in a Year 7 group for 2021.
- Cars and Stars is an excellent tool used to improve our students’ literacy. This program will continue in Year 7 and expand into Year 8 in 2021.
- The English department will also continue their wide reading program, as reading has a significant impact on improving writing skills.
- In Years 8 through to10, the College will target improving our boys writing in preparation for NAPLAN and the Minimum Standards Tests our students complete in Year 10.
- The use of the TEEEC writing scaffold in Years 7 through to 9, and the SEEL writing scaffold in year 10 through to 12, will be reinforced for 2021.
- The Senior Writing Program will continue in 2021, with our Year 12 students getting one on one writing support during senior study on a Thursday afternoon.
2021 is proving to be an exciting year for learning here at the College. We hope that with your support, we can continue to implement strategies that improve the learning of our students.
Mr D. Gerlach
Director of Teaching and Learning