Dean of Studies | Mr Mason Hellyer

Professor Geoff Masters, CEO of the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER), posits that the one purpose of assessment is to establish and understand where learners are in an aspect of their learning at the time of the assessment.

As a College, we are at the time where students are formally assessed to ascertain where they are at this point with their learning and report back to students and parents. Many assignments have been due this week, and exams commence from Tuesday next week. Exam schedules have been distributed to students and are also available via the College App.

However, the information collected from an assessment period is also used to inform and shape teaching and learning into the future. The data is used to track student performance, ascertain whether students are working to capacity and highlight individual, subject and cohort strengths and weaknesses. The assessment period is also the opportunity to model the scope and scale of assessments that students will experience, especially regarding ATAR external exams.

One of the most powerful outcomes of this reporting period is the parent/student/teacher interviews early in Term 3. This is an opportunity to conference and generate strategies to assist your son’s learning. Information regarding these interviews will be included when you receive your son’s report.

During this period of assessment, students will be under stress. I have reinforced, especially with the Senior students, that to feel nervous or anxious before an exam is normal. It is primarily a physiological response and it should be acknowledged that it is okay to have some anxiousness. Dealing with this reaction is vitally important. Deep breathing, task focus and breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable parts are all strategies that have been explained to the boys.

Another critical aspect of dealing with exam block is normalising routines as much as possible - exercising, ensuring that your son is following a healthy diet, and having enough sleep, especially the night before an exam.

Exams are an opportunity to demonstrate what you know and to be rewarded for the hard work that has occurred through the term.

All the best to all students in their exams.