17 August 2023

Ready to Learn

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Ready to Learn
Ready to Learn
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Remember your laptop, don’t forget your water bottle, go to the bathroom, tuck-in your shirt! Yes, every day we deliver a strong message to students about going to class ‘Ready to Learn’. Middle Schoolers can be easily distracted by their image, their friendships and their world. And it is always important to remind them that academics count too and that we are primarily a place of learning.

In reality, being set for a lesson is as much about an attitude as it is about the physical. Students who take ownership of their learning, set realistic goals, work efficiently towards these goals and who have a growth mindset are really the students who are Ready to Learn. Hopefully the current round of Parent Student Teacher interviews is allowing open discussions around goals and attitudes and supporting the learning culture of Middle School.

Acknowledging the students who have experienced success and those who have struggled is another way in which we highlight learning. Earlier in the term, I met with a number of Year 9 students and discussed their readiness to move to Year 10 in 2024. Together we reviewed each subject, discussed their challenges and set some practical and achievable goals to hopefully develop better work habits. Along with Hannah Kent, in her role of Acting Talent Development Co-ordinator, I held a series of NAPLAN parties. This was a great way to celebrate the ‘exceeding’ students, check that they were feeling challenged and encourage involvement in some of the external competitions that we have been offering. A slice of cake and a bit of a chat was fun too!

Of course, a culture of learning really begins with outstanding teaching and learning opportunities. Middle School teachers have hit the ground running this term with some amazing activities.

Year 7 students have been heading into the city on the Runner Walking Tour; a great opportunity to bring their current English novel to life. Speaking of life, their current Geography unit is titled ‘Liveable Places with the Matildas’. When I visited class, the students were having a great time using Google Earth to zoom in on the hometowns of some of our soccer stars! Planning is also well underway for the Year 7 Enviro Immersion Program to be held in the last week of term.

Year 8 students are settling back into their timetabled classes after a majestic three weeks of Immersion. Hattah may have reached -5 degrees overnight, the traffic returning from Cooriemungle might have been a nightmare and the Holocaust Museum might have been emotional, but the learning was rich and deep, many new friendships were formed and memories will linger for years.

The theme ‘Choice’ has continued from the Safe Party Forum for Year 9 C-Change students. They have made their choices and have been working on their Community Projects. The DARE2CAREy groups will use the design thinking process to work towards fundraising activities. The Who Do You Think You Are? groups will research, make a connection to place and form action plans and conduct community service. Caring Heart Helping Hands will support the wonderful work of community organisations Operation Stitches and Servants Community Housing.

Some Year 9 students participated in the Toyota Design Day and looked at the Toyota design spaces, heard from some of their leading designers and technicians and modelled car designs in clay! We have also had Middle School students playing in and enjoying the highs and lows of competing in the Herald Sun Shield Intermediate Football Grand Final and the Victorian Schools Netball Championships (feature image).

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Toyota Design Day at the Toyota Design Innovation Centre
Toyota Design Day at the Toyota Design Innovation Centre
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Staff morning tea – thank you all for your hard work!
Staff morning tea – thank you all for your hard work!

It’s not surprising that the staff Thursday morning tea had a record attendance last week! It was a special moment to thank all staff who had been involved in the Immersion program and to pause and reflect on the achievements and wonderful learning so far this term.

Ready to Learn – Ready for Life!

Meredith Plaisted
Deputy Head of Middle School – Student Learning

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