17 October 2022

Getting the most out of our final term

Heads of SchoolMiddle School
Getting the most out of our final term
Getting the most out of our final term
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We hope that everyone had a wonderful break. There is no doubt that a change of routine is a terrific way of re-charging and re-collaborating, especially when coupled with some family time and sunshine. Hopefully many people have moved into Term 4 with a renewed sense of purpose and energy.

The beginning of Term 4 is excitedly very much focussed on the Year 12s and the culmination of the school journey. It is always lovely to see the Year 12s reflect back on their Middle School years with fondness and often catch up with Middle School Heads of House and teachers to thank them for their role in the their development and growth. The growth, maturation and transformation in the students is amazing. This year, like every year, the Class of 2022 have much to be proud of and, given their Year 10 and 11 experience with remote learning, they have done a wonderful job defining again that Carey is a kind, caring, inclusive and positive environment.

Respect
This term we would also like to focus on how students treat each other. Although for the most part students at Carey are respectful, caring, sensible and positive, each term, we must remind students of our expectations around how we treat each other and the need for respect in all our interactions. This term we will continue to build on our proactive programs such as our ‘positive interactions forum’ and ‘safe party forum’ to develop presentations and experiences that foster a sense of social cohesion and connectedness. All students have a right to feel safe, supported and valued and it is important that we continue to build this sense of trust and find ways to help students interact appropriately as they navigate the complex and challenging path through adolescence.

Getting the most out of our final term
We still have a quarter of the year to go and although it often feels like we are already near the end it is never too late to set some small new plans or habits to ensure a fantastic finish to the year. With the warmer weather, longer sunlight in the evenings and the promise of a summer break, we can try to make the most of the last run to the end of the term. It is often the last 20% of a task that makes the most difference and I encourage all students to set themselves some goals that encourage a positive finish to the year no matter how difficult it may be to this point. The hope is that through Middle School we are supporting students to be self-determined and take responsibility for their own learning with the mindset that they discover who they are as a learner and that self-improvement is possible and relies on the student doing the heavy lifting.

Over the next few weeks, we have many of the events that help build a sense of community – House activities such as theatre games, outdoor educational trips, inter-discipline programs, celebrations, leader interviews and appointments, feedback loops, Christmas services and all the social activities that we all enjoy about this time of the year. Participating in these events helps kids develop a sense of connection and belonging.

The end of the year can also bring mixed emotions and a great deal of stress – it is often a time of excitement while also heralding hard work, stress, tests and, at times, disappointment. In our scramble to meet all our responsibilities, commitments and expectations, we can often forget the things that actually nourish us: a hug, a smile, a kind word, a quiet meal together, a walk, helping someone else, silence, a good book, a laugh and simply resting. The trick is trying to juggle all the competing demands and do things the really bring calm and not chase the ‘artificial sweeteners’ – screens, consuming and being overly busy.

Success usually comes to those who are organised, positive and committed in their approach, having such a rich Middle School program can at times cause stress and business and some students need to draw on the resources of parents for support. When everything has been completed and the holidays arrive, the sense of achievement (and relief) is all the better for the challenge.

Middle School Academic Awards 2022
These will be calculated at the end of the 2022 academic year and will be based on all the summative assessments tasks that have been completed throughout the year. At the beginning of 2023, award winners and their parents will be invited to a special assembly and morning tea/photo opportunity.

The process of determining award winners is as follows. Each students’ letter grades are converted to a numeric score (A+=10, A=9, B+=8 …). For each subject studied by the student, a subject average is calculated and then combined with all subjects to produce an average student score. This score is used to create a rank and the award winners are determined. Physical Education and the Consolidation subjects do not award letter grades and are not included in calculations. Above Level subjects receive a bonus point.

While we take great delight in the achievements of the students who receive an Academic Award, we are, of course, concerned about the growth and development of all our students. The information produced is also used to look at whether we are providing the correct support for struggling students and whether there are some students coasting in the middle band who need some extra attention.

I wish everyone a wonderful Term 4 and look forward to all the things the term has to offer.

Michael Nelson
Head of Middle School

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