We are well into Year 12 with all the comradery and challenge it brings. The students have settled in very quickly to the senior common room and now face their final 3 terms of school. If we think of school as a marathon, students are now in mile 24. Now is the time for them to use whatever gas they have left in the tank. Our first set of Yr12 exams run from March 7-14th. Students should be entering revision mode for this already. The school’s trial exams are in mid-August, with external exams starting in October.
Pastoral Care this year is about supporting students throughout school as well as preparing them for life beyond. We have guest speakers and activities set up throughout the year with this in mind.
In last week’s Pastoral Care class, Yr12 were visited by 2 of last year’s most successful and highly regarded students, Edmund Sze and Lara Schats. They spoke about their experiences as senior students and imparted words of wisdom to the year below them. They talked about the friendships they made at school that they would miss and gave guidance on university applications. They were interviewed live in front of the year 12 students and gave these answers to 4 main questions posed to them:
Q: What study skills did you use?
Edmund: I made some brief notes towards the finals. Didn’t really need to use notes until the finals. Overall, studied for a while and gave myself a break every now and then to absorb all the information from class.
Lara: I would make notes on palm cards throughout the year as well as write out a study schedule on a mini whiteboard to ensure I kept on top of all my studying sessions.
Q: How did you deal with stress?
Edmund: Gave myself time to relax. Watched TV shows every now and then, played basketball at lunch back in Year 11. Was never really too stressed up until the final exams since I always allocated time for myself to relax.
Lara: I don’t usually get very stressed however when I was feeling a little overwhelmed I would try to do physical activities like rugby or just go for a run.
Q: How did you manage university applications with exams?
Edmund: Some were done before and some done after the exams. I started my UK application earlier since there was an added step of writing a personal statement. Since Australian applications were the most straightforward and only required basic background information, I finished that all fairly quickly.
Lara: I didn’t start the process of applying for university until after my exams.
Q: Gap year or university?
Edmund: Taking half gap year before uni. Working at school for half a year and then going off to university in the UK.
Lara: I am taking a full gap year. During this year I am working for 6 months then planning to go travelling using the money I have earned.
Ms. Spencer’s visit
Bernadette Spencer is our new secondary psychologist. She spoke to Year 12 this week in Pastoral Care this week about stress as they face upcoming exams. With the help of our senior psychology students, the year level considered the physical manifestations of stress and techniques for coping with it. Ms Spencer presented a 3 step process to managing stress:
- Master Your Mind – Identify the common negative thought patterns that could increase stress and learn to challenge these types of thinking.
- Take Action – Do something to reduce the stress. Build good study habits, plan your time.
- Look After Yourself – Self-care is vital. Eat and sleep well; exercise; include relaxation and have some fun.
Peter Pulsford | Science Teacher, Head of Year 12