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Academic Curriculum

Teaching & Learning

Deputy Principal - Students, Gabrielle Smith

Deputy Principal - Students, Ms Gabrielle Smith

From Acting Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning, Ms Gabrielle Smith

Welcome to Term 4!

As we begin the final term of 2020, I’d like to remind our boys to prepare for their end-of-year examinations by seeking feedback from their teachers and setting clear S.M.A.R.T goals.

In this Teaching & Learning update, you can also find out about the Growing Up Digital Australia survey, our Elevate sessions for Years 10 and 12, a special visit from a Waverley parent in Year 8 English and CBCA Book Week celebrations in the library.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

S.M.A.R.T goals ensure that students are ready for their final exams. I encourage you to talk to your sons about the goals they’re setting for themselves and take a look at the Term 4 S.M.A.R.T goals template on page 141 of the school diary.

It’s important that boys keep an open mind when receiving feedback and treat it as an opportunity for growth. Now is the time for them to consider their strengths and areas of opportunity, seeking out strategies and guidance from their teachers that will help them improve for their final exams. 

Elevate Sessions

Last week, Year 10 attended a time management study skills session with Elevate, led by high achieving university students.

Year 10 left the session with resources and tips on prioritising their time to fit in study in a weekly plan, the value of study beyond tasks set by teachers, creating study groups and overcoming procrastination.  

Year 12, 2021 students also attended an Elevate session called ‘Student Elevation’. This session supports students to start Year 12 strong, providing them with tips and resources on motivation, building self-belief and agency. It also covers shifting from a fixed to growth mindset and S.M.A.R.T goal setting.

Feedback from both year groups was extremely positive. In particular, students valued the tips from students who have recently experienced the HSC and its demands. 

Students particularly valued hearing the tips from people who have recently gone through the demands of the HSC.  Each student has a booklet that they completed during the session if parents or carers would like to go through the session with them.

Have Your Say: Growing Up Digital Australia

Do you wonder how digital media and technologies might affect your child’s wellbeing, health and learning? If your answer is “Yes”, you can share your views with the Gonski Institute of Education at UNSW. They’re working on a ground-breaking research project called Growing Up Digital Australia, which is aimed at children aged five to 17 – and they’re inviting parents to have their say. 

Click here to complete the survey.

Teaching & Learning Highlights

Year 8 English: Perspectives of War – From English Teacher, Ms Mary Ryan 

In Terms 3 and 4, Year 8 students study a unit called Perspectives of War. We analyse different types of texts and explore experiences of war and conflict. This includes documentaries, short stories and films as well as poetry.

In the final English class of Term 3, we were delighted to welcome Waverley parent Mr Charles Miranda to the College, to speak about his career as a foreign war correspondent. 

Charles has covered numerous conflicts in countries around the world, including East Timor, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War of Donbas on the Russian-Ukraine border. His incredible experiences and wonderful storytelling ability were totally absorbing. His presentation challenged us all to reflect on the harsh realities of war in the 21st Century.

Charles came equipped with some of the essential items you need to bring with you into areas of conflict, and dressed two of our students, Anton and Jock, as though they were about to enter a war zone.

Year 8 English: Perspectives of War

Year 8 English: Perspectives of War

By chance, Year 12 student Mark Gapanov also happened to be listening to Charles’s presentation. As it turns out, Mark’s relations in the Ukraine were impacted by the very conflict Charles covered in 2014.

Thank you to Charles for generously donating his time and enriching our studies with his fascinating stories. Thank you, also, to the library staff for facilitating the session – and to Mr Roberts for taking photographs.

CBCA Book Week 2020 – From Head of Library Services, Mr William Roberts

Waverley College proudly participated in the 2020 Australian Children’s Book Week launch. Selected classes tuned into the presentation, live from Taronga Zoo, in our Literacy lessons. Boys were able to listen to award-winning author Will Kostakis give his top tips for improving your writing and hear from students around Australia as they reviewed the shortlisted children’s books for 2020.

CBCA Book Week 2020

CBCA Book Week 2020

Year 12 guest leaders also came in to read to the Year 7 boys. Our new 2021 leaders read from a selection of books on this year’s theme, ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’.

The following Year 12 leaders participated:

Klayton Thorn

Peter Stamatelatos

Byron Scott

We thank our Literacy team Mr Robert Tall and Andrea Fernandez for supporting and participating in this treasured Australian event.