Students at the Senior Campus have returned this year to a completely refurbished Learning Hub and are enjoying access to a larger space for learning, research, reading, support and collaboration.
While the Learning Hub is a space for students across Grades 7-12, it is used the most by students during their final two years at Launceston Church Grammar School.
This week I connected with two of our most recent alumni, Emily Fryett and Stuart Stenton from the Class of 2021, and they shared with me their top three tips for senior students as they approach study in 2022.
- Ask your teachers lots of questions. If there is something you don’t understand, your teacher will be more than happy to help, either during class time or in the learning hub during tutoring sessions after school.
- Utilise past exams. Most subjects will have past tests or exams available for students to practice with. These will give students an idea of the style of questions they will be asked in an exam.
- Stay on top of your work from the start of the year. The start of the year is when most of the content for TCE subjects is covered. When exam time comes, your time will be most effectively spent revising content you already understand, rather than trying to catch up on concepts you have already covered in class.
- Length of studying does not necessarily correlate with better results. It is all about studying smart and using however much time you have to study to your advantage and giving it your full attention. It is better to study for 45 mins of concentrated study than 2 hours of distracted study.
- Discover as early as possible in Year 11 whether you find it more valuable to study with other people in a small group or by yourself. Some people feel more accountable to study when they are around others and can bounce ideas off each other. Personally, I could concentrate and study so much more efficiently by myself. Experiment and see which study strategy suits you personally.
- Find and use practice tests as early into the year as possible. Practice tests I believe are the best way to learn and consolidate what you are learning as you are recalling what you have learned but are also seeing exactly how your tests are going to be laid out. Do not be too worried about “using up” practice tests too early into the year because it is likely that by the next time you want to use these practice tests again, you will have forgotten what was in the tests, and I believe it is better to see more content earlier in the year rather than too late towards exams.
While this advice from Emily and Stuart was shared with Grade 11 and 12 students in mind, many of the ideas are just as relevant to students earlier in their school years.
As a parent or carer perhaps one aspect of what they shared could prompt a goal and growth focused conversation about learning with your child this weekend. As you have the conversation, remember that your child’s own insight will be much more powerful than your advice.
Some growth questions to consider could be:
Goal: What do you hope to achieve in x subject this term? Tell me more about that. What would be the result of that? What will be the benefits of achieving this goal? What will be the costs if you don’t achieve this goal? When you achieve this goal what will it look like / feel like?
Reality: What is happening now? What do you already do that will help to increase the likelihood of achieving this goal? What have you tried so far? What is working already? What’s within your area of control? What else?
Options: What could you do? What are the options for achieving this goal? What could you do to change the situation? What approaches have you used, or seen others use, in similar circumstances? What are the benefits and pitfalls of these options? What advice would you give someone else who was in a similar position to you?
Will: What options do you like the most for action this week? What will you do, specifically? What are the next steps?
Tactics: How and when will you do it? Precisely when will you take the next steps? Do you need to log the steps in your diary? Would it be helpful to make yourself accountable to someone for taking those steps?
Habits: How will you ensure that you carry out these actions? What support is needed to maintain this? What needs to be different about your thoughts, feelings, behaviours or environment to ensure you carry out these actions? What might get in the way? How can we address that? What sort of person do you need to be to achieve the results you desire?
Some shorter conversation starters could be:
- If you were to drop into the learning hub and get help with a subject, what subject would you it be?
- On a scale of one to 10, how on top of your work do you think you are right now? What gets you a 4 out of 10? What would you need to do to shift that to a 5 out of 10? How could you do this? What might get in the way? How could we address that?
- If you were to come up with three tips for smart study, what would they be?
Each of you will know the best way to approach the topic with your child and some of you will do so with trepidation knowing that the questions may well generate moaning or looks of excruciating pain. Choosing the right time to start the conversation may help mitigate this reaction. Whatever your experience, it is helpful to avoid “Why” questions as these are likely to be heard by your child as questions of judgement. However tempting, avoid leading off the conversation with “why haven’t you gone to the learning hub” or “why don’t I ever see you completing practice exams?”. Remember that questions are powerful and young people inevitably live in the world our questions create. Each question you ask this weekend could be more powerful than you ever imagined.