From the Secondary Principal’s Desk

April 2016

As we head into the home stretch for the academic year, allow me to return to a few basics ideas about time-management and self-organisation. Of course the Year 11's and 13’s are well into that zone already as the IGCSE exams begin at the end of the month and the IBDP exams in May. For the rest of the Secondary students in Years 7-10 and 12, the final internal exams will take place from Thursday 1st June until Wednesday 7th June.An exam timetable will be produced shortly and communicated to parents.

In anticipation of both the internal and external final exams, I’d like to send out a few final reminders to parents about how they can help over the next month or so, as research indicates that parents who are involved in their child’s schooling will find that their son or daughter is more likely to enjoy learning, adapt well to school and do better on their   examinations.

Although homework is given out on a regular basis, at this time of year it may appear that your son or daughter is now getting and doing more. While helping them organize their time and even helping them with their homework is a natural tendency, is there a point at which parents can be too involved, specifically, with homework? If parents (or home tutors) end up taking over homework tasks, involvement can quickly turn into interference.

Some parents find that doing their own “homework” when their child is doing theirs can serve as an active example. Parents may read, write emails, work on personal accounts etc. but be ready to help their child when needed. Remember, homework serves as a reinforcement of concepts and/or content learned at school. You can help your child understand their homework assignments most by allowing them to walk you through the way he or she learned to solve a math problem, explain a historical concept or a biological process, asking questions at the appropriate time. This approach obviously takes more time, but is more effective in terms of long term learning.

If your child is more of an independent learner and needs less support for you, you can still assist them in their preparation by creating conditions conducive to learning and making sure your child has a quiet, well-lit space to do work away from their phone, TV or other distractions. You can also help your child learn time management, set a time each day for doing homework and block off time on the weekends for working on big projects or preparing for big exams. Make sure your child is using their Student Planner or ManageBac to maintain a record of what needs to get done.

If you need to speak to a subject teacher, please get in touch with him/her via ManageBac or call the Secondary office and ask for an appointment. Parents who attended the Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences a few weeks back had the opportunity to discuss the progress made to date and the steps needed to ensure future success. Above all, try to be positive and accentuate the effort being made. If your child is frustrated with a project or a tough new concept be encouraging and guide, but don’t do the work for them.

Do remember that we have “drop-in” homework and academic support classes after school every day. Tutors can help guide students to set up an after school programme that meets their needs and fits their parent’s schedule.

If there is anything that you would like to discuss leading into the final few months of school please do let me know. Otherwise, have a very safe and happy holiday!

Best Regards,

Craig Patterson, Secondary Principal