Secondary Principal

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 this week and the IBDP exams next week. For the rest of the Secondary students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12, the final internal exams will take place from Monday, June 6th until Friday, June 10th. 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. Helping them organize their time and even helping them with their homework is a natural tendenc but is there a point when 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. (There are many more tips for helping out at home on page 6 of the Secondary Student Planner)

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 todate 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.

Do remember that we have “drop-in” homework and academic support classes after school every day. The schedule for these sessions should be written in your child Student Planner on page 8. If it isn’t, just let me know and I’ll send you a soft copy or you can pick a hard copy up at the Secondary office.

Best Regards
Craig Patterson
Secondary Principal