The future is an unknown country. It is an unfamiliar place, imbued with our hopes and desires, our anxieties and uncertainties. As a projection of our present reality, how we conceive our future is largely dependent upon our current frame of mind. 

Mr Mark Gustincic
Deputy Principal — Learning and Teaching 

The Role of the DLD — Student Progression

Part of this role is to monitor student progress throughout the College and the work with teachers, mentors and coordinators, to ensure that we are offering support and pathways to individuals and groups of students to achieve their individual success. 

Prior to starting at De La Salle College in Year 5 or 7, and again in Year 8 and Year 10, students complete Academic Testing of their skills in;

  • problem-solving
  • literacy
  • and numeracy

We use this information to identify students who may need support and to make sure we are tailoring our lessons and programs to extend and challenge those that need it. This can include entrance to our GATE and Accelerated Learning Programs at VCE. We track these results alongside our NAPLAN results. We also look at this information when we reviewing student performance to identify those who, through their commitment and effort, are achieving their individual success and those who may need to improve to meet their potential. 

Term 3 is a very busy term for the Progression and Wellbeing teams as we are reflecting on Semester One whilst also looking forward to support our students in Years 9, 10 and 11 in choosing their programs and subjects for 2020. 

This term we are seeing our Wellbeing team having conversations with students and their parents to discuss strategies to improve their academic performance.

I do the background work to help our Year 9, 10 and 11 students make informed choices about their final years of schooling. However, it is the subject teachers, mentors and House Coordinators who know the students best, and do a lot of the guidance and supporting of individual students.

In Year 9, subject selection runs as part of their Futures theme and the Future Program led by Caroline Fitzpatrick, our Careers Counsellor. I work with students in helping them understand the different options available to them and encouraging them to choose programs where they will be successful, this includes inviting a few very high achieving students to take part in the Accelerated Learning Program. 

Similarly, in Year 10 and 11, I work closely with Caroline in providing a structured support program by running the VCE/VCAL, Subject Selection assemblies and Subject Selection Day and helping students prepare for these through their Planning Exercises. 

There are four key messages I have for students to help them be the best they can be: 

  • choose the programs and subjects that play to your talents and passions – choose what you enjoy and what you are good at
  • do your research; check prerequisites, speak to people including teachers and older students to find out what it is really like
  • Follow the advice of your teachers, they know your strengths and abilities and can guide you in the right direction
  • Try your best in everything you do, the more you put in the more you get out.

Mrs Lucy Russell
Director of Learning and Development (Data and Student Progression)

Big Choices Ahead

There are many possible pathways leading into the future and at times this multitude of options can be daunting. Although making the best decision for yourself may seem difficult, the first step is to look at the situation as an opportunity for growth. For those big choices ahead are indeed nothing to dread. 

To help with the process of pathways decision making, the following steps are a good guide to follow:

Consider all possible scenarios. Where does each choice lead and which decision leads you towards your desired outcome?

Make a Pros and Cons list

Weigh up each possible choice by physically writing out the pros and cons of each potential choice, to ensure you think deeply about a potential decision. 

Visualise your final decision, picture how you feel and how you look, what people you respect would think about your decision. Keep this image of your future self in your mind.

What would a younger brother or sister, or your parents say about your decision? If this thought makes you uncomfortable it may be wise to reconsider your choice.

Seek wise counsel

Once you have an idea of what you want, speak to family and friends, talk them through your decision making process and listen to their guidance. It is helpful to receive different perspectives and to have the support of those around you. 

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.” 

Proverbs 11:14

Make a choice and sit with it, after you have taken counsel, be sure to make firm in your mind the direction you choose, and sit with this decision. 

Evaluate how your choice feels. After being with your choice for some time asses if it continues feeling right. If it still feels right you have made a successful decision. 

Finally, we conclude with my personal favourite, prayer. 

We pray for wisdom and discernment, 

clarity and peace as we move forward 

and begin to make new decisions that will set us on a new path, 

never forgetting all the support we are blessed with 

here at De La Salle College.

St John Baptist De La Salle – Pray For Us

Live Jesus In Our Hearts – Forever 

Mr James Biviano
Lasallian Youth Minister 

Back to The Duce Issue 2019 10 - 1 August 2019