24 JUNE 2021

The Principal's Report

It seems scarcely believable we are at the end of yet another Term, but I suspect it can’t come soon enough for many students and staff. The past few weeks have been particularly challenging, with the swift transition to remote learning having to be navigated right at the end of Semester One. While this did require some complex rearrangement of Year 9 – 11 exams, Year 12 SACs and other end of semester assessments, I was very proud of the positive manner in which all in our school community approached this and dealt with the demands therein.

The difficulties of the past 18 months have certainly made our staff and students more flexible and resilient, but the most significant development this time around was the level of calmness and confidence demonstrated by academic and wellbeing staff as we worked to support the students at home and upon their return. As I mentioned in my video last week, the students’ application and cooperation in the exam period has largely been exemplary. This practice, preparation and experience is vital in building the Year 9 – 11s’ confidence and strategies in approaching exams.

This is but one of the many measures we employ to raise expectations in our students and build their confidence, skills and understanding that they can succeed. In a John Hattie article I read yesterday, he advocates students set goals, use these to prepare for assessments but then predict their own grades. Reflecting on their performances then builds students’ capacity to analyse and monitor their level of improvement, which assists in raising students’ expectations of themselves. This is crucial to their progression.

To conclude the Term on another bright note, we received a phone call this morning from a woman from the general public to say she was sitting at a café near the tram stop on the corner of Kooyong Rd and High St and she noticed how well behaved our students were. She said all the students were so polite and let everyone else board the tram first and that they all had masks on and were doing the right thing. As I always say, the De La Salle students are terrific young men!

Peter Houlihan

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