Learning

University of Sydney Academic Excellence Award

Congratulations to Charlotte Duff-Clarke of Year 11, who was presented with the University of Sydney Academic Excellence Award on Tuesday 10 April.  The ceremony took place in the Great Hall at the University of Sydney, with many other worthy recipients from schools across NSW.  Charlotte proudly received the award in recognition of her outstanding academic achievement in Year 10, 2017.

At the award ceremony the recipients were addressed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University along with a current university student.  It was interesting to hear both speakers refer to the necessity of pursuing one’s passions through education and the need for developing flexible and critical thinking skills to equip us for a future unimagined.  Congratulations again Charlotte – we are proud of your tremendous achievement.

 

Ms Kieryn Bateman

Director of Learning

 

NAPLAN: The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy

On the 15th, 16th and 17th of May, students in Years 5, 7 and 9 will be undertaking NAPLAN testing. Over the years, there has been some debate about the purposes of testing such as NAPLAN and there are a number of contradictory opinions about the value of these tests. Nevertheless, educators agree that diagnostic testing is a valuable tool to help teachers identify the learning challenges faced by their students. Diagnostic testing is undertaken by all teachers in some form or another and is one of a number of important tools used by teachers to measure student progress.  This kind of testing allows teachers to ascertain exactly where each student stands in relation to particular skills and understandings.

Why does there exist such controversy around these tests? NAPLAN encompasses a number of national diagnostic tests and the results are shared with the community via the federal government’s MySchool website. As a consequence, NAPLAN has become a means of comparing schools and many are uncomfortable that a snapshot of student’s learning at a particular point in time and at such young ages can become the way that we judge the success of a school community.

What exactly is the value of such testing? While NAPLAN is without doubt a narrow test undertaken in a few hours, nevertheless the level of data that this testing provides teachers is rich and gives us valuable information. At Loreto we use such data to target teaching both for groups and individuals. NAPLAN results give teachers the opportunity to identify what students need to improve and target teaching to the particular skill or knowledge that needs to be developed.

Does NAPLAN impact the HSC? The government recently announced that NAPLAN would no longer be linked to the minimum standard in literacy and numeracy required to obtain the HSC. The government stated that the coupling of NAPLAN and the HSC minimum standard testing was causing unnecessary stress and confusion to students. Under the changes, all HSC students will now meet the HSC minimum standard through online tests in reading, writing and numeracy from Year 10 onwards. Further information about the HSC minimum standard will be provided in due course. NAPLAN remains focussed on its diagnostic purpose, to assess educational progress.

For parents of students in Years 5, 7 and 9, as you talk to your daughters about the upcoming tests remind them that these tests are not about passing or failing but about identifying how they can improve their skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy. While we as a school advocate familiarisation with the test format, coaching to the test is not encouraged. Your daughter’s learning journey is really only just beginning and NAPLAN is just one traffic light on that journey. So encourage your daughters to see NAPLAN as an opportunity to understand how they can become better learners; students that understand that being a successful learner is about what you do, not about who you are.

You can read more about the NAPLAN tests on the National Assesment Program website.

 

Mme Maryse Martin & Mrs Kieryn Bateman

Dean of Learning & Director of Learning

 

 

Year 7  Parents & Student Study Skills Evening with Dr Prue Salter

On Monday evening, the DRC was full with Year 7 students and their parents, together with new boarders from Years 8 and 9, experiencing a wealth of wisdom around study skills from Dr Prue Salter, Director of  Enhanced Learning Educational Services (ELES).

Dr Salter, as an educational consultant and study skills specialist, engaged both students and parents on how to:

  • Improve your home study environment
  • Be more organised at school and at home
  • Gauge available time and fit in school work
  • Manage the workload
  • Study more effectively

The experience was very much an interactive experience between student and parent, boarder and mentor.

Students were equipped to activate their own study action plan and given skills to develop and manage their own study plan and habits.

As Loreto is a subscriber to ELES, students and parents have access to Dr Salter’s very comprehensive range of ‘Study Skills Support’ lessons which range from:

  • Learning to touch type
  •  Term Planners
  • Strategies on effective study techniques

If you were unable to attend, you may access the slides and the handbook from the ‘Study Skills Evening’ by following these instructions :

For the slides:

  1. enhanced-learning.net
  2. Click on Parents and Students
  3. Click on 7. Download Slides
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find Loreto Normanhurst
  5. Password for the slides is: achieve
  6. You have 3 weeks to download the slides to your computer.

For the handbook go to:

  1. studyskillshandbook.com.au
  2. Login as a subscriber with the following details:
  3. Username: loretonh
  4. Password: loretonh

 

Ms Jennifer Skelly

Academic Care Manager, Boarding

 

Years 7-11 Academic Plenaries

Academic plenaries are an extremely valuable opportunity for parents and students to meet with teachers and discuss their daughter’s learning. This year academic plenaries will take place on:

  • Friday 11 May – 1:00pm to 6:30pm
  • Monday 14 May – 3:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Tuesday 22 May – 3:30pm to 6:30pm

We encourage all parents to make appointments through the PTO booking system. Parents will receive an email with a link to the  PTO booking system in the first week next term.  If you have any questions about academic plenaries please contact Mrs Rachael Jarick at  learning@loretonh.nsw.edu.au.

 

Mme Maryse Martin

Dean of Learning

 

 

Dates to Remember –  Term 2 2018

All years Careers Evening (optional) Wednesday 9 May 2018

3:30pm – 7:00pm

Gonzaga Barry Centre

Year 12 Year 12 Assessment Term 2 Block 1 Monday 14 May – Friday 18 May
Year 12 Assessment Term 2 Block 2 Monday 28 May – Tuesday 5 June
Year 12 Study Skills – Dr Prue Salter (Students) Thursday 28 June

8.45am

Curran Theatre

Year 11 Year 11 Study Skills – Dr Prue Salter (Students) Friday 4 May

8.25am

Curran Theatre

Year 10 Year 10 Canberra Excursion Wednesday 16 May – Friday 18 May

Canberra

Subject Selection Evening Wednesday 6 June

6.30pm – 8.30pm

TBC

Subject Selection Individual Plenaries Over Term 2 Weeks 7 – 9
Year 9 NAPLAN Tuesday 15 May – Thursday 17 May

Catch-up on 18 May

Year 7 NAPLAN Tuesday 15 May – Thursday 17 May

Catch-up on 18 May

Years 7-11 Academic Plenary Meetings Friday 11 May

1:00pm – 6.30pm

Various locations in same vicinity, map will be provided.

Monday 14 May

3:30pm – 6.30pm

Gymnasium

Tuesday 22 May

3.30pm – 6.30pm

TBC