February 12, 2021
What a delight to welcome our students on campus for a new academic year. After a tumultuous 2020, with many changes to our normal routines, it is very pleasing to see some aspects of our community and School activities able to return with appropriate COVID planning. Last week, it was very exciting to have our Year 7 and Kindergarten parents on campus, the first visitors in almost a year. Similarly being able to send an excited group of Year 7 students off to camp this week was just spectacular. I am looking forward to hearing their stories upon their return and sharing some with our community.
Schools are unique places where every year we have the opportunity to have a fresh start with new classes, new teachers and new beginnings. Alongside this is the stability and comfort of a Prep to Year 12 community where every student feels known, connected and cared for. The return of many of our regular activities assists us in this connection and sense of belonging. For our new families to TIGS, welcome! We are so pleased to have your family join our community. Very soon you too will be feeling right at home with us at TIGS and as you find your feet please do feel very encouraged to make contact with teachers, support staff and myself if you have any areas that need clarification or if we can be of assistance as you settle in.
We have commenced our academic year with a united focus on Starting Strong.
Our teachers have been collaborating over the break to identify habits and routines that have a direct and positive impact on our culture and learning outcomes. Consistency for our students with regard to expectations, behaviour and positive habits as we start the year is an important contributor to a successful year of learning and you will see evidence of this at home.
Your support as parents in starting strong is crucial and appreciated. Some practical and simple steps you can take include:
- Negotiate and implement a homework and schoolwork routine with your son or daughter which includes downtime, social time, homework time and physical exercise. Allow some flexibility in swapping out the allocated times, but resist deferring a homework block to another day in the week. This is how tasks accumulate and result in rushed or poor work.
- Ensure that an appropriate workspace is available for schoolwork and study, away from television, siblings and other distractions. For older students make an agreement regarding social media, YouTube and other online distractions that burn a lot of “study” time. You may even consider one of the many apps available to manage access to these distractions during on task homework time.
- Look at your child’s diary regularly throughout the week. For older students do this with them, so you can encourage them to keep using this organisational and planning tool.
- Look at OLLE with your child to discuss upcoming assessment tasks etc and how they are planning to tackle them.
- Encourage and praise effort and persistence as you observe your child starting the school year and take advantage of the “beginning of the year enthusiasm” that new folders, laptops or pencil cases bring each year to embed high effort and commitment to learning.
The most important thing we teach our students is how to learn – to be persistent, resilient, committed and to give their best. When we are successful in teaching these learning habits, personal success is guaranteed. I invite our families to be united with us in 2021 in our focus on these areas so that our students not only start strong but continue strong right throughout the year.