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How to Focus, NAPLAN Results and Upcoming Events

In this video presentation, the college Principal, Les Conroy talks about how you can encourage your child to focus, not multitask and learn more.

Also in this newsletter video edition, Principal Conroy talks about the great college NAPLAN results and how they were achieved.

Full Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Les Conroy, Principal of St Thomas More College. As part of our fortnightly newsletter, I’d like to talk to you about some learning you can talk with your son and daughter at home about. The Queensland Brain Institute has recently published a magazine called The Brain. Inside, it talks specifically about how you can work with your son or daughter to boost their learning and memory. Over the next few months, I’ll talk to you about specific key elements of this research with you, so you can have that discussion with your son and daughter.

First of all, one of the key elements that they talk about is moving distractions. So with students nowadays, with technology, listening to music, studying, and multitasking, they say that can actually detract from their learning, particularly improving their memory. One of the things that the Institute talks about is removing those distractions. Ask your son and daughter to focus on one task at one time. The Brain Institute talks about reducing the drive to multitask at any one time. One of the key elements that they did talk about in their article was focusing on one task at one time.

The importance of doing that means that you get into deeper learning, you move your information that you’ve just taken in from short-term memory to long-term memory. And that’s one of the key goals that students are going to have to tackle, particularly as we move towards a new senior assessment. It’s a good study habit to have at home, it’s a good study habit to have at school, and it’s something that we’re working on every day here at St Thomas More College, to improve learning outcomes for students.

My message to you as parents, as an educator, is to ensure that your child has an area at home that can be away from other distractions, of the TV, the noises of the house, music, radios, whatever it might be, they need to have a quiet space at home that’s purposely set up to study, so they can then focus on their single task, such as homework, or an assignment, or even just reading for that learning, from pre-reading, from the previous days’ lessons.

Speaking along the same lines of curriculum and learning outcomes, I’d like to express my thanks to the students and the staff for our recent NAPLAN results. We’re very privileged and honoured that our students have done so well, that in all areas from year seven to year nine in all testing areas of NAPLAN that were above the state mean. And that’s a great occasion for celebration for you as parents and also for our students and teachers.

As you would know, we’ve linked out NAPLAN results, particularly with our smart goal. And our smart goal was around reading and reading comprehension. And we focused very much on that with our Read More programme this year. And we’re very pleased that we can start to see that some of that hard work that’s been happening with students and staff, and their planning, and looking at the data to inform teaching is now starting to get some traction.

I also would like to highlight some upcoming events that the school it’s going to be involved in. One of the first ones is the Queensland All Schools Touch. We have six teams that are ready for this, it’s a three-day competition and I certainly wish the students that are participating in the All Schools Touch comp my very best wishes, as well as the staff that are attending with them.

The other event, which we’re very excited about, is we’ll be having a booth at the St Stephen’s Catholic Primary School’s fete in a couple of week. Both Scott Booth and myself look forward to catching up with you at the fete and talking to you about the goings on at St Thomas More College.

At St Thomas More, we always pride ourselves on being at the edge of education. We also pride ourselves on finding new ways to do things better and to grow our organisation our school, our community. One of the ways we’re trying to do this is by having a new form of newsletter.

I hope you enjoy it and we continue to work in partnership.

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