The Importance of Semester One

It seems illogical, in a way, to say that one half of a school year is more important than the other. In truth, Semester One carries as much weighting as Semester Two and, for our Year 12 VCE boys, the October / November examination period is obviously the high point of the year. However, I think we instinctively know that the first few months of any new undertaking is of crucial importance.

For our Year 7 boys, the adjustment to life in a secondary school, establishing new friendships and forming relationships with new teachers is an incredibly rich period of time replete with excitement and anxiety. In Year 9, too, the boys move into a qualitatively different environment at their Mannix Campus where they will be embedded in a new three-part elective curriculum designed to augment the core subjects of R.E., English, Maths, Science and Humanities. Clearly, our VCE students need to establish solid foundations at the beginning of the year if they are to excel in the latter part of 2016.

For boys in Years 9, 10 and 11, it is crucial that they realise that their academic performance in Semester One shapes, in a very significant way, their subject selection opportunities for 2017. Most parents and guardians will be aware that the College has subject selection requirements governing entry to Years 10 – 12 subjects.  Most requirements relate to Semester One performance. Whilst it is certainly possible to make up for a slow start, it makes much more sense to ensure that good routines and work habits are bedded down early in the year to help drive towards solid learning outcomes and top level results. I suggest that, as a family, parents and guardians sit down with boys and peruse this information in the coming days. The documentation is housed on Salesian Live and can be found at this address: http://www.live.salesian.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2016-Subject-selection-Prerequisites.pdf

Neil Carter
Deputy Principal