After nearly 12 years of education all Year 11 students should be confident in their abilities, sure of what their strengths are, and be aware of their place within school society and the wider island society. I would hope that all students are confident enough to believe that they have a voice and are confident that what they have to say has value, and that they will be listened to.
Next year will bring lots of changes to the students; not least the big decisions about their future. Attendance plays a key part of this, allowing student to access the best advice and discussions about what their choices are. Some will be heading into work where attendance is essential; some will need to develop strategies to cope with Study periods and more independent learning. In all of these choices the drive to try new things, branch out of their comfort zone and forge a new pathway are necessary. Non-attendance comes with its own set of problems and the student’s need to accept responsibility for their own attendance levels. It`s all too easy to say `It`s too hard` and give up, but you are more likely to be listened to if you are a regular attender, and effectively contributing to school life.
Being able to accept that there are correct ways to behave within society is one of the basic skills we learn as children. Behaving correctly shows respect to our peers and the world as a whole. Behaving correctly within class allows for open and interactive lessons. We should not accept poor behaviour from our peers as it affects our own learning, and means that we do not make the progress we should. A learning environment means that students are willing to put forward their thoughts and opinions without fear of ridicule. At this time students should not accept poor behaviour within their classes, and staff should not have to spend time dealing with those students who are affecting the learning of others.
Students are now coming to the end of their chosen GCSE courses, and I would hope that they are studying the subjects that play to their strengths; subjects which will allow them the greatest chance of success. The upcoming decisions in terms of Post 16 options places the emphasis for learning directly onto the student shoulders, they are responsible for ensuring they get the best possible grades I their exams to allow them to fully embrace their next step, yet they should still be working collaboratively with their peers to ensure that knowledge is shared, and more importantly correct.
The students are working towards their ultimate goal, whether this is employment, an apprenticeship or Post 16 study, and they must realise that it is only with hard work that this stepping stone will be conquered. Hard work ensures success, resting on your laurels means that you will never realise just how good you could be. It is time to be selfish, working for your own goals and doing your best. Only be doing these things do you have a voice in your future. Never regret the fact that you tried your best.
5 ways to help your child
- Attendance- accept nothing less than 100%
- Support- let them know you are there for them, even if it`s just a cup of tea
- Listen- sometimes they just need a good moan
- Lay off- they put themselves under enough pressure without you applying it too
- Have fun- this may be your last chance to have fun with your child before they really grow up