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Curriculum Catch-Up

Next week our middle school enters assessment block and our senior school continues assessing. This week on our assembly, I talked to our students about how to be academically successful. There are three must haves: be organised, avoid distractions, and find ways to help memorise information.

There are lots of strategies and resources that can help, however everyone has their own study style. This means that what suits one girl may not necessarily benefit another.

1. Be organised

When, where and how long to study are all important considerations. Developing a routine that makes the most of time is key.

When: Not all girls study best after school or at night. This may be due to disposition or opportunity. If this is your daughter, why not encourage her to trial studying in the mornings, it might be a better option.

Where: You daughter needs to find a place that works well for her. Her study space must have the materials she needs and be in an environment where she can work without disruption.

How long: Studying relentlessly every day is impossible. An effective out of school study routine would be a blend of socialising, physical activity, perhaps work as well as study time.

2. Avoid distractions

If your daughter is surrounded by things she’d rather do than study, then she’ll probably do those things instead of studying. If she finds herself checking social media or her favourite website for the hundredth time, then it might be a good idea for them to try apps like SelfControl, which allows them to block a selection of websites for a set period of time. She won’t even be able to take a sneak peek once it’s been activated. The best way to use an app like this is to set the best time length option for her. It will also work most effectively if your daughter takes control of it rather than having parents or supervisors making her do it.

3. Memorising information

Remembering information is obviously a key to academic success in examinations. In a previous newsletter, I talked about spaced learning and how the brain transfers from short term to long term memory.

Another tried and tested way for remembering information is to form an acronym. That is, to form a word from the first letter of each fact to be remembered. It can be a real or made up word.

Flashcards can also be really helpful. There are apps that allow students to create flashcard sets or even use flashcards that other users have already made. When a card is flipped, they choose whether they got it right or wrong. Wrong cards will be repeated until they’ve learned it, making it a great tool for memorisation. A great feature of the flash card app StudyStack is that once content has been added, the site can turn the information into a number of tools and games perfect for studying.

Remember, the three must-haves for academic success are:

1. Be organised

2. Avoid distractions

3. Memorise Information

Dr John Fry

Deputy Principal - Studies



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