Sunday, 6 December 2015

End of year blues

This doesn't happen in primary schools or shouldn't. Glen Park will be working right up to the day before the last day of school even though reports have been completed. The kids expect it!
Many year 11 start their year 12 and year 10 start year 11, I think they do that at Ballarat High and other places. Of course many private schools have already FINISHED a for the year! It must be hard for families who have children who need to be supervised. I wonder how many are home alone this time of the year! My daughter finished her last VCE exam 2weeks ago and my son has been off from Uni for ages (Don't get me started on that!)
From today's Age

Why does the end of the school year involve excursions, watching movies and not much learning in class?

Many students write off the last week of school as a bludge, and convince their parents to let them skip class.

Parents Victoria has criticised the less-academic end of year programs that are common in many schools, saying they are often a waste of time.

"Some schools let students catch up on work during the final weeks. But if you're a student that is on track, you're left with nothing to do," Parents Victoria executive officer Gail McHardy said.Ms McHardy said the practice contradicted the education department's rhetoric about learning and truancy.

On the one hand the government is saying kids can't miss school, but then you have schools finishing early and adopting a less academic curriculum in the final fortnight."

Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals president Judy Crowe said schools ran less academic programs at the end of term 4 because they had finished the formal curriculum and assessment.

"Teachers have to mark student's work, so you can't have everything finishing on the last day," Ms Crowe said.

She said many parents let children skip the last week of school because they perceived it as "lightweight".

"That is often not the case. They might straddle a few academic areas, there might be different excursions. They are really good programs."

Shelford Girls' Grammar has resurrected its end of year program for years 7 to 11 so that it is more meaningful.

This year, students spent a day visiting universities, played wheelchair basketball, created a fashion parade out of newspapers and went orienteering.

"It is a busy way to end our year, but it has been a very positive way to end the year," the school's director of students Jo Fern said.

At Yarram Secondary College, students will spend their final few days of school going ice-skating, surfing, playing golf, going to the movies and visiting Scienceworks and the Melbourne Zoo. They will have already spent two weeks learning from the 2016 curriculum. 

Principal David Mowbray said the activities were all linked to learning, and students who visited the zoo and Scienceworks were exposed to new careers.

"At the zoo they see the grounds people, the veterinarians, the nutritionists. We have a lot of kids from farming backgrounds but their view of farming is often narrow. This broadens their horizons."

He said teachers were writing up students' reports during the final week of school, and needed to ensure they were ready for students before holidays. 

An education department spokesman said all students were required to attend their school's term 4 program.

But there are a few exceptions. Year 10 students who have suitable employment can leave in December up to two weeks before the end of the school year "when requested by parents".

And Year 11 students can leave after completing their final exam but not before the last Friday in November, while Year 12 students can leave following their last exam.

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