It’s half way through our first term in 2018, already! and lots has been going on at the ASMS during this time.

Our Term 1 Learning Studies program focuses on supporting students to settle into their new school year, which for some includes settling into their new school. We have begun by looking at what it means to be a self-directed learner at the ASMS. Talking about what it feels like when you are learning something new and are feeling the challenge, and at times discomfort. Developing an understanding of new concepts, ideas and skills has been central to discussions on what we call the “Learning Pit”. Students learn about strategies to develop themselves as self-directed learners, ie how to motivate themselves by setting and sharing learning goals with others and breaking down larger tasks into smaller chunks. Having self-efficacy in their learning by using positive self-talk, asking for constructive feedback, being well organised & setting mini deadlines. Making the effort to ask for help when stuck, setting specific times for studying and sticking to them and reviewing work done in class regularly, Reflecting on teacher comments on their work and thinking about how this could help next time, checking rubrics and task sheets to make sure they meet requirements and viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn, rather than seeing them as a problem. You are able to access Learning Studies materials through the ASMS Portal, these include access to video clips, handouts and links to a range of websites for further information.

This focus on learning to understand yourself and others, and manage your relationships, lives, work and learning goes beyond the Learning Studies program. Developing personal and social capability involves year 10 -12 students in a range of activities across their studies. These include raising their awareness of the importance of recognising and regulating emotions, developing empathy for others, understanding relationships and establishing and building positive relationships. Making responsible decisions, working effectively in teams, handling challenging situations constructively and developing leadership skills are also addressed. ASMS students are supported to work effectively in teams as they engage in learning tasks and show their understandings in a range of ways including presentations, video stories and folios. Teachers discuss strategies to work effectively in teams and independently and support students in learning their way through problems and challenges associated with their learning. As educators we know that students with well-developed personal and social skills find it easier to manage themselves, engage in collaborative work, develop resilience and a sense of self-worth and confidence, resolve conflict, and feel positive about themselves and the world around them. This is why we have a particular focus on this at the beginning of our school year, supporting our students in their transitions to a new year’s program of learning at the ASMS.

For your interest you can find more information about the capabilities on the ACARA website.

Transitioning into a new year can be difficult for our young people. As you can see from what I have written, the ASMS has a strong commitment to supporting each and every student through such transitions. There are many people at the ASMS who are here to support students who may be struggling. Martin Muusse is our new Student Wellbeing leader, our Learning Studies teachers have a special role in advocating and mentoring, Lauren George is our Inclusion Learning Support leader who works on special provisions for our students in need and members of our senior leadership, Glenys Thompson, Karla Pobke, Andy Stone, Matt Verdon & myself are always happy to talk through any concerns you may have for your daughter or son. In addition you may find Information for Parents and Carers of value.

Jayne