Having a goal really helps

Having a goal makes it easier to motivate yourself, especially when your enthusiasm is waning. This is not surprising, given we know that having a purpose is an essential element in leading a rewarding life. At around the mid-teenage stage, brain development is such that young people start to question many aspects of themselves and their surroundings; the desire for greater independence, the heightened need to be accepted in to social groupings, wanting to be individual but to still fit in, concerns over their life beyond school and why am I doing all this, to name a few.

At this time of the year, the College provides essential events for our students who are navigating this potentially difficult time of their lives. The most immediate are Information Nights for the years ahead: for our current Year 8 and 9 students we have the Year 9 & 10 Information Night and for our current Year 10 and 11 students the TCE Information Night. Much of these are about the processes and procedures, as well as opportunities, in the years following so students and parents can see what is available and how to go about accessing it. The other important message that isn’t necessarily spelt out on those nights is that the staff who are responsible for our students have a wealth of knowledge and experience in these areas and are the very best resource for our families.

Another event that is incredibly valuable to all students is the Post-Year 12 Information Evening that was held this week, for Year 10, 11 and 12 students. This evening exposed the students to the array of options available to them once they graduate from Scotch Oakburn. To help students put this in to perspective, I often tell them in our luncheons that ‘career’s advice’ at the school I attended consisted of a noticeboard outside the Year 12 Coordinator’s office with a list of University courses and the Year 12 score required to gain entry.

Our pastoral care in this area starts in Year 9 with an online work aptitude survey to identify what careers students’ interest and skills may naturally lead them to. In Year 10, students are involved in our Work Experience program and in Term 3 all Year 10 students have a meeting with the Director of Curriculum, Ms Helen Dosser, to plan out their pathway through TCE.

Supplementing that, and commencing in Year 11, are one-on-one interviews with our Careers Advisor, Mrs Teresa Darcy, to enable students to make informed decisions about what career, tertiary study option, residential college and/or scholarship they can and will pursue beyond Year 12.

I can’t speak highly enough about the care and consideration that students receive from these people and this process, in addition to that of their House Head, tutor, subject teachers and co-curricular leaders on a daily basis. It is only after students have gone through the full experience in these years that they truly appreciate the enormous support and care they have received at this potentially vulnerable time.

The outcome of this is the identification of a goal or goals by our students, to help provide the appropriate motivation and purpose, as they travel through their senior years. It is therefore not surprising that the learning environment we enjoy is so positive, a view that is often shared with me by students who come to the College from elsewhere.

Andy Müller