The Practise of Practice

There is little doubt that positive work habits and learning practices set a student up for academic success, both at school and beyond.

There has been much published about the neuroscience of learning, with the basic premise being that good practice, practised often leads to mastery and automation. Home study (let’s not call it homework!) provides students, from a very young age, an opportunity to recall and revisit work that has been done at school.  It provides opportunities for children to unpack complex concepts, to ask questions and to cement this to memory when they sleep – and far more likely to be able to recall this information for longer periods of time.  As we enter into a second year of ATAR, with external exams accounting for 50% of year long course work for General subjects such a Mathematics and Science, the mastery of excellent study skills and habits are essential.

The partnership between school and home, in terms of promoting positive learning habits is vital. Providing your child with a space in which to read, revise or study, which is quiet and free from the distractions of unnecessary devices, blaring televisions or music, other family members, favourite toys/pets etc is something parents can implement. Setting aside an agreed time in the day, whether it be after a healthy snack, straight after school or after another commitments, sets up a learning routine which, if practiced daily, prioritises learning at home.

Home study is a skill which can begin from a young age and should be something that is mastered well before the Middle school years. A habit of summarising work and reviewing work on a regular basis, and not just before an assessment, will set a student up for better outcomes because students have had time to process content and are in a better position to not only recall the lower order content questions but also to apply their acquired knowledge to more complex and unseen problems or questions.

Hopefully students have now settled into their new year levels and the expectations of a new year are clear.  Now would be an ideal time to start practising good learning practices!

Nichola Welsh
Head of Teaching & Learning (P-12)