For the Whole of Their Life.

Director Of Studies News - Week 4, Term 4 2019

Posted 8th November 2019
By mandy eggins


With exams just about complete (Year 10 and 12) or just about to start (Year 7-9) and some Year 11s, it might be worth considering these recent research findings.

Many young people report feeling nervous and/or anxious around the time of tests and examinations in their various forms. “Research shows that if we believe stress is a helpful response, it can (serve as) a tool that works to our advantage”.

Because stress induces increased blood flow to the brain and heightens our capacity to respond to a challenge, it can actually lead a student to perform better than if they remain unperturbed or unconcerned.

The studies described in the attached article, demonstrated that viewing stress as a positive emotion and as an opportunity were able to use for self-growth and helped students to perform better. Conversely, viewing stress as a threat led to a decreased effort and performance.

Some ways to make stress to work for you:

  • Read your body differently – say to yourself: I am feeling a little uncomfortable; my heart is beating faster, but my body is getting ready to compete
  • Reframe the meaning of the event – an exam is one small part of your life that does not decide your whole future
  • Accept stress or negative emotions – say to yourself: I feel this way because this goal is important to me and my response is getting me ready to perform
  • Add to your resources – treat your academic performance in the same way as an athletic performance and do the training. That is: read, write ideas in your own words, talk about those ideas, draw or sketch them and give yourself time to practice.

Of course, if you are feeling severe stress and anxiety and especially if it is prolonged, you should seek help from your family doctor or a counsellor.

NSW School Curriculum Review

Those of you with a long enough memory may recall the Federal election of 2007. (A number of slogans related to Kevin ‘07). The then leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd announced words to the effect that: “if elected, my government will implement a national curriculum into Australian schools”.

True to his word, because his government was elected, schools did begin the process of reviewing and rewriting syllabus documents in every school across the country and in every subject K-10 and many in Years 11 and 12. That was twelve years ago and the syllabuses are still being rolled out – for example new PDHPE and Technology courses are being implemented next year and in 2021. Others are still being reviewed and rewritten.

Just in case we felt that perhaps we might soon see the light at the end of the tunnel, the NSW Government commenced a review of the NSW school curriculum just over a year ago.

Link to the NESA Curriculum Review page

NESA is up to the stage of seeking community input on their interim report. If you are interested in having a say or just seeing what might be in store for schools over the next decade or so, follow the link above.

There is a forum to provide some input whether as a parent, employer, teacher, young person or a broader community member.

Happy clicking,
Mr Peter Freeman
Director of Studies

The Life

Latest News

Get the latest news by simply entering your email address