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Home » School News » A happy transition to secondary school

A happy transition to secondary school


 

Words: Allan Shaw, principal and chief executive, The Knox School

Many children change schools as they move to high school. Those who do not change school but move from one sub-school to another have an advantage in continuity of friendship groups, knowledge of the routines and physical site. That said, much that follows might apply to them and their families.

Establish a positive routine

Every family is different but a routine is vital. Set up what works for your family and stick to it.

  • Breakfast and getting to school on time are important
  • When and where homework is done
  • Sharing the day’s experience over the evening meal
  • Downtime, screen-free time, sport and exercise and bedtime.

Help them organise themselves

Being in the right place, at the right time, with the right books or gear, can be quite a challenge during the first few weeks. Assist with understanding the timetable, packing the school bag the night before, with a copy of their timetable at hand. Assist in understanding the layout of the school as many high schools are bigger than primary schools and involve more student movement to and from classes.

Be there to listen

Keep conversing but do not grill. They may be too tired to talk, so don’t take crankiness as a sign that things aren’t going well. Let them know you are there for them; listen to them and respect their decisions. They will then be more open to accepting your advice.

Nutrition and sleep

They need a nutritious breakfast and lots of healthy food during the day. Brain work uses a lot of energy. The day may have as many of eight lessons and can be long and demanding. Regular routines for sleep uninterrupted by digital devices is critical.

Redraw parental boundaries

Moving to high school is an important symbolic step from childhood into adolescence. It is a big step on a child’s journey to independence, so it’s time to make sure you are letting go a bit more. The influence of peers is going to become more dominant and your position as parents will be challenged. Let them make their case and then explain the reasons for your “yes” or your “no”.

Build a relationship with the school

Get to know the school and your child’s teachers. They know that interested and engaged parents lead to better learning outcomes for students. Take each opportunity to attend information evenings and get involved with the parents’ association.

Take an interest in homework

Developing study habits is the goal that can take time and practice. It’s advisable to check their homework diary each night and encourage them to write their work into it. Conversations about what they’re learning helps to keep you in touch and reinforces its importance in your eyes for them.

Get to know their friends

Making clear that friends are welcome in your house is a great way to get to know who your child is hanging around with. Parent-free zones will be the venue of choice for after-school gatherings but lay down some ground rules if you are both out working all day.

Allow downtime

Having your child involved in co-curricular activities is important but make sure they have some downtime. They still need some unstructured time. Creativity tends to stem from boredom.

Keep it in perspective

Sometimes parents think that nothing matters more than high grades.

Keep in mind that learning is now life-long and a child’s health and wellbeing, emotional and physical, must always come first.

Schooling is important; learning to work hard and regularly producing a ‘personal best’ is important. The knowledge base developed is very useful; the critical thinking, public speaking, leadership skills and resilience developed at school are all important.

That said, not all children will shine at school and many who do not still turn out to be outstanding adults.

Encourage them to do their personal best each day and enjoy the learning, whether it be academic learning or learning about who they are and their place in their community.

Looking to know more about Knox? Have a look at their School Choice page here: The Knox School

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Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Year 1 - Year 12
Enrolment 700 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
$12,172 to $23,452 p.a. (including compulsory levies, camps and excursions)
Phone
03 8805******* 03 8805 3800
Fax
03 9887******* 03 9887 1850
Address 220 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South 3152
Email
registr*******
registrar@knox.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » The importance of strong values

The importance of strong values


 

Words: Ms Linda Douglas, principal

You may have listened to Simon Sinek’s talk Millennials in the Workplace as it did the rounds on social media. It has some important messages for all of us and is well worth a listen. Understanding the addiction to social media and the effect it is having on people, particularly our youngest, is essential.

Simon discusses the addiction, the instant gratification, the lack of engagement in the present and the way it can hamper development of deep and meaningful relationships, the building of social skills and confidence. And the use of the word addiction is deliberate and necessary. Swiping right instead of engaging in the highs, lows and intricacies of falling in love is a good example given by Simon that social media usage needs to be well managed and balanced. As is the fact that we are increasingly addicted to checking our phones and devices before and during meetings, boosting our own importance yet missing vital opportunities to deeply engage, be mindful and strengthen our relationships.

The instant gratification of social media is undermining our ability to stick to something, to show grit and persistence. Simon talks about people giving up jobs as they don’t feel they are making an impact after only eight months; that we want to get to the summit without climbing the mountain; that we are losing sight of what it really means to have an impact.

Most importantly, he talks about the environment: that we need to develop environments where we can help the next generation build confidence and the skills of co-operation and collaboration; places where they can overcome the challenges of the digital world and find balance; to gain an understanding of the fulfilment you get when working for something over a long period of time; and the fact that we can only improve our world with a truly sustained effort.

In his book Together is Better, Simon notes that a team is not a group of people working together, it is a group of people who trust each other. We need to remember that when we encourage our girls to work collaboratively. How do we ensure they develop trust in each other first?

He reminds us that working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress, while working hard for something we care about is called passion. How do we ensure that learning is relevant, challenging, meaningful and engaging for our girls so we ignite their passion?

If we fight against something we focus on our hate, but if we fight for something we care about we focus on the things we love. This is what we need to engage our girls in if they are to make a difference in their world.

As a school community we have the ability to grow a strong future: the next generation. And in our work we can never underestimate the importance of strong values. They form the culture and very essence of Ruyton, a platform on which we build the future while we respect the past. They shape and define the Ruyton woman and the way she leads her life.

  • Character – to be resilient and to act with confidence and compassion
  • Citizenship – to affect positive change through civic and environmental action
  • Endeavour – to be curious, creative and courageous learners seeking to achieve personal best
  • Integrity – to live a life with honesty and virtue.

The Ruyton community lives by these values, providing support, role models and a sounding board for our girls as they make their mark in the world.

Want to know more about Ruyton? Have a look at their School Choice page by clicking here: Ruyton Girls School

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Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
Phone
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
Fax
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
Email
ruyton@*******
ruyton@ruyton.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » A love of science

A love of science


 

John Monash Science School (JMSS) is Victoria’s first specialist senior secondary school focusing on science, mathematics and associated technologies.

JMSS has formed strong partnerships with researchers and academics in a broad range of scientific fields at Monash University and CSIRO, sharing resources and expertise and ensuring the courses offered at JMSS are challenging, contemporary and relevant. The curriculum allows students to explore the cutting edge of scientific knowledge and understanding in the areas of physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, mathematics, engineering, biomedical science, geography and computer science. Many students access a university extension subject on the Monash campus alongside traditional Year 12 subjects.

Flexible learning spaces enable students to learn individually and in teams. Each student has access to a range of co-curricular options including languages, music, the arts, community service, leadership and sport. JMSS believes in a holistic education for all students, and the strong focus on personal wellbeing and empowerment, physical activity and leadership development is a feature of life for students at the school.

The school accommodates 640 students from Years 10, 11 and 12 (VCE) from all over Victoria. Each student has their own mentor teacher who is responsible for overseeing the student’s day-to-day progress and wellbeing. The school runs many House events and other programs designed to build confidence, resilience, connectedness and spirit within the community. There’s also a well-developed Mindfulness program to build focus and resilience in students.

The school’s growing outreach program includes work with students and teachers from regional Victoria, as well as local primary schools. Partnerships with several international specialist science schools enable students to collaborate, share research and build friendships with equally passionate students across the globe through exchanges and science fairs. JMSS is excited about opportunities available for teaching its contemporary curriculum online via Emerging Sciences Victoria (ESV) — visit emsci.vic.edu.au for more information.

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Home » School News » Crossing New Horizons

Crossing New Horizons


 

The New Horizons program at Ruyton Girls’ School focuses on a progression of experiences outside the classroom, which encourages personal growth to help embrace the challenges of our dynamic modern society. Adventure and challenge allow the individual to develop a greater understanding of their strength and character: the importance of being a positive, active member of a community with a practical understanding of the natural world.

The Junior School camps give the girls the opportunity to develop a sense of belonging and there is a focus on connecting with the natural world. Year 3 girls catch Puffing Billy to Wombat Corner in Emerald – a fantastic way to start a camp. Year 4 girls travel to a camp at Anglesea, where there is emphasis on team building and developing confidence. At Sovereign Hill Year 5 girls explore the natural world through hands on activities and study the history of the Australian gold rush, while wearing period dress. Year 6 girls tour Canberra, consolidating knowledge acquired in the classroom and helping it to come alive. In Senior School, from Year 7 camp through to the opportunity to display leadership in Year 11 and Year 12, each experience is designed to allow the girls to consolidate their skills and knowledge.

In Year 8 there are two expeditions, one in Term 1 to build on the Year 7 camp experience and one in Term 4, to develop specific outdoors skills in preparation for the Year 9 camp. Entitled the Summit Program, this is an important personal development initiative, culminating in a major expedition at the end of Year 9 for all girls.

By Year 10 the girls are able to select from a range of experiences, specifically an expedition to Central Australia, a rafting trip and an exchange to a school overseas (locations now include schools in the UK, France, Canada, the USA, New Zealand and China).

By Year 11 and 12 the girls work together to create positive, inclusive communities and foster leadership.

The Snowy River rafting trip – a true adventure

A group of Year 10 girls, a bunch of river guides, Mr S and Ms G shared an adventure on the Snowy River late last year. The trip started in New South Wales and finished in East Gippsland. A total distance of 123km of the river was rafted, a little over 100 major rapids negotiated (in fine rafting style) all taking a total of 10 days.

The rapids provided the high-end adventure of the trip. Many of the bigger ones had names, such as George’s Mistake and the Washing Machine! Over the first few days on the river we all learnt how the water moves as it is forced down between the rocks and drops. We also learnt what to do with our paddles and raft to avoid swims and flips. Most of this came down to teamwork: picking the right ‘line’ down is a skill, and one that was developed by all.

The trip also offered other opportunities. The section of river rafted is remote, with little access. It is wilderness. There was no phone coverage, no Wi-Fi, no regular plumbing, no electricity. In many ways life on the river was a lot simpler: it was good to disconnect from the modern digital world for a while and enjoy the ‘here and now’ of the trip.

Everything for 22 people to live and travel on the river needed to be organised and carried on the rafts. Food, tents, tarps, cooking gear, personal gear, repair kits, dry bags, wetsuits, Personal Flotation Devices, helmets … there was no room for excess luggage! This is a unique way to live and offers many challenges. It only works when everyone pitches in.

The highlight of this trip for me was the way in which the girls embraced all the challenges and were able to enjoy and appreciate the experience. For 10 days we saw no other people. We were independent and able to rely on each other. It was a real and memorable adventure.

Mr Darren Saunder, director of Outdoor Education

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Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
Phone
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
Fax
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
Email
ruyton@*******
ruyton@ruyton.vic.edu.au
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Home » » Storypark

Storypark


 

Storypark is an online community portal for updating parents on student learning. Creating partnerships with families in order to communicate their children’s learning is an important aspect within our centre.

Teachers in our Early Learning, together with the Digital Learning Mentor of Early Learning and the Junior School, undertook research to engage more effectively with families and to collaborate with them about their children’s learning. The online portal, Storypark, was chosen to be trialled.

We have been pleased with how our community has engaged with this initiative and parents are also sharing, through comments and photos, the learning the children achieve outside of Ruyton’s Early Learning. As the trial has progressed parents have increasingly commented on their child’s activities, both within and outside the Early Learning environment. There is still the opportunity to document and highlight the essence of the program in traditional ways, but Storypark offers an instant link to parents and grandparents alike, which they can access. This is another example of digital devices and technology being integrated seamlessly into our programs to enhance a student’s learning experience and parents’ insights into this. Storypark has been so successful as a tool for collaboration and communication, we are exploring ways in which it can be extended to the other Early Learning groups at Ruyton.

Here is an example of how Storypark works:

The Henny Penny Hatching Program has arrived

At lunchtime today the girls were very excited to see the chickens and eggs arrive. “Oh they are soo cute,” said Alexandra. The three chicks were placed in the brooding box in the curious garden with some food, water and a light for heat. The 12 eggs were placed in an incubator and we now watch and wait to see them hatch over the coming days.

Comments:

Steven (parent)

‘Welcome to the world, little chicks! They are so cute!

Are they keeping warm?

What are they eating?’

Mrs W (Girls’ Pre Prep teacher)

“Thanks for these great questions, Steven. I asked the girls for their answers.”

They are in a hot cage,” said Chloe F.

They are eating seeds,” said Natalie.

They are in an incubator,” said Georgia.

“Just like they were under their mummy hen’s bottom,” said Eloise.

“They are very cute now, though they were wet when they came out,” said Emerson.

Ms Teresa Wojcik, acting director of Early Learning

Publish By
Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
Phone
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
Fax
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
Email
ruyton@*******
ruyton@ruyton.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » Learning through projects

Learning through projects


 

The practice of project-based learning is a Reggio Emilia teaching principle, which inspires education with young Ruyton students. Projects provide a rich inquiry-based approach to learning and operate on the notion that children learn best when they are fully engaged and focused. The children are instrumental in deciding the project topics. As educators observe and document the children’s interests, it becomes clear which topics would serve well to investigate. What is important within the project is that the learning is child-led, rather than teacher-driven. This ensures that a project-based way to learning is meaningful and authentic.

At Ruyton Early Learning, the children participated in a variety of projects. Both Kindergarten groups worked collaboratively on their City Project to complete an amazingly detailed city sculpture. In Co-Ed Pre Prep a project about a journey through space was explored. The children created solar systems, alien pictures, their own UFOs, set off some balloon rockets and used boxes to build an alien city. They learnt about space in their French class and were taught the words for moon and stars. The completion of the project was celebrated with an alien-themed morning tea.

The Girls’ Pre Prep are continuing with the Peace Project. This project was initiated by discussions around two books, Little Peace by Barbara Kerley and The Peace Book by Todd Parr. Both books offer very simple but profound ideas about what peace is, through photographs of people around the world and simple phrases. The children brainstormed their thoughts about peace and this documentation is on display in their classroom.

As the children engaged in the classroom projects they used everyday experiences and discoveries to weave magic into their learning. The projects provided opportunities for the children to connect and collaborate with their peers and educators, and to become co-researchers in the learning process.

Ms Teresa Wojcik, acting director of Early Learning

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Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
Phone
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
Fax
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
Email
ruyton@*******
ruyton@ruyton.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » Learning a second language

Learning a second language


 

In an ever-evolving workforce, that places an emphasis on global mobility, a second language is an appealing quality to employers.

Studying both a first and second language is a compulsory part of the worldwide education system of the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Located 60km from Melbourne’s CBD, The Kilmore International School (TKIS) exclusively offers the IB Diploma, and places a strong emphasis on the importance of language. The IB Diploma aims to have students acquire and use language in a range of contexts, while simultaneously gaining an understanding of another culture. Language is at least one third of IB subjects in years 11 and 12, and can be up to one half of an IB course load.

Head of Languages at TKIS, Deanna Krilis, believes teaching language promotes work opportunities, cultural understanding and perhaps most importantly global mobility.

In 2010, TKIS opened its Language Centre on campus, to create a collaborative learning space for all languages, with students and staff able to meet and explore language learning. The language centre has a number of large classrooms as well as smaller tutorial-sized rooms for smaller and more intensive classes.

TKIS offers a variety of languages, taught by highly qualified academic staff who each have strong cultural connections to their languages. Languages taught at TKIS include English, Chinese, German, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, French and Hindi.

Students at TKIS study two languages from Year 3 through to Year 12.  Younger students in the primary school (Years 3 to 6) study Mandarin Chinese and then have a choice of continuing with Chinese or picking up Indonesian in Year 7.

“A man who knows two languages is worth two men.” – French proverb.

The TKIS Langauge centre

CHEW3608

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Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls
Enrolment 400 Students
Fees Tuition: $8,920 to $12,820, Boarding: $22,900
Phone
03 5782******* 03 5782 2211
Fax
03 5782******* 03 5782 2525
Address 40 White Street, Kilmore 3764.
Email
info@ki*******
info@kilmore.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » Back to School

Back to School


The thought of back to school is the subject of many BBQ and poolside conversations. What is the best way to assist young people to be ready for the ‘big day’? Principal and Chief Executive of The Knox School  Allan Shaw explains.

Many young children are very positive and excited to return to school; some parents will be pleased to see the ‘kids’ back at school and most teenagers will screw up their faces and say ‘Yuck’ (or worse) at the thought of returning to school. But deep down they enjoy being immersed in the social aspect of school, if not the thought of classrooms and school work.

In brief, this is what I tell parents who ask me at those poolside or beach conversations when they find I’m a School Principal and teacher of many decades!

Get children and teenagers back into a routine. Start to get teenagers to get up earlier and work towards getting up at the normal time for school before the ‘big day’! Sleep patterns take time to adjust and this is best done as gently as possible. Proper sleep, up to ten hours per night, is what young people need. Organisation and a positive routine are good for all of us. Discuss where home work will be completed and prepare the space if necessary. Homework is best done in a quiet but public part of the home, not in a bedroom.

Discuss and make clear your expectations regarding school. You should have high and realistic expectations of what your child can achieve. In discussion, set practical, concrete and attainable goals. The goals should be ‘Goldilocks’ type goals: not too hard (unattainable), not too easy (no challenge) but just right (an attainable challenge)! Child(ren)/teenagers thrive on knowing what is expected of them and that you have high but realistic expectations of them.

Stay in touch with the key people for your children at school. Good communication is vital. In primary years of school, the key person is the class teacher.

In the secondary school years, the key people could vary a little from school to school but most schools have a ‘tutor’, a PCT (pastoral care teacher) or ‘homeroom’ teacher, and then possibly a year coordinator, head of house or even a head of sub-school as well as the individual subject teachers.

For specific subject related matters it is best to communicate directly with the subject classroom teacher.

For more general matters, the tutor or home room teacher is usually the best person with whom to build a relationship and with whom to communicate initially. Teachers like to hear good news about the students they work with and like to get to know parents. Stay gently in touch, even if it is good news!

Publish By
Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Year 1 - Year 12
Enrolment 700 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
$12,172 to $23,452 p.a. (including compulsory levies, camps and excursions)
Phone
03 8805******* 03 8805 3800
Fax
03 9887******* 03 9887 1850
Address 220 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South 3152
Email
registr*******
registrar@knox.vic.edu.au
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Home » Education Advice » Drugs 101 tells parents like it is

Drugs 101 tells parents like it is


Get the 101 on drugs in time for schoolies

Queenslanders have just finished their first round of schoolies celebrations with a staggering 200 fewer arrests than last year. However, while schoolies ends for Queensland teenagers, interstate school leavers have begun arriving on the Gold Coast for their own celebrations. There is no doubt that the majority of these students will be exposed to alcohol and illicit substances. On Friday 21 November, Queensland Ambulance Service treated 66 patients predominantly for alcohol, five of whom were taken to the hospital. While Queensland police may call this behaviour “exemplary”, and it certainly is compared to last year, it is hardly conducive to our children’s safety.

For parents worried about their child’s exposure to drugs and alcohol, there is no need to be afraid to talk about it with your children. Drugs 101 tells parents what their teenagers are using and offers expert advice about drugs and how to start a conversation about them. Should you discuss drugs before they leave? Do you let them drink if they haven’t turned 18? What if their friends smoke marijuana or someone offers them ecstasy tablets? All these questions are answered in Drugs 101. The practical, no-holds-barred guide explains what various drugs are, how they work, their risks and how many young people really use them.

Drugs 101 deals parents some hard and irrefutable facts about substance abuse: 74 per cent of 12 – 17 year olds have tried alcohol, with a further 23.3 per cent having smoked tobacco and 30.4 per cent having tried illegal drugs. Children can achieve a dangerous high for less than $5. Surprisingly, though perhaps not for some, the main source of alcohol for underage drinkers is their parents.

Parent Guides Editor Eileen Berry says most parents are petrified of drugs and unsure how to deal with them.

“Most teenagers will drink alcohol and some will experiment with hard drugs,” Eileen says. “Parents and caregivers need to educate themselves about these substances and on how to deal with related problems.”

Eileen produced Drugs 101 with experienced journalists after caring for a nephew with substance abuse issues. They hope to equip parents and carers with the confidence to discuss all aspects of drug use with young people.

“We want to help parents start an informed conversation with their teenagers, regardless of whether they use alcohol or other drugs. Open and honest discussions on both sides are important to build trust and respect.”

While teenage use of some drugs, including alcohol, has declined since 2005 according to Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, they remain a big social problem. The growing popularity of substances such as ice has been hurting communities nationally, with over half a million adults currently using according to the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. Ice, or crystal methamphetamine, is a potent amphetamine that is generally stronger and more addictive than speed.

This is the type of information Drugs 101 wants to give to parents. The guide profiles users and combatants on the front line, including drug users’ parents, teenagers, a police officer, a paramedic, an emergency doctor, a counsellor, a psychiatrist and a psychologist. It includes useful tips, warning signs, contacts for help and to-the-point information on substance abuse and how to deal with it.

Drugs 101 is available for $15 at the Parent Guide website (www.parentguides.com.au), or for $9.99 on iTunes (www.apple.com.au/itunes) or Amazon (www.amazon.com.au).

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Home » School News » Healthy bodies, healthy minds: a holistic approach to effective learning

Healthy bodies, healthy minds: a holistic approach to effective learning


Positive habits for good learning; sleep patterns, nutrition and use of digital devices in the home

It is critical to the growth and education of a child that they develop positive life and study habits that facilitate their ongoing learning throughout adolescence. While 95% of brain development has occurred by five years of age, the “rational thinking” part of the brain continues to develop throughout adolescent years and is not fully developed until early adult years. For children, adolescents and young adults to be efficient learners, they require healthy eating patterns, moderated use of technological devices and a good night’s sleep, If the sleep cycle is cut short, the student’s learning performance suffers.

Unfortunately, the good work of students and teachers during the day can be undone through poor sleep patterns. Even if teachers work hard on explaining new material and students pay close attention to these new tasks, learning is often negated through deprivation of REM sleep. REM is essential for the preservation of long-term memory. Without adequate sleep, over-worked neurons not longer coordinate information and we lose our ability to receive new information or access previously learned information.

Ten or more hours of sleep is recommended for children and around eight to ten hours of sleep is recommended for teenagers. Students regularly in bed by 10 pm show less depression and better coping mechanisms.

As such, it is best to avoid the use of digital media late in the evening. The light emitted from the screens of electronic media can interfere with sleep by suppressing melatonin production which keeps the brain alert when it should be settling towards sleep.

A teenager’s circadian rhythm is different to that of a child or an adult due to their hormonal development. They tend to stay up later and are alert later in the evening and, subsequently, like to sleep in longer in the morning. This is a natural part of their development but unfortunately the world does not accommodate these habits particularly well. Therefore, regular habits need to be developed and adhered to as much as possible. This may require the removal of digital devices such as mobiles from the bedroom or switching off the television an hour before bed.

If possible, the completion of homework and other study each evening should not be conducted in a bedroom but in a quiet though public part of the household. The added bonus of conducting homework out of bedrooms is that the bedroom is then a place of rest and relaxation, a place associated with sleep, rather than schoolwork.

Good sleep and nutrition are also linked. Students who are tired are likely to eat more. The temptation to eat foods high in sugar is greater when tired and this raises blood sugar levels. Higher blood sugar levels are closely related to poor sleep because it disrupts natural sleeping patterns.

A healthy diet positively influences good learning. Poor diet results in loss of important vitamins and minerals necessary for a strong immune system, good memory, physical and mental health. Low iron levels can cause fatigue and poor concentration meaning study takes longer and is less effective. Iron is needed to deliver oxygen to the tissues of the body including the brain. The more oxygen in the brain the easier it is to learn.

As such, exercise is an important mechanism for ensuring good learning. Recent research by Dr Richard Telford makes clear the link between improving physical fitness and improving NAPLAN results in primary school-age children. Exercise boosts brain power by providing additional oxygen and nutrients to the brain through improved cardio-vascular systems. The fitter you are, the faster your brain waves fire for quick thinking.

It is important as parents and teachers to take a broad view of the development of a child, through adolescence into adulthood. So many of the factors mentioned above are linked to each other and need to be addressed both singularly and holistically for best effect.

Allan Shaw
Principal and chief executive
The Knox School, Wantirna South.

References
Telford, R. D. et al. 2012. Physical Education, Obesity, and Academic Achievement: A 2-Year Longitudinal Investigation of Australian Elementary School Children. American Journal of Public Health. February, Vol 102, No. 2

 

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Religion Uniting Church
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls
Enrolment 2000 students. intake for years kindergarten, 3, 5 and 7; other years as vacancies occur.
Fees tuition $14,340 kindergarten to $23,430 in year 12. additional annual boarding fee of $21,650 per annum plus gst. these fees are for 2011.
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