The school year begins in late August until June 2nd, this year. The last week of May, up to June 2nd, will see the 1st, 2nd, 5th years sit their ‘House’ Exams. 3rd and 6th years will finish around that time also. The State Exams begin the following week.
Each year, some exam students, in particular 6th years, decide to remain at home to carry out ‘self directed study’ which is not advised. Their teachers are left teaching a different collection of students each day, due to the a la carte pick and choose nature of attending only a few classes per day. It is then very difficult to maintain continuity of what is being covered, different questions arise from those who missed yesterday, etc. Less than a full class present is undermining to those students who are present, and the momentum of study suffers.
Believe it or not, the teachers do know more than the students who are ‘self-directing’ at home. Many have corrected the State Exams and know first hand what earns points and what doesn’t. All teachers are experts in their subjects, the layout of the subject papers, and the pitfalls which students make each year under pressure. It is this information which teachers are imparting during these last few weeks of school. As each subject’s exam paper has a different layout and students need to be familiar with each subject separately, they will always learn more about the subject if they are present until the term officially ends.
On behalf of my staff and myself, I am asking parents to strongly discourage your sons from arriving late, giving their sons notes to leave early, and allowing them to belittle the school day, their teachers who have worked so hard with them for the last 6 years, and their classmates who do need a full class to maintain the momentum and motivation which is so important for everyone coming up to an exam. Students who arrive mid morning can expect to be questioned about their reasons for being late. Phone calls will be made to parents to verify why their sons are late. If this wasn’t so important, I would not be bringing it to your attention and hoping that you believe me.
Thank you for your support in this very important issue.