The Senior Studies Program is well established at Bankstown Girls High School, and was created with the aim to use evidence-based teaching and learning strategies to support and coach Stage 6 students to develop the study skills and habits needed to reach their full academic potential in their HSC year. This program runs simultaneously with Year 11's transition into year 12 (while also providing ongoing support to the current year 12's as they undertake their HSC Exams). Once students reduce their subjects and choose extension courses, they are timetabled onto the study periods in the Senior Studies room during periods 1, 2 and 3.
Particular focus is placed on building skills in effective goal setting, self-reflection and analysis, organisation, resilience and motivation, which are needed to push the top achievers into academic excellence, and the lower middle achievers to a place of informed academic independence and self driven improvement. A heavy emphasis on feedback has been essential to the success of the program; as it is vital students understand their specific weaknesses in order to continuously improve their academic performance. Welfare support is an integral aspect of the program, as students study habits, examination skills and stress levels are largely impacted by the burdens facing young women and placed on them by their lives outside of school.
These periods incorporate:
- Group workshops focused on developing learning attributes and study skills, which are tailored to the needs of each group. Workshops provide an interactive structure designed to allow students to plan collaboratively and build skills and resilience for ongoing academic success. Topics include organisation, time management, exam performance, reading/writing techniques, exam question deconstruction, stress management, memorisation, listening skills, effective note taking, mind mapping etc.
- One on One Coaching Sessions, which are designed to check in with students on their HSC journey and ensure they are coping with the academic and social pressure. Students are encouraged to bring a goal to these sessions to work though with the coordinator. This is also a time to check in with Attendance, N Awards and overall academic progress. Every student develops an Individual Learning Plan tailored to their study goals and this is referred to throughout these sessions. Furthermore, during these sessions, verbal feedback is given in addition to the written feedback on students practise essays and writing, for those who have utilised the Draft, Edit and Feedback System.
- Structured Individual Study Time is given to students during the sessions in which workshops are not run. Students understand that this is time to be taken very seriously, and they come to the sessions with clear study goals, which they write down on their Study Goal/Refection sheet at the beginning and end of every session.
- Safe Space Sessions are the time in which welfare, pressure, stress and mental health concerns are addressed. These sessions take many forms, including writing therapy, team building, meditation, problem solving and group sharing/discussions. The Worry Wall and the Tree of Triumphs decorate the Senior Studies Area as visual metaphors to help students feel less alone.
This program also introduces senior students to skill development in information technology and research in order to assist Year 12 to transition to work or tertiary education opportunities.
This page was last edited March 30, 2022