By John Nuttall
Preparing for a new school year - secondary focus
Another historic day for secondary schools in Queensland this Tuesday when all Yr 11’s in the state begin the New QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education) System. No more OP scores, no more QCS Tests for them, instead an ATAR score at the end of Yr 12 and external assessments for most of their subjects. Like anything new, there will be a feeling of the unknown for all involved but we are as ready as we can be and excited to begin.
Secondary schools will also welcome a new intake of Yr 7’s to their communities. It’s always great to see these excited young men and women walk into our colleges (usually in oversized uniforms) ready for the new experiences that secondary schools offer. They are always keen when they begin and the challenge for all secondary schools is to keep them enthused and motivated along the journey. I know it’s a challenge for parents too.
Parenting has different challenges as children develop, so for what it is worth, here are some tips for parents based on my experience as a teacher and as a parent of three children now in their early 20’s.
Have a go and worry little what others think. I see so many secondary children not having a go at things because they worry about being shamed. Congratulate your children when you can see they have gone outside their comfort zone and taken healthy risks.
I know all these tips are easier said than done and it makes parenting one of the most challenging things we can do. Stay positive, try to remain calm when you discuss these issues with your kids. Importantly, remember they will all make mistakes and do the wrong things at times. Be there to dust them off and put your arm around them when needed.
I wish all students and their families a smooth start to 2019 and trust it will pave the way for great year.
John Nuttall has been a teacher in the Townsville Diocese since 1988. He has been principal of primary, secondary and P-12 schools and currently is principal of Gilroy Santa Maria College in Ingham. His wife Tracy is principal of St Peter’s Halifax. John and Tracy have three children all in their early twenties who are all graduates of our local Catholic schools.