As I pen the final article at the end of a very busy Term 3, it is with the exciting news that once again NEGS girls have shown what dedication and determination can achieve. I am of course talking about the successes of our wonderful IGSSA teams. Our three IGSSA teams who have been competing in the grand finals in Sydney this weekend, have proudly carried on the NEGS tradition of “whatsoever you do, do it heartily”. Our Senior IGSSA Netball Team have gone through the competition undefeated and won the final by 28 – 23 against Roseville College. Our Junior IGSSA Hockey girls won 2 -1 against PLC in a nail biter; and our Junior IGSSA Netball Team have successfully defeated Kambala 23 – 20.
For our School to perform so well against the best teams in the State is a testament to their dedication, their will to win and their ability to grind-it-out when required. It is also testament to our outstanding coaches – Mr Josh Cohen and Mrs Michelle Wilsmore, parents and supporters. How lucky we are.
Last week saw the rebranding of NEGS to coincide with Old Girls’ Weekend. We have an invigorated new website and I have attached for your perusal our latest TV advertisements. They are fresh and reinforce that NEGS is more than a school.
As we celebrate the culmination of 13 years education for our Year 12 girls, it is crucial that they do not get too caught up with the festivities and remember there is still a job to do. The girls need to display the motivation and determination required to prepare well and succeed in their Higher School Certificate. The mindset required to maintain this level of intensity until their HSC – when it would be easy to wind down before the holidays is a characteristic of a successful attitude, and is a skill in which students will benefit and reap the rewards if they invoke it. For the girls who are working well – keep going; to the girls who have not achieved the results they wish – you now have the opportune moment to make a very big difference to your final HSC result.
As Albert Einstein once wrote: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great (student). They are wrong: it is character…”
By putting this practice into effect, you will be rewarded for your hard work and positive attitude.
Mr Andrew Newcombe has suggested the following tips for good exam preparation:
1 Give yourself time
An important mechanism for planning to revise is ensuring that there is plenty of time to study effectively. This involves planning ahead and allowing time to prepare, study, and have breaks in order to refresh. Set learning goals! In a study session, decide what you should be able to achieve and work towards it.
2 Organise your space
Making a distraction free workspace that only has access to the relevant materials for a study session will improve focus and allow an optimal use of time. It is important that in trying to be efficient with how time is used, each study session is intense and productive.
The human brain will remember what it sees and does regularly. It is also beneficial to model exam conditions as often as possible, and work on speed and accuracy. What you practice will become a habit and this will be modelled in exam conditions.
4 Explain your answer
Once you can explain a concept to someone, it is an indication that you understand it with depth, and it is part of your long term working memory. Practicing explaining concepts to others can be a powerful mechanism for ensuring knowledge has been mastered.
5 Take breaks
It is important at all times to be well rested and take the time to re-energise. This will ultimately result in greater productivity and better performance.
6 Eat and sleep well
The benefits of diet on performance and learning are well publicised, and on exam days some nuts, yoghurt, and fruit are a good source of nutrition. It is important to understand that memory is processed by the brain in deep sleep, so studying late at night and getting limited sleep is not productive. Whatever has been learnt on any day needs to be complemented with a good sleep at the end of the day.
7 Plan for a stress free exam day
On exam day, ensure that there are no other distractions and priorities. It is beneficial to be able to focus on assessment, which will reduce anxiety and improve concentration.
I was privileged to be a part of the Yr 12 Boarders’ Farewell Dinner last Wednesday evening. The Year 11 girls who organised the evening, with the assistance of Mrs Thomas and Mrs Garrad, went to a great deal of effort to ensure that the evening was a success. They showed leadership and a reverence for the occasion. Brydi Holmes delivered an address to the girls which was heartfelt and wise, and I include some of it here for your interest.
“Always be the best version of yourself. Be kind and compassionate always. Do more than what is asked of you. Listen to what everyone has to say and respect their judgements. Wear your top button and your ribbon with pride but most of all whatsoever you do, do it heartily. If you are feeling nervous for what comes next, don’t be. Accept and welcome the uncertainty and be brave as it challenges you to use your intelligence and test your resilience as you design your own happiness. Be sure to not regret any decision and enjoy each and every moment, because you’ll never get another one exactly like it. And if you ever look around and find yourself lost, take a deep breath and think about the journey that has made you. Always remember that the NEGS community will forever be your safety net. You will all be greatly missed. Thank you for the many memories. Good luck for your next chapter in life and we sincerely hope that you find every happiness you deserve. Thank you.”
I wish you all a happy and safe holiday with your families, and look forward to seeing you all in Term 4.