When most Year 11 students start the academic year at Guilford Young College on Wednesday 6 February 2019, it will not be the first time that they have sat in their new classrooms.
That will have happened at the end of the 2018 school year.
As a senior secondary college, academic classes at Guilford Young College finish about the beginning of November to allow a ‘swat vac’ week and two weeks of TASC examinations and assessments for Level 3 and Level 4 subjects.
That has been the case until now.
This year, teachers returned to the classroom for the last full week of the school year, not because they had forgotten anything for this year, but to give 2019 Year 11 students to GYC literally a ‘head start’ on the new school year.
Head Start orientated them to the College staff and environment and they began their courses for 2019.
Throughout the four days, they attended 80-minute classes (two per subject), assemblies and tutor groups.
The cross-campus buses operated.
On the Friday, course counselling was available.
Guilford Young College Principal Mr Craig Deayton said a lot of detailed planning by GYC and all participating colleges and schools had gone into to this initiative over the past 18 months.
“The major goals of GYC Head Start were to provide the incoming students with an authentic experience of their 2019 courses and to familiarise them with senior secondary education,” Mr Deayton said.
“This means that, where possible, the students met and engaged with the teachers who will deliver the subject in 2019. They actually made a start to studying that subject,” he said.
“Students came away from the week with a clear idea of the structure and requirements of their courses and the manner and demands of assessment. They met many of the staff and now have become familiar with their new school environment, especially their home Campus.
“Such familiarity will help them settle into Year 11 more quickly next year and possibly relieve some anxiety over the school holidays about what is, undoubtedly, a big step for them in 2019.”
Mr Deayton said that the classroom experience would benefited the teachers.
“For the teachers, there was the opportunity to provide course materials, talk about assessment requirements and give students a thorough preparation for the demands of their particular course. This means that where possible, the timetabled subject was run by the 2019 teacher, regardless of how small ‘the class’ might be.”
The days were all serious work.
Music, competitions, fun activities and a lunchtime barbecue were also part of the experience.
Staff were supported in this new endeavour by Student Leaders for 2019.
Schools partnering Guilford Young College in this initiative are St Virgil’s College, Austins Ferry; Sacred Heart College, New Town; Dominic College, Glenorchy; MacKillop Catholic College, Mornington; Mount Carmel College, Sandy Bay; St Aloysius Catholic College, Huntingfield; St James Catholic College, Cygnet; St Mary’s College, Hobart; Independent, Christian and Department of Education schools.