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Latest News2017-05-28T09:07:22+11:00

Low attendance in Year 7 may mean you’re less likely to finish school

Good or bad attendance habits can form early and have far reaching consequences according to this article in the Conversation.

A study of more than 30,000 students has confirmed the link between improving school attendance rates in Year 7 and the likelihood of completing high school.

Conducted by the Smith Family, the research found around three-quarters of students from low-income families with higher attendance rates in the first year of high school completed Year 12. This was compared to less than half of those with very low attendance in Year 7.

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April 24th, 2018|

Your ATAR isn’t the only thing universities are looking at

What are universities looking for in secondary graduates? Turns out it isn’t just an ATAR score according to the Conversation.

Only a quarter of undergraduate university admissions for domestic students are made on the basis of an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank), according to a new discussion paper from Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute.

The paper highlights a growing disconnect between the role the ATAR plays in schools and universities. In 2016, only 26% of domestic undergraduate university admissions were made on the basis of secondary education with an ATAR – down from 31% in 2014.

This would surprise many young people, as it seems at odds with the message reinforced by many schools, families and the media – that the ATAR is everything.

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April 13th, 2018|

Why suspending or expelling students often does more harm than good

A long time debate in education is around the value of suspension or expulsion. The Conversation article suggests it’s not the best strategy.

The number of students being suspended or expelled from Australian schools is “skyrocketing”, according to news reports. These note a 10% increase in suspensions over two years at NSW primary schools and that students in south-western Sydney are being suspended more than four times as often as students in other parts of the city.

Suspension and expulsion is widely used in Australia, the UK and the US to respond to problematic behaviour. But evidence shows these tactics aren’t effective in changing a student’s conduct, and carry major long-term risks for their welfare. Students most affected tend to be those with higher and more complex needs, such as those with disabilities and mental health issues.

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April 5th, 2018|

How to escape education’s death valley

This week’s news article is an audio piece – a famous Ted talk delivered by Sir Ken Robinson.

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them.

In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

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March 28th, 2018|

Hattie & His High Impact Strategies for Teachers

One area for discussion within education that is always relevant is that of what makes teaching effective, what things work. Internationally renowned educationalist John Hattie, offers us his thoughts in this Australian Society for Evidence Based Teaching article, and it is very worthwhile reading them.

John Hattie synthesized over 500,000+ studies related to student achievement in his book Visible Learning. In this book he showed that teachers can make a difference despite other circumstances that may impede learning.

In fact, Hattie found that most teachers have some degree of impact on their students’ learning. However, some teachers have far more impact than others.

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March 18th, 2018|

Five things parents can do every day to help develop STEM skills from a young age

One of the things that is a growing area of focus in early education is how we might promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills. This Conversation article looks at 5 things parents can do in this space.

Educators and researchers agree early literacy experiences are important for children’s cognitive and language development. For the past 30 years there has been a strong movement to foster children’s literacy skills. This has resulted in an abundance of information on how parents can do this by reading books, singing songs and nursery rhymes, playing word games and noticing print.

This is a good thing and should continue, given the importance of early literacy skills in learning to read, and how this leads to later success in school and life.

But in addition to early literacy skills, we should also be promoting early STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills. Early childhood is the natural starting point for STEM learning, as young children are curious and want to explore their environments.

Children are very capable STEM learners, and their knowledge and skills are often greatly underestimated by educators and parents.

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March 13th, 2018|

ACER submission calls for students to be taught by ability not age

A point of discussion within educational circles is  around how classes are formed and divided. In the latest National Catholic Education Commission newsletter, ACER adds to the debate by calling for students to be taught by ability.

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is calling for an overhaul of the way students are currently taught, assessed and graded in its submission to the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools led by David Gonski.

The proposal would see students taught according to their ability rather than age with performance tools such as A to E grades and traditional school reports also being replaced by new reporting measures.

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March 5th, 2018|

Study habits for success: tips for students

As we are back full swing at school, it’s timely to remind ourselves of success habits. The Conversation presents some useful tips:

Right now, thousands of Australian school children and university students are taking a well-earned break from the classroom. Long breaks like this help us clear our minds, but they can also provide an opportunity to prepare for the learning year ahead.

If you’re a student, this might mean thinking about your study habits. Here are some suggestions to help you learn as efficiently as possible.

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February 28th, 2018|

Three ways to help any kid be more creative

As we look to the future of Education, one of the constants is how to develop creativity in our children to help them better cope with the demands and creative solutions the future will bring. This article from puts forward three ways we might foster creativity.

The world’s problems demand bold, new solutions, so today’s children need to develop open, agile minds. Composer Anthony Brandt and neuroscientist David Eagleman tell you how to nurture them.
Our children spend many of their waking hours in the classroom. It’s where their aspirations are nurtured and where they get their first sense of what their society expects of them. When run correctly, it’s a place where imagination is cultivated. But that cultivation doesn’t always happen.

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February 23rd, 2018|

More children are starting school depressed and anxious – without help, it will only get worse

As children get settled into the 2018 school year, our thoughts turn to how they are coping. This article from The Conversation examines how we might address anxiety.

Starting school for the first time can be stressful. Children are suddenly thrown into a foreign environment, juggling the pressure of learning new academic skills and establishing relationships with peers. Some thrive, but others may need support through this transition.

Our study found that at the ages of six to seven, which is just after the time children start school, 14% of Australian children had noticeably high levels of emotional problems. Emotional problems generally refer to depressive and anxiety symptoms, somatic (physical) complaints such as headaches, and withdrawn behaviours.

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February 14th, 2018|

Classroom design should follow evidence, not architectural fads

Classroom design has come into vogue more so in the last 20-30 years. This article from The Conversation asks how important it is.

The past decade has seen a boom in the construction of trendy buildings with visually appealing interiors in schools and universities. Proponents highlight the potential of these flexible and technology-rich spaces, referred to as innovative learning environments (ILEs), to shape behaviours to enhance student learning.

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February 8th, 2018|

3 fears about screen time for kids — and why they’re not true

In the first of an exciting new feature at CSG News, we are excited to bring you the best video clips from around the world on relevant and  interesting education topics, curated for the CSG audience.

This video: Screen time for kids, it’s very topical. This fascinating Ted Talk by media expert SaraDeWitt examines screen time and childhood.

We check our phones upwards of 50 times per day — but when our kids play around with them, we get nervous. Are screens ruining childhood? Not according to children’s media expert Sara DeWitt. In a talk that may make you feel a bit less guilty about handing a tablet to a child while you make dinner, DeWitt envisions a future where we’re excited to see kids interacting with screens and shows us exciting ways new technologies can actually help them grow, connect and learn.

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February 7th, 2018|

How to survive high school: Top tips for students

Back to school this week, so it’s timely that we look at some starting strategies given to us at the ABC site.

As an army of Australian kids make the transition from primary school to high school this week, social media star and study guru Jessica Holsman has one crucial piece of advice: relax.

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January 29th, 2018|

So you’ve got your ATAR, now what? Here are some options

Thousands of students across the country have received their ATAR … now what? Read this article from The Conversation to get a better idea of what’s next.

Over the last week, year 12 students around the country received their Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR). For many students, these results are accompanied by celebration and relief.

However, for those whose results are not what they were expecting or hoping for, there may be frustration and disappointment.

The release of ATAR results is a chance for all students who have put in a preference to study at university in 2018 to review their preferences, and think about where they want to go.

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December 20th, 2017|

This is what harmonious inclusion looks like: principal

Inclusion is one of the big issues in society and more specifically, in education. This article from Education HQ takes a look at a good news story around inclusion from a Queensland school.

Principal Michael Hornby has something big to show Australia.

With around 68 different cultures happily mingling under his school roof each day, the leader of Mabel Park State High School would love the powerful to know what harmonious inclusion looks like on the ground.

“I’d love to bring in a politician, the Prime Minister, and say ‘this is how we get along’,” he says.

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December 7th, 2017|

25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset

A fixed mindset says that things are the way they are and can’t be changed. The opposite is a ‘Growth Mindset’, as pioneered by Carol Dweck, that says things can change and improve. Catholic education essentially has a growth mindset. Read more about how to promote it from this article from InformEd.

What if your true learning potential was unknown, even unknowable, at best? What if it were impossible to foresee what you could accomplish with a few years of passion, toil, and training? According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, this isn’t some hypothetical situation, dependent on any manner of factors from genes to environment. It’s a mindset. And it’s one you can cultivate at any point in life.

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November 24th, 2017|

I didn’t get a great VCE score – but it hasn’t stopped me having a great life

An excellent article by Biffy James in yesterday’s Age reminds us that the ATAR score is not the beginning and end of our life story post-school.

I completed year 12 when the ATAR was still called an ENTER. If you ended up with a score much below the high 80s at my supposedly progressive private girls’ school, it usually meant your peers felt very, very sorry for you, and reminded you brightly that “TAFE is really good! I’d do TAFE if I wasn’t doing arts/law/medicine at Melbourne Uni!”

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November 15th, 2017|

Why Standing Desks Should Be In Every Classroom

As we branch out further investigating the different ways in which education is delivered technologically, we may also consider more closely how we deliver it physically. This article from InformEd asks whether we need to start studying standing up.

When envisioning the classroom of the future, virtual reality and robotic teachers might come to mind. But while technology is certainly transforming the way we learn and the spaces where learning takes place, a much more subtle trend is slowly taking hold of classrooms around the world.

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November 8th, 2017|

Indigenous students finish Year 12 in record numbers

In a great news story, the ABC reports that Dubbo Senior Secondary College has seen the largest group of  indigenous students finish Year 12.

A group of teenagers from the New South Wales central-west town of Dubbo has made history as the largest group of Aboriginal students ever to sit their Year 12 exams.

The 60 teenagers attend Dubbo Senior Secondary College and many of them have had to overcome major social disadvantages.

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October 30th, 2017|

11 Traits That Unleash Innovative Thinking

The cultivation of innovative and critical thinking is at the cornerstone of education. This article from InformEd asks whats traits lead to this.

What is innovation, and how can it be cultivated? These are two of the questions being raised by researchers at the University of South Florida.

In a new issue of Technology and Innovation, Victor Poirier and his team examine how innovation can be fostered in individuals and how educators in particular can help unleash it in their students.

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October 24th, 2017|