Dominican College
Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9

Guidance Advice to all Students

20-March-20
Guidance Advice to all Students

Guidance Advice to all Students - Dominican College.pdf

Dear Students,

I am touching base with you to let you know that you are in my thoughts at this moment in time. There is no doubt that we are all operating in a changing environment and the way we are expected to manage our day to day lives, including how we manage our school work, is also changing. We have been asked to adapt and to develop a different mindset, and it is during this process, that we will all develop huge amounts of resilience.

The good news is that this change is temporary and we hope it won’t be too long before we are back at Dominican College. Our Minister Joe McHugh has advised us that the State Examinations are a certainty and therefore exam classes need to work on the basis that the exams are going ahead. Therefore all of your efforts, sacrifices and hard work will pay off.

I have been fortunate enough to meet with 6th Years for career interviews to help you to map out your educational journey after secondary school. I know that all of your dreams and ambitions for next year will become a reality and that you will be more than ready to take advantage of all the opportunities that await you. Sixth years, do not forget the goals that you set for yourself during your first MAP session with your MAP mentor in August. All of the staff at Dominican College want you to work towards achieving these goals over the weeks that follow.

We are very much looking forward to seeing you all very soon. I am attaching some learning, study and work-life balance tips that I hope might prove useful over the coming weeks. Be realistic though and achieve what you can, considering your own personal circumstances at present.

Best wishesMs Faustina Moran

Guidance Counsellor

Learning, Study and Work-Life Balance

Routine

I cannot underestimate the importance of routine. It will lead to greater satisfaction, productivity and success. Try your best to set your clock with similar wake-up times and bedtimes, similar to that of a normal school week. Take advantage of the weekends - have a nice sleep in for yourself, rest and relax as you deserve it! In particular, if you are doing state exams you might want to consider incorporating study into your weekend schedule.

Where to study?

At this moment in time, there may be many of you in the house looking for a quiet space to work. Family members may be working from home or siblings might also be required to do homework. You may have to negotiate the use of study space and perhaps even the internet/devices for homework and study purposes. This could be discussed with all family members. Be realistic. You can only be expected to work with what you have.

Advance Planning

It is best practice to plan out your activities - make it visual! Research suggests time and time again, that we are much better at keeping on task if we have our daily routine charted out. This plan must be realistic, of course. If it is not workable then you may not achieve your goals, you may become disheartened and run the risk of giving up completely.

After a nice breakfast, set aside 15-20 minutes to create your daily homework & study plan. Begin by pencilling in your breakfast/lunch/dinner. Next pencil in your activities exercise/reading etc. Finally pencil in any homework that your teachers have assigned you for the day. If you are doing exams, you may like to pencil in study time (see a sample below).

Homework

Give yourself enough time to complete the work set by your teachers. As you are aware, rushing through work is not helpful to the learning process. Therefore try to vary your work approach. I know your teachers are providing you with videos to watch, reading and written tasks to complete. Make use of the variety of teaching websites.

Study

If you are sitting the state exams, I am sure you have started to incorporate study into your daily activities. Indeed other year groups may be doing the same which is commended. Remember to separate schoolwork and homework from study as they are quite different. Homework is work to be completed for class (currently virtual) and study is work to be completed for assessment purposes e.g. the state exams.

Sample Study Session

Time

Specifics

Resources Needed

9.00 - 9.25

2019 Modern Language. Listen to Q1 - Q5 x 3 times and answer questions

Exam Papers

Laptop/CD

9.25 - 9.30

Break

Relax for 5

9.30 - 9.55

Listen and read the transcript 2019 Q.1 - Q.5 again. Correct. Check the marking scheme.

Pick out keywords, translate and write onto flashcards

Transcript & marking scheme (CD & Internet at examinations.ie)

Flashcards & pens

10.00 - 10.25

Test myself (record myself/write the words out/get someone to ask me/listen to the recordings again and test myself)

Phone (to record myself)

Paper (to test myself)

CD (to listen to it again)

Family member (to ask me)

10.25 - 11.00

Break

Tea & Chocolate, please!

Studying in blocks of 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break works well for most students. The sample above demonstrates what a study block might look like. As you can see from this example, you must be specific in your goals and outline all the resources that you need before you begin. Your goals must also be achievable and have a timeframe attached. When you are done, you must be able to test yourself to see if learning has taken place. It is worth remembering that in order for you to remember what you have learned you will need to revisit the material a number of times before your exam if it is to stick in your long term memory. Reward yourself at the end of a study session, it is a great motivator!

This is a fantastic time to practice key exam preparation skills whilst timing yourself as you simulate exam conditions. I suggest you look at your mock papers again, note how you can improve your answers and rewrite your exam questions. This may be an ideal time for all year groups to organise their revision notes.

Work-Life Balance

Keep hydrated, eat and sleep well. Try and get plenty of fresh air whilst practising social distancing and get some daily exercise too. Engage in short mindful meditations. They help to regulate our breathing which in turn can promote peace and reduce stress. There are many apps such as insight timer, calm, headspace that can help create calm.

Social Media

There is no doubt that some social media platforms are proving useful at a time when many of us are otherwise isolated from one another. They may be helping you to keep up to date with school work, not to mention helping you gain a greater understanding of the changing nature of the situation that we find ourselves in. However, we need to be aware that there is fake news circulating out there and something miscommunicated may cause fear and anxiety amongst us. This is an added stressor that nobody welcomes at the moment. Therefore it is a good idea to get your information from reputable sources and to limit the amount of social media that we are using as it is not good for us.

For exam classes, it is important not to panic and worry about things beyond our control like exams, project work etc. These will be reviewed by the State Examination Commission and information will be provided to you as soon as it is made available. Remember every student in the country is in the same situation so you are not at a disadvantage to anyone else.

Finally, practice, practice, practice. It might sound obvious, but the only way to make a routine stick is to be routine about it! If you miss a beat, then don’t worry too much! None of us are perfect. If your day does not go to plan, stay positive and try again the next day. Remember to do your BEST and that is all that anyone can ask of you. We wish you all the best over the coming weeks and look forward to meeting with you all very soon.

17-Jul-2020
Leaving Certificate students to receive Calculated Grade results on 7th September 2020
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