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SSC Newspaper : March 2014
Students in the middle years of high school sometimes find it hard to get motivated to participate, do their schoolwork or even get to school. Motivating kids can be a challenge for parents, not just to get the best academic results, but for their children to achieve their personal best. Santa Sabina College will be holding a free community event on the issue, to be chaired by the school principal, Dr Maree Herrett, and open to families from all schools. The guest speakers will be education expert Professor Andrew Martin and the school’s new director of music, Karen Carey. The seminar is aimed at enhancing children’s achievements, reducing their anxiety and broadening their definition of success. “This seminar is for parents and teachers to help students in what I call their ‘emotional wilderness’ years,” Dr Herrett says. “It’s about helping them achieve their best, not necessarily in academics but in their personal achievement. Not every child has to be the brightest or the most gifted, but we hope, at Santa Sabina, to help the girls to become the best student that they can be. “Andrew has some fantastic and revolutionary ideas towards reducing the stress of students and motivating them. "And Karen is a fantastic educator, not only in music, but she understands students. 16 Strathfield Scene MARCH 2014 EDUCATION Parents taught how to motivate ‘wilderness’ kids It was a momentous day for the Marie Bashir Public School – dignitaries, teachers, parents and students celebrated the official opening in February. Declared open by the woman the school is named after, Her Excellency Professor the Honour- able Marie Bashir, the school’s 87 students assembled to welcome her, the Governor of NSW. Acting Principal Jacqui Attard said that though student numbers were low, the school was receiv- ing new enrolments every month. “The school is steadily growing and because of the demographic, lots of parents are learning about the school,” she said. “The kids are loving being at school and are already enjoying their time thoroughly.” Professor Bashir was joined “ While Andrew will be speaking about the technical side in motivating students, Karen will be speaking anecdotally.” Dr Herrett has identified, in her years of teaching, that students today are more anxious going to school. And she says that girls, more than boys, tend to feel this anxiety more. “There is a lot more pressure on students these days to perform well, which is a contributor to why they feel more anxious,” Dr Herrett says. “Now, when we talk about education, we talk about it on a global level. It’s about a race. Students are no longer competing against other schools in their country, but with overseas schools. “ We hear about results in Shanghai, in Singapore, in Europe and in the United States. And the pressure is on. Parents expect a lot from their children. And girls especially take on board a lot more anxiety than boys. The boys, a lot of time, tend to brush off stress.” Dr Herrett says the seminar will teach parents how to help their children calm down through techniques like breathing, meditation or even prayer. “At the end of the day, this seminar is about instilling self-belief and values within a student. Not every student conforms to the parameters of school but what we want our students to achieve is their personal best.” By Bernadette Chua BIG TURNOUT FOR SCHOOL'S SPECIAL DAY by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli and Deputy Mayor Sang Ok. Mr O’Farrell paid homage to Professor Bashir and sent a message to the students. “This school is just a snapshot of what modern education is like in Australia. And for these students, this is a momentous occasion,” he said. “They are the first intake at a new school, but they are present in the company of the person that the school is named. “There is no finer example of an Australian who has gone through our public education system.” The state government purchased the site for about $25 million after the Sydney Adventist College shut its doors in 2012 and $1.3 million was spent on upgrading the facilities. “Acquiring the Sydney Advent- ist College allowed us to very quickly provide additional school accommodation in an area of growing need,” Mr Piccoli said. “Building a brand new school of the same size in this area would have cost in the order of $38 million.” Mr Casuscelli said the opening of the school would help provide education to Strathfield’s growing population. “The population of the Inner West is growing, so it is fantastic we now have additional space for families wishing to enrol their children in a public school,” he said. See Snaparazzi, page 20