Simon Conlan
Leader of Learning Development

This topic may appear a disappointingly pragmatic one to include in the first newsletter of the year but it is one of those elements of school communication that is really very important.

Activities, tasks, deadlines and assessment come from all directions in secondary school and even senior students can have difficulty keeping track of all that is required of them. Re-adjusting to the work rate is a challenge for all students when they commence each year at a school and losing track of due work or not really understanding something that has been taught in class can be a source of great stress for students.

If a student is unclear about what is expected of them in a subject, especially in these first few weeks of school, the most effective thing they can do to clarify matters is to contact their subject teacher. Whilst Pastoral Leaders, Year Level Coordinators and House Coordinators can provide support for students in a range of ways, students are encouraged to contact their subject teachers directly if worried about work because:

  • Direct communication with the subject teacher avoids ‘double handling’ that will inevitably occur if a message comes to them via another teacher and which can cause delay and confusion

  • The subject teacher will understand the nature of the question or concern more readily if the student emails or talks to them directly and will be in a good position to respond to the specific concern.

All teachers at OLMC can be contacted via email and students are encouraged to use this approach, particularly if they are very concerned or unclear about something. Obviously, teachers are available in class time but talking to a teacher immediately after a class can be difficult if the teacher needs to go to their next class or move to yard duty. It is generally better to email the teacher and either clarify the concern that way or arrange a time to meet.

Parents should feel welcome to contact subject teachers but we encourage students to initiate the contact as it is their learning needs that are being addressed.