Senior Boys Boarding – Hawkins House

School terms have a momentum all of their own – they gain pace as the weeks pass. This term is no exception. We are in Week 6 already, and rapidly heading towards exam and assessment periods. Our Year 12 students are less than two weeks away from their QCS and term exams. This can be a time of heightened stress and anxiety and it is important at times like this to remind ourselves of the good study and organisational practices we have learned over the past years.

There are many benefits to being a boarder during these high-intensity periods of assessment. Boarders have access to academic staff and library resources during prep, and it is pleasing to see the Hawkins House boys working so industriously each night. The regularity of these sessions of focused study has significant benefits in helping our students learn to manage their time effectively, as well as providing students with practice in the skills of self-directed productivity which they will require as they leave the College to undertake tertiary studies or enter the world of work. Boarding house routines regarding technology usage, attendance at meals and ‘lights out’ times also help to encourage balanced, healthy bodies which are better equipped to deal with times of increased stress or busyness. Finally, the camaraderie of life in Hawkins House helps students to feel that they are not alone as ‘exam season’ looms. Boys can work collaboratively and revise with their peers, can encourage each other to work hard, and can find staff and students in our boarding community who can offer advice and assistance when things become overwhelming.

Here are five interesting websites, offering free resources which might be helpful at this time of year:

  • Goconqr provides a platform to create a range of online study tools, such as flashcards, quizzes, flowcharts and study planners. You can browse for resources on any topic (which have been shared by the millions of users) or create your own study group with friends or classmates to share ideas, advice and online resources. https://www.goconqr.com/en/
  • Marinaratimer enables you to organise your blocks of study with ease. For example, you can organise a 25-minute block with a five minute break at the end, then after you have completed a set amount of blocks, you can set the timer to give you an extended break. Either choose preselected time intervals or customise your own to suit your particular needs and available time. https://www.marinaratimer.com/
  • Trove is an online library database, bringing together content from Australian libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations. It’s an incredible tool for any student, doing an essay or research assignment, looking for resources. https://trove.nla.gov.au/
  • Need a quick study break? Why not stay productive and wake up your brain by playing a game from BBC Brain Smart. This website uses neuroscience research in the form of fun games to help you boost your memory, become more motivated and manage stress. http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/brainsmart/
  • If you’re feeling stressed about exams, you’re not alone. Talking to someone and finding ways to cope during exam time can help. Exam Stress is a website provided by Kids Helpline and offers helpful tips and ideas for all school students. It also provides information about how to know when you may need more support and outlines easy ways that you can seek help. https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/exam-stress

Mr Fraser Bolton – Head of Senior Boys Boarding