On Monday 22 August, Benjamin White (Year 9), Izaak Chen (Year 8) and Alice Schlamm (Year 8), members of the Middle School Council, presented a workshop to interested Middle School students on goal setting and effective study habits. The ultimate aim was to share some strategies, tips and tricks that have proved useful for them in the hopes it would inspire younger students in the upcoming assessment period.

The workshop began with Ben touching on procrastination and distractions; something to which many young people could relate. Ben shared his insight with the students around a few study habits he has found beneficial through his time in Middle School including an interesting technique relating to tomatoes: the ‘Pomodoro Technique’. Essentially, the ‘tomato’ method, was named by the inventor after a tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work. It involves identifying the task, setting a timer for 25 minutes, working on the task, ending work when the timer goes off, taking a 5-minute break and then moving on to the next task. After four attempts, students are encouraged to take a longer break (15-30 minutes) and then start again. Benjamin challenged the students to give the tomato method a go next time they wanted to study smarter.

Following this, Izaak reinforced the notion of goal setting and utilising SMART goals to get through busy times of the school year and hold yourself accountable. Izaak shared some great examples of effective goals for various subject areas and gave some time to workshop these with the students. Similar to Benjamin, Izaak’s challenge was to set a few goals for the next few weeks, keep them visible at your study station and reflect on them at the end of the term.

Next, Alice discussed screen time and the dangerous effects of over-use. Ultimately, mobile phones and devices can cause huge distractions, not only for students attempting to study but for many adults too. It’s easy to fall into the trap of scrolling endlessly through social media feeds or Googling topics of interest as a way of passing the time. To assist students with this, Alice presented a few tips:

  • Have regular intervals between phone use and studying (e.g. brain breaks) – similar to the tomato technique!
  • Hand over your phone to parents/guardians
  • Screen time limits work wonders!

After this, we explored the Assessment Calendars and took some time to discuss prioritising upcoming work. The Middle School leaders shared the importance of visibly displaying the calendar and goals at a designated workspace to ensure accountability.

Ultimately, the students in the workshop were presented with many hands-on tips and tricks to try out and help them through the busy assessment period.

Mr Braydon Giles
Head of Middle School