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Rhetoric Parents Evening

Rhetoric Parents Evening

Took Place 28th Aug. 2017

• The class of Rhetoric 2018 has set high standards over the past 5 years. This is a reflection on both their form tutors and parents.
• The role of year head like that of form tutor is associated with cura personalis or care of the person.
• Our primary concern is to work with form tutors and subject teachers to ensure that the students develop and achieve their potential within an atmosphere of respect.
• This is an important year. It ends with a terminal exam which will decide what college course and career path your son will take.
• Rhetoric students always reflect in August after they collect their results how fast the leaving certificate year went.
• To maximise their time they have six assemblies which allows them to focus on the 5 different cycles or parts to sixth year.
1. 9 weeks until midterm (30th October – 3rd November)
2. 6 weeks after midterm until Christmas House exams 2nd cycle Wednesday 13th December
3. 5 weeks after Christmas until mid-term (2nd to 9th February) (PTM Monday 29th January). 4 weeks and 4 days to MOCKS.
4. 5 weeks until Easter (19th Feb – 26th March)
5. 5 weeks and 4 weeks after Easter until passing out and Graduation (Orals/ practicals/ RSR/ Field trips etc.)

• As parents and teachers we play a crucial role in this year of your son’s lives and as such we are collaborators.
• The most important part of this collaboration is communication. It allows us to act in sync and create an environment that allows students to be happy/ healthy and achieve their academic potential at this stage of their educational journey.
• The college and home cannot work together in the following ways
1. College Journal (contains relevant dates, revision timetables).
2. College Website
3. Parents Association
4. VS Ware log in for parents to check attendance
5. All absences and late arrivals must be communicated via TIQBIZ
6. TIQBIZ messages be sent out by the College
• All TIQBIZ codes are available on the website (parents' section). Principal dates are in the "about us" section.
• The best way to access your VS Ware account is to use google chrome.
Student monitoring and Tracking is a very important part of our collaboration and communication.
• The October effort grades will be available to form tutors and may be a good time to check in with them if you have concerns.
• Christmas results and comments.
• Parent Teacher meeting (29th January).
• Mocks results in March
Tracking and monitoring allow students to make decisions regarding levels within subjects.
It also allow them to become more realistic about their CAO decisions.
After the mock results, Ms Byrne will be asking subject teachers to reflect on the fifth year, Christmas and mock results and make recommendations whether students are capable of higher or ordinary level.

Expectations of Rhetoric students
• Rhetoric students should feel happy, healthy and believe they can achieve their academic and co-curricular potential.
• They are expected to show leadership and model positive behaviour for the younger year groups.
• All Rhetoric boys should respect themselves, each other and their teachers.
• Punctuality: Come to school every day. And be on time. School starts earlier now, 8.40 so boys should be in class at 8.35!
• Full school uniform must always be worn. Appropriate school shoes should be worn – not black runners.
• They need take responsibility for course work, art portfolios and don’t leave them until the New Year when orals, mocks, senior cup take up a lot of time.
• Have they found their notes from fifth year and bought their leaving certificate exam papers.
• Are they using their journal to record their homework and do they have a study plan?
• Have they reviewed the mistakes from the summer tests and asked subject teachers for advice.
• Prefects: need to be present for their duties.
• This year will go by so quick AND the students who get the most out of the year and out of their six years in Belvedere are those that seize the day, work hard, and take responsibility for their learning.
• Rhetoric students need to be aware of the different cycles within the year.
The first term until October midterm is crucial: uninterrupted apart from 6th year retreats: start a study routine now. It will reduce stress by avoiding cramming in the New Year. Rhetoric students should study regularly and in a way that works to their strengths. Ask teachers, guidance or study skills instructors for advice. Remember there is a study skills workshop held in September.

Rhetoric students are expected to show leadership in other ways
1. Pursuit of excellence – Rugby, Drama, Debating, Music, Athletics.
2. Leadership – Social Justice – VDP, Lourdes, Sleep out. They also need to look out for other students within their form class and year group.

What can parents and teachers do over the course of the year
• Encourage students to believe in themselves. They have studied the subjects, completed the homework over two years and will be more than ready for the exam.
• Encourage them to do their best and really focus on the idea of effort rather than the idea of results because if they are too focused on grades they can become frustrated, stressed and that can affect their performance. If they work hard, follow instruction and work on their mistakes the grades will become consistent and improve.
• Do not worry: the leaving certificate is an important time in your life but things need to be kept in balance. It is a stepping stone getting you from where you are now to where you want to go. Talk to your sons and encourage them to look out for others in their class and year group.
There is never a problem that cannot be managed. Encourage them to focus on their immediate concerns … “the here and now, An English essay, Art project, and not the far off idea of the exam”.
• There is so much support available for the students between form tutors, guidance, chaplains, subject teacher.

Parents need to be able to give advice about study and study technique.
Encourage them
1. When studying a topic to have specific goals/tasks to achieve. Encourage them to spend five/ten minutes at the end of a session reviewing what has been covered. It will help retention and make the next day’s classes more productive.
2. That learning is improved with repetition. Repetition (daily/weekly/monthly) will reinforce knowledge and improve confidence.  It will cut down on cramming at the end of the year.
3. That learning should help/ complement other study – English, History, Geography, Business Studies and maybe classical studies would be productive but Irish grammar followed by Spanish or French verbs could cause confusion
4. Where are they studying? It is good to have a fixed spot whether in the school or at home that is associated in the mind with productive work.
There is the option of evening study if they don’t have a quiet area at home. It is supervised but what they do during that time is entirely up to them. There is also supervised Study in the Library 3.50 – 5.15. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. Even study Monday – Thursday 6.00-9.15 pm.
5. The Body Clock: Your ability to focus deteriorates as the day progresses. Get it done early in the evening and then you can relax at night time before you go to sleep. A tired brain is unproductive! Getting seven to eight hours sleep is also important.
6. Parents should sign their tests and check journals.

Health and lifestyle
• Students need to have interests whether sporting or otherwise that allow them to unwind. Regular exercise whether walking, swimming, team sports along with a good diet will clear the mind; boost concentration, energy and mood and reduce stress.
• The issue of alcohol is something you need to be honest and open with your children about. You need to trust them and encourage them to socialise in a safe and responsible manner.
• 6th year is also associated 18th birthday parties. This is something which will need to be negotiated. These parties do not even need to be held on the weekend of the birthday and could easily be put outside term time. 18th birthday parties were a frustrating part of sixth year for many Rhetoric 2016/ 17 students especially when we moved into the New Year. 
• Part time Jobs – strongly discouraged, if they are engaging fully in school then they should not have time for jobs. It can distract them from their studies/ co-curricular and the opportunity to unwind.
• Post leaving cert holiday: Sit down with your son to find out their intentions and discuss options that are acceptable to you. There are so many different ways to spend their holidays. They could volunteer in Ireland or abroad and use their time to pick up skills and experiences that will enrich them and also add to their CV. They would come back feeling good about themselves knowing that they have made a difference in the lives of others. Please remember that if they book a holiday at the end of August it will coincide with the college offers and viewing of the scripts.
• Parents should contact the school if they have any concerns regarding their son’s mood, wellbeing or if there is something difficult happening at home that may affect their son’s engagement in school.
• Please remember all the support available for the students between form tutors, guidance, chaplains, subject teachers and Year Head.

Approach to Leaving Certificate:
1st Cycle - 9 weeks until midterm 
• 15th September Higher options in RDS
• study skills workshop
• Rhetoric retreats 25th – 27th October

2nd cycle – 5 weeks/ 3 days after midterm until Christmas House exams begin on Wednesday 13th –  22nd December 
• 9th November CAO meeting in the college for parents at 7 P.M
• 15th November Careers evening for Rhetoric at 7 P.M
• Christmas house exams (13th December to 22nd December).

3rd Cycle - 5 weeks after Christmas until mid-term (2nd to 9th February) (PTM Monday 29th January). 4/4
• 29th January - Rhetoric Parent teacher meeting
• Cup Season
• Senior Musical 24-27th January
• Mocks – Friday 2nd February – Friday 9th February
• Mid-term 12th February – 16th February

       4th Cycle: 5 weeks until Easter (26th March – 6th April)
• Preparation for Orals/ practical (Irish, French, Spanish, Music)
• Completing the practical elements of History, Geography, Home Economics due
• Easter Holidays 26th March – 6th April

5th Cycle: 5 weeks and 4 days after Easter until passing out and Graduation (Orals/ practicals/ RSR/ Field trips
• 17th May passing out ceremony for Rhetoric students
• 20st May Graduation Mass for Rhetoric students
• 6th to 22nd June State Examinations.

Contact details:
Tom Doyle, Rhetoric Year Head
Telephone: 01 8586610/6631 (direct line)
Email: tdoyle@belvederecollege.ie

Deputy Principal with responsibility for Poetry and Rhetoric students
Ms Lesley Byrne
lbyrne@belvederecollege.ie

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