Year 12 students at St Patrick’s College have a secret weapon as they strive for the best results possible – a group of high achievers from the Class of 2018 who have returned to the school as tutors.
The college officially opened its new year 12 study centre on Tuesday, which will be staffed by 10 former students who achieved excellent results.
The tutors will cover most subjects, with three or four rostered on each day to support the current crop of senior students to hone their study skills and assist with specific subjects.
Among the new tutors, who are employed as part-time staff members, is Sam Williams who was dux of the college last year and will balance his part-time job with studies at the University of Melbourne.
Our boys are really busy, a lot have lots of different activities outside of school – part time jobs, sport, social justice commitments – and this will really support their learning while they’re here at school … to really make sure they can make the most of every minute while they are at school.Julia Petrov
“Our job will be about facilitating the boys doing their best efforts, and passing on tips and tricks to study effectively,” Sam said.
Students were invited to apply and teachers nominated high achievers from different subjects to become tutors, most of whom will work at the school while studying at university.
“I’ll be living down in Melbourne for university and come back to Ballarat for work – I’ll commute the opposite way to what is normally done but it will work pretty well for me,” Sam said.
“I was definitely keen to come back and I’m excited to be part of this year’s success. It’s good to have a step between teacher and student, to be that first point of call and we will work with the teachers too.”
St Patrick’s College director of studies Julia Petrov said the new study centre allowed year 12s to work in small groups or individually, to maximise their study time during school hours.
“There are communal study areas to encourage group work or peer to peer work, then a deeper area for silent study or individual study, but everything is on wheels so we can see how the space works and how the boys learn,” she said.
“It’s a prototype for us to see how well the students work and how the space works.”
The room also contains an inspiration wall, listing students from the past five years who have achieved 40+ study scores in their VCE.
“Our boys are really busy, a lot have lots of different activities outside of school – part time jobs, sport, social justice commitments – and this will really support their learning while they’re here at school … to really make sure they can make the most of every minute while they are at school.”
Even in the first weeks of its operation, teachers have noticed a difference in the senior students using the study centre. “Teachers are saying that most of the class have done their homework and that they’re organised and on top of things.”
The centre was the former boarder’s dining hall, which has since moved to the new boarding house, with the redevelopment funded through a gala dinner at the MCG held last year to celebrate the college’s 125th anniversary.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.