While the shops may be parading their excessively early Christmas decorations and the end of the school year countdown may be on, it is important for both students and parents not to overlook Term 4. Despite Term 4 being one of the shortest terms in the school year (but feeling like the longest), it is still a school term for a reason. This period, like the previous three terms, is an opportunity to reinvigorate educational goals and sustain learning.
Events and commitments increase, and motivation levels decrease, creating the common misconception that Term 4 ‘doesn’t count’. Yet, there are still assignments to be done, modules to be learnt and exams to be taken. The final weeks of the school year, like Terms 1, 2 and 3, still count towards a student’s learning experience and progress. The final mark may or may not hold a heavier consequence for some, but maintaining engagement and motivation is a significant aspect of the learning process.
Despite the end being in sight, the learning and understanding from the past three terms is still in momentum. Already quite cemented in the routine that is studying and schooling, Term 4 is the ideal time to restore academic goals and persevere. It is better to continue or start afresh now with the knowledge being taught and absorbed in this term, than in a couple of months down the track, attempting to recollect and regenerate old ideas.
New topics and modules may be introduced, but it is also a chance to clarify and revise. With most of the modules completed, Term 4 is often left with free time. However, this free time given to students provides an opportunity to solidify their knowledge. Looking back on topics they didn’t quite understand or aspects they need further assistance with can be done within this term.
Term 4 acts as a guide for success and improvement. With the marks and feedback returned from previous terms, the feedback and results consolidated in Term 4 show the gradual improvement of a student. In contrast, these same marks can also operate as a mechanism to showcase the areas of improvement that the student could develop in preparation for the coming year. As part of this, Term 4 can also assist in creating academic and learning goals for the year ahead. Having one last term to confirm what either did or didn’t work for the year, students, parents and teachers can define a goal to strive for both in the lead up to and during the academic year.
Accept that Santa might be getting the toys ready, but remember it is still important for students to stay motivated and perform at their best in the final weeks of the school year. So, don’t dismiss Term 4; it is still assisting students in their learning journey.