Get a Headstart in the Boarding Community
The Headstart program commenced in 2016 to assist boarders new to Wesley College who find the academic transition a challenge. In some cases, boys experience gaps in their English and numeracy skills. The introduction of structured homework (PREP) can also be a huge change. This program gives every student a chance to get used to what’s expected, before they start.
The Headstart program is free for Wesley College families. It’s delivered over the internet, with the assistance of the Year 7 Boarding Coordinator and teachers from Wesley’s Middle School. In recognition of the vital part that comprehension plays across the Senior School curriculum, the program is built around English skills and numeracy skills. For both of these learning areas online education programs are used—Reading Plus and Hotmaths.
Reading Plus is a research-based online program that targets specific reading skills for each student, supports vocabulary development and trains the eyes to read correctly. Students can select the texts they wish to read, further motivating them to succeed and improve. The program is monitored and teachers are able to direct the boys to additional materials, such as video tutorials and worksheets.
Hotmaths is the digital program used by Middle School students at Wesley. It offers interactive investigations (widgets), complete lessons, diagnostic tests and assessment activities that can be tracked through the learning management system. This program is curriculum linked and has the ability to be set at a number of levels appropriate to the capabilities of each student.
Commitment from the Boys
In order to prepare the boys for academic life at Wesley, in particular PREP (structured homework), the boys have to commit a minimum of two hours per week to the program. Ideally, they would get used to completing this work in the evenings at a similar time to when they would do PREP when they start at Wesley (roughly 7.00 to 8.00pm on Sunday through to Thursday).