Example of practice

Kaden is a Year 10 student who is considerate of others and well-liked by his peers. Kaden has a number of close friends who he works well with, and has a good sense of humour. Kaden is a high performing student – he produces high quality and beautifully presented work, demonstrates deep understanding and critical thinking in his written work, and he is highly organised.

Kaden tends to read and re-read instructions repeatedly, and frequently re-starts work if he isn’t happy with it. He starts assessments early, and spends many hours working on these at home, but makes slow progress as he re-starts sections, spends a large amount of time struggling to decide on the best approach, or large amounts of time researching without starting. He does not speak often in class and is reluctant to seek help with his work or discuss projects with peers. His parents report that he will often get caught up for a significant amount of time worrying about a small detail in an assignment, and that despite reassurances his approach is fine, this “obsessive worrying” can be repeated over many days. As a result, he submits most assessments late, and experiences significant anxiety during assessment periods. Kaden’s worrying and stress has escalated since Year 9 and he has recently started seeing a psychologist outside of school. Kaden and his family have consented for his psychologist to communicate with the school about relevant strategies he may use to manage stress and worry around assessments.

1. What are Kaden's unique strengths and what has been helpful so far?

2. What is the goal and why is it important?

The goal:

  • The overall goal for Kaden is for him to experience less stress and worry around assessments and to submit work on time. The initial goal is for Kaden to complete an upcoming history assessment within a set time, while implementing and reflecting on strategies that are helpful for Kaden.

  • Ongoing stress and worry can cause mental health problems (including anxiety and depression) and also physical health problems. It is important for Kaden to be able to complete assessments without significant disruption to his wellbeing.
  • Learning how to submit work within a timeline will be important skills throughout HSC, university, and within the workplace

3. What evidence-based strategies can be used to reach the goal?

Kaden’s humanities teacher used the secondary school students with anxiety guide to learn more about evidence-based strategies and resources. After using this resource, Kaden’s humanities teacher has identified some strategies that can be trialed in his classroom to build on Kaden’s existing strengths and help him achieve the desired goals:

  • Kaden is a high performing student and is highly organised
  • Kaden starts assessments early
  • Providing clear guidelines with a lot of detail for specific sections
  • Kaden has a number of close friends who he works well with

  • Kaden’s humanities teacher will modify the upcoming assessment task to outline clear expectations around time spent on each section, word limits and key learning outcomes
  • Kaden’s humanities teacher will provide opportunities for self-monitoring and reflection
  • All students will set individual learning goals for the assessment in the first lesson. Kaden will work on this task with his close friends and his humanities teacher will review and ensure that the selected goals are reasonable and achievable.
  • Kaden’s humanities teacher will modify the assessment to focus on timely completion, and demonstration of understanding of the content. A focus on time management and on implementing strategies to manage stress and worry will be introduced.
  • A final report in small group discussions will be submitted with the aim to reflect on what they learned from the process of completing the assessment, approaches that did not work (for example; approaches to time management or researching their topic), what they learned from any mistakes made, and how they would tackle things differently in future

  • Kaden is aware of his worries and stress and sees a psychologist for support
  • Kaden and his family have consented for his psychologist to communicate with the school

  • The school will maintain communication lines with Kaden’s psychologist, and ensure strategies are shared with all teachers, including Kaden’s humanities teacher
  • Where relevant, strategies will be incorporated as ‘whole class’ activities rather than a focus on Kaden alone. For example; the class will spend a few minutes engaging in relaxation exercises as the assessment due date nears, and all students will be given one-to-one time with their teacher to discuss any questions/concerns they have about their assessment.
  • Kaden’s parents will ensure Kaden has time away from study/assessments in line with his assessment schedule, including taking the time to go for a walk, or to spend time with peers on weekends