The final assignment for Year 12 General English students was to produce an oral presentation, accompanied by a digital text, in the form of a ‘Guide to Surviving High School’. I arranged for some of this Year 12’s work to be shared with an appropriate intended audience, my Year 7 students. 

On Thursday 21 September, one of my Year 12 General English students, Rhys Cannarella, visited my Year 7 classes in order to share his work with them. Our Year 7’s had also been preparing oral presentations and I provided them with an opportunity to observe an outstanding piece of work, with content directly relevant to them as relative novices in the secondary school environment. In this respect the Year 7’s received some genuine mentoring by an older student, who imparted his wisdom and advice at the conclusion of his five years at Canning Vale College, and as a graduating Year 12 student. 

Rhys is planning to study Teaching and eventually become a teacher himself. The sharing activity I arranged for him provided him with a memorable opportunity to practise his leadership and communication skills in an authentic context. 
These are some remarks made by my Year 7 students in their self-evaluation reviews of this classroom activity, following Rhys’s presentation: 

Rhys presented really well and he was moving around, involving the class and asking us questions. I will remember the things he said and apply them in the future. – James Stobart 

In his power-point he included dot points to help him remember what to say. When he stated his point, Rhys would ask us for our opinion. – Serena Brown 
The points that I learned from the presentation were that I should balance my studies and my social life. This presentation is good advice for younger students on how to do well in high school. – Angammal Moorthy 

I liked the presentation and he gave us some good advice on high school, such as about making an older friend to help us. – Seth Priest 

It was very informative and I enjoyed it. – Corey O’Leary 

The way in which Rhys presented was a good example for us Year Sevens to learn from. He knew his content, involved the audience and made eye contact with everyone in the class. He showed us a number of techniques I will be applying to my future presentations. – Mei-Lynne Chiang 

Rhys made a list of dos and don’ts such as; don’t put up with bullies, do have a positive mindset, don’t argue with the teachers, and many more. He told us some ways of handling homework while balancing your social life, elaborating on dot points he made. – Brianna Hembra 

Rhys spaced out his work and most of that was in dot points. Rhys also memorised all of his work and that made it a lot more interesting. – Manmeet Singh 

Rhys spoke about making older friends and being respectful to teachers. – Luke Martin 

Some of his points were to make time for school and play; put your head down and do your work and listen to do well in your classes. – Raina Asim 

Rhys mainly stated that what happens in high school affects your future life and can also limit what you can do in the future. He mainly focused on aiming for a higher grade than you currently have. I learned that you will eventually get through it. – Georgia Kremer 

Rhys said that no matter what, you have the right to feel comfortable and safe in the situation that you’re in! I learned that you should really only have two or three friends you really trust. – Keira Miller 

Rhys spoke about and elaborated on topics such as: attendance, grades, relationships, social media, balancing work and play, friendship groups and ATAR. – Vanessa Bailey 
I learned not to stress when you have tests and you need a positive mindset all the time. – Felix Jose 

In oral presentations, thanks to Rhys, I am a bit more confident as he performed in front of people he didn’t know. From the actual content, I found the presentation very helpful and I learned quite a lot. – Kael Sandhu 

One thing I really liked was when Rhys compared his Year 7 self to his Year 12 self. His speaking manner, posture and impeccable jokes were all up to scratch. – Tanmay Shinde 

What I learned was that school is not for ‘cool’ people and I also learned that the more friends you make the easier school will be. – Kudakwashe Faneti 

Rhys had a great start to his presentation. He had key points on his slideshow and when he explained those points, he further elaborated, explaining it to us in detail. He had a very clear voice and didn’t read from a piece of paper. I was very glad that Ms Di Noto arranged this because I learned a lot from Rhys on how to present an oral presentation. – Aaron Chau 

Ms Anna Di Noto 
Level 3 Classroom Teacher. 

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