“The Advisor system was really important to me because it gave me someone to go to. In the first couple of weeks, if I was not sure where my classes were or where to find my new teachers, or had any questions at all, my Advisor was always there. As well as regular meetings, she was a friendly face I would see around the school and we’d stop and have a chat.”
Each BSSC student is linked to an ‘Advisor’ who not only assists with academic support in various ways, but also becomes the go-to person for any issue that could compromise a student’s attendance or capacity to take the most from their classes/study.
“I liked that my Advisor supported what I wanted to do. She really listened and gave me guidance when I needed it.”
“More than anything, the Advisor role is about building relationships,” Student Services Manager (and Advisor) Simon Wood said. “Rather than ‘you must do this work’ which is the teacher role, the Advisor role is supportive. Yes, we are there to talk about how students are going in meeting their education goals, but we also talk about issues or situations that get in the way of those goals—or the student’s wellbeing.”
“The Advisor system is pretty good and was particularly important when I first started, but all the teachers were always spot-on with the information they’d give you. I’ve had a great year and made new friends.”
Virtually every staff member has a group of around 17 students—usually students they are also teaching—with whom they meet weekly. But the beauty of the role is that students can see their Advisor whenever they need to.
“The Advisor system was really useful—particularly regarding insights about what was coming up so you could plan really well. Your Advisor is usually one of your teachers, so I found it really great for getting extra time with my Advisor during class. Or we could easily catch up before or after class.”
Kennedy Kriegar, Year 12 graduate.
Advisors are part of a three-way relationship between the student, their parent or carer and their Advisor: all partners in learning.
Advisors assist their students during orientation to the college, they liaise with family/carers, and they encourage positive values and attitude development (based on the college values of Respect, Optimism, Learning and Environment).
They take a special interest in any presentations or added roles related to their students.
“The Advisor is often the first point of contact when there is a problem,” Student Wellbeing Manager Kylie Hand explained. “They can advocate on behalf of the student, or refer on to other services, either within or outside the college. It’s all about support and encouragement.”
“Some students have really challenging things happen out of school and it is so satisfying to know that every student has someone who ‘has their back’ here at the college and they can come and seek advice or support or just to be listened to, whenever they need this,” Simon added.
“And some students keep this valuable relationship alive even after they leave school—dropping in to let their Advisor know how they are going.”
“It is teachers who have created positive teacher student relationships that are more likely to have the above average effects on student achievement.” John Hattie
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. Routledge