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Write on!

​Students in class 9B English with Dr John Collins
To support Gladstone State High School’s focus on best practice in teaching writing, our staff and students had the opportunity to work with visiting lecturer, Dr John Collins, who came from the frozen landscape of Harvard to warm and sunny Gladstone to spend two days at Gladstone State High School last week.
On Tuesday the 16th of February, Gladstone State High School hosted delegates from local primary and high schools, as well as those from further afield – Monto and Biloela - to a workshop presented by Dr John Collins: Improving Student Performance Through Writing and Thinking Across the Curriculum. The day was both interesting and entertaining since Dr Collins is not only an acknowledged expert in his field, as a lecturer and developer of The Collins Writing Program designed to improve writing skills and provide strategies FOR learning in all subject areas , but also an engaging speaker.
Students in English classes on Wednesday the 17th February can testify to this also. Mrs Michelle Hall’s 9B English class (pictured below) happily worked with Dr Collins who worked as a team with their teacher in the lesson. As well engaging in some banter about Australian and American accents and habits, and whether Vegemite was actually enjoyed by Australians, the classroom buzzed with the excitement of motivated students who felt privileged to have the opportunity to learn about writing with the visiting ‘guru’.
Another class, 8G, was similarly fortunate. Miss Maddison Ash and Dr Collins planned a lesson to teach students how to efficiently summarise a written text.
Quotes from students:
8G English class
“Dr Collins is a great teacher and I believe it was a privilege to have him come and work with us.” (Maddi)
 “The Dr Collins experience was absolutely fantastic! Dr Collins is a very sophisticated man who helped our class create our own ‘10% summary’ and made our writing sound smart. It was awesome.”
“I learned a lot from him.”
“Dr Collins is a very fun and enthusiastic person who made learning fun and unforgettable… I am very thankful that I had the privilege to have this experience.”
9B English class
“Dr Collins helped with my writing. He was able to explain it in a way that we all understood.”
“He made learning fun and exciting. He also improved my writing skills.”
“Dr Collins was an interesting and funny teacher. He taught us all about types of writing.”
At the end of the Wednesday, the entire staff had the opportunity to hear Dr Collins’ message in a 2 hour workshop.
Dr Collins certainly made a positive impression on our staff and the students with whom he worked, and his approaches will be a significant part of our ongoing focus/work in teaching writing – a fundamental life-skill and one which Gladstone State High School has as a focus for teaching and learning.