Tag: school



You will have all heard the theory that children learn better through play, such as with games. There is a lot of evidence to support this theory. So, if you want your child to perform better at school, is it possible to do stuff at home which is fun as opposed to doing extra homework?

Learning through play helps children short term and also long term. For example, children who are good at Monopoly are often good business owners. It is one of the best tools to teach your children how to manage money. There is evidence coming through that if your child is struggling in a certain area, games may be more useful than tutoring (although not always).

So is all play good or are there certain types of play that are more beneficial. Certain types of play definitely make a difference when assisting with your children’s academic performance.

Here are my top 10 games for helping your child perform better at school, which are also lots of fun. I have broken them into age groups, but the ages are just a guide. Feel free to start playing the games earlier if you think your children are up to it.

Ages 4 to 6

The first game I recommend you start with is UNO (available online for $7 ). I first started playing a version of this at seven, but children are often able to start between the age of four and five. The game teaches number recognition, recognising patterns (very important for Maths) and most importantly improves concentration.

The Hungry Caterpillar (available online for $28) is another game to start kids off on. This is a great game for teaching adding up. Despite popular myths, practising counting to 100 is not very beneficial. On the other hand, learning to move a token four spots on a board is great for learning to add up. If you have two pieces of fruit and you need four in total, how many more do you need?

Junior Monopoly (available online for $25) is another game which is great for teaching adding up. Don’t be put off by the adult version. This game goes for 10 to 15 min and is enjoyable even for parents.

Sequence for Kids (available online for $30) is good for recognising patterns.

Ages 7  to 10

Tile Rummy / RummyO (available online for $35) is my pick for helping children with Maths. It is a tile version of gin rummy. It teaches patterns and the ability to visualise patterns. If your child can master this game, they will do well at Maths.

Yahtzee (available online for $14) is a fun game that is also great for teaching the times tables.

D.I.N.K. is a relatively unknown card game which is a good bridging game between UNO and card games like 500. Lots of fun.

Ages 10 +

Once your children have spent countless hours playing board games, they can start playing games designed for adults. Once your children reach this stage, you can have great family time playing games.

My current all time favourite game is Splendor (available online for $58). The game goes for 30 to 45 min. While the rules are straight forward, it is good for developing strategies. If your child can sit at a table and concentrate on a non digital activity for 45 minutes, then this will give them a huge advantage when they are at school. Being able to concentrate for long periods is very important if you want your children to do well at school.

Another great game is Ticket to Ride (available online for $68). Once again it goes for 30 to 45 minutes. It teaches children to add up double digit figures in their head. After playing this game every day for three months, my youngest son’s teacher wanted to know what we were doing at home that had caused a huge improvement in his mathematics in such a short time.

I am going to end with a card game. Card games are great for teaching probability. I met a guy who set the odds for Rugby and Golf for a large betting organisation. He told me growing up he spent long periods playing cards (mostly cribbage) with his Grandmother. He agreed that this is what made him so good at what he does now. The game I recommend is Rickety Kate (also known as Up and Down the River). Can be played with three to six players and is an awesome social game.

 If your child plays lot of these type of games, they will find Maths B a lot easier to understand when they get to year 11. If your child is more interested in word games, Scrabble and Upwords are good games.

Article by Roland Taylor (Director and State Manager at Statewide Family Law)



Cairns Adventist College has been providing quality, private Christian education for students from all sectors of the community for over 65 years. Located in Gordonvale on 26 acres of lush schoolgrounds fringed by towering mountains and cane fields, the college has a true family-style atmosphere that both students and parents alike have grown to love.

Cairns Adventist College is dedicated to its students achieving their full academic potential. The college is small but mighty, meaning classes are small, averaging 18 students each – with the school itself having less than 100 students.

The school is staffed by qualified, dedicated and innovative teachers. Key learning areas include English, Mathematics, Biblical Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences, Technologies, Health and Physical Education, The Arts, LOTE (Auslan) and Science. Technology is integrated within the curriculum, with all students having access to computers to help prepare them for a future of promising careers.

Outside of their usual exciting lessons, throughout the year students participate in swimming lessons at Gordonvale swimming pool, school camp for Years 5 and 6, fun excursions, cooking yummy meals together and working as a class in the school’s vegetable gardens. Various swimming, athletics and cross-country sport carnivals occur throughout the year, offering opportunities for students to compete.

The student catchment area has a wide range, extending from Holloways Beach in the North to Babinda in the South and Yarrabah to the East. A fleet of four school buses provide safe transport for students to and from school, with door to door service providing parents with peace of mind that their child is in safe hands at all times.

The school offers low fees as well as discounts on tuition fees for Centrelink card holders. Sibling discounts are also available – with the fourth child attending for free.

While they are a Christian college and welcome families of all denominations, they also cater for families with no religious affiliation. Everyone is welcome, and they would love to meet you and your child and show you a tour of the premises. Get in touch today and discover what opportunities Cairns Adventist College can offer your child.




Peer pressure refers to doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do for the purpose of feeling accepted by your peers. It may influence teenagers to dress a certain way, listen to the same music or have a similar hairstyle as their friends. However, it can also influence them negatively, pushing them to drink alcohol, skip class, take drugs or engage in sexual activities when they may not want to.

Peer pressure can be direct, as in someone telling you what to do. However, it can also be indirect; for instance, your group of friends might do certain activities together that you’re unlikely to do outside of the group. It’s also common to put pressure on yourself in order to fit in.

A big part of going through adolescence is discovering who you are. It’s normal for teens to compare themselves to their peers as they consider how they wish to be, or they simply want to feel included.

You can help your child manage peer pressure by building up their confidence, keeping lines of communication open, suggesting ways to say no and giving them a way out by letting them know you can always come pick them up if they’re feeling uncomfortable.



Dear Matt, How does BYOD work?

The world is constantly changing, and technology is a big part of it. We are unknowingly preparing our children for jobs that don’t even exist yet! Schools need to keep up with this ever-changing world, which is why the BYOD has been introduced in many schools nationwide.

What is BYOD?

BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device”, an education scheme that allows students to bring their own device to school for learning purposes. It’s an exciting initiative that a growing number of Australian schools are taking part in, encouraging the use of technology in classrooms. Students use their device to research topics, complete assignments, use apps, design artwork, create presentations and much more; the possibilities are endless.

What devices does BYOD include?

Devices included in the BYOD scheme usually include tablets, laptops and 2-in-1 computers. You can complete the package with a keyboard and mouse, protective case and antivirus software. To make it suitable for school, your child’s device should have key features such as six hours (or more) of battery life, dual-band Wi-Fi, a minimum 10” screen and a weight of less than 1.6kg.

Guidelines for the BYOD program differ per school, and with so many products on the market, making the right choice can be overwhelming. At Harvey Norman, we have an enormous variety of devices all under one roof, one of which will be perfect for your child. We also offer student insurance plans, so if anything goes wrong with the machine, or if they lose it or break it, it’s replaced.

We can even help customise a device specific to your child and their school, so you don’t have to buy from the school if you don’t want to. With extensive retail experience, a huge range of devices, expert advice in-store and online, competitive pricing and hassle-free payment options, we’d be more than happy to assist.

Feel free to call us or pop in-store to have a chat.

a Cnr Heaths Rd and Bruce Highway, Mackay



Marcelle Foster

Good Counsel College, Innisfail

“My job is in vocational educational and careers. In year 10 our students do a work experience program – they write resumes, conduct interviews, go to work experience, then use these experiences to help them choose subjects for Year 11 and 12. I try to encourage students to think outside the box”

PakMag: Why do you love being the vocational education and careers teacher?
Marcelle: “I can think of a student who was disengaged with schoolwork, but ended up doing a certificate course that led into the mining industry. Since then they’ve had so many opportunities within the mines, and is being held up as an example in the job. It is such a reward to see the kids become what they set out to do.”

PakMag: Where were you born?
Marcelle: Zimbabwe

PakMag: How long have you been teaching?
Marcelle: 36 years!

PakMag: Most inspiring memory of being a teacher?
Marcelle: I taught in a little remote South African school and it became dual language (African and English).


Jacqui Jackson

St Therese’s School

“I had amazing teachers that changed my life by how inspiring they were – they gave me the belief in myself that the sky’s the limit. I am now in the privileged position to help inspire children to be the best version of themselves. There are not many jobs that you can do that. It’s a responsibility and honour”.

PakMag: If you had one wish for students what would
it be?
Jacqui: I want all our students to develop a life-long belief that you can do anything you put your mind to and that we aren’t perfect at everything straight way – it’s OK and good to make mistakes, that is how we learn.

PakMag: Where were you born?
Jacqui: England

PakMag: What’s your favourite food?
Jacqui: Antipasto

PakMag: What your favourite subject to teach?
Jacqui: English, because I love working with children and helping them develop a love of reading and watching them develop as they learn.


Megan Jackson

St Thomas’s School

Megan loves teaching science and maths. Along with her colleague, Viola Heath, Megan has been running a lunch time and after school STEM and Robotics Club. Each term has a different focus. Our students choose what interests them – whether it is an Engineering and Maths focus, Technology, Arts, or Science focus.

Megan tells PakMag “The enthusiasm from students is catching. For Technology we investigated how boats and catapults worked and kids designed, built and tested them. During the Arts focus we used a green screen and made videos, movies and animations. In Science we had fun conducting different experiments. I notice how well students worked together and drew on each other’s strengths.”

PakMag: Why did you become a teacher?
Megan: I wanted to join the Navy, to do this I had to get a university degree, and I loved teaching so much so that the Navy idea fell to the wayside. I got hooked on teaching and really never gave the Navy another thought.

PakMag: Where were you born? Megan: Brisbane
PakMag: How long have you been teaching? Megan: 12 years.


Kirsten Young

MacKillop Catholic College

“The best thing about being a teacher is watching them in the early years – watching their social skills, grow, watching them develop friendships, provoking their imagination and inspiring them, pushing them to be creative and independent little learners. I take my role seriously, but I like to have fun with the kids and make sure they love learning. I also love teaching PE. I take the kids out for games as part of their learning; it helps with our lessons as well as building their fine and gross motor abilities.”

PakMag: What song represents your life right now?
Kristen: “Shotgun – summer is certainly here, and I love relaxing in the sun!”

PakMag: What were you like as a student?
Kirsten: “My mum was a teacher at the primary school so I was goodie two shoes. I was always worried if I got into trouble at school that I would have double the trouble when I got home!”

PakMag: What’s the best thing about being a teacher?
Kirsten: Watching, especially in the early years. I love watching their social skills grow. I love watching them develop little friendships, provoking their imagination, inspiring and encouraging them to be creative and independent little learners. And kids say hilarious things which makes my day.


Kim Hall

Freshwater Christian College

“I recall seeing the look on a Year 12 student’s face, when I told them I remember them singing me a particular song in Grade 6. I love the relationships that you form with the students during the course of the year and finding out what makes them tick. There are two subjects I (particularly) love to teach. Literacy, because I am a Word Nerd and I am passionate about sharing my nerdiness. Secondly, I love teaching Science. I love doing the hands-on investigations and hearing all the ‘oohs, aahs and wows.’ It’s also really something when an experiment draws out more questions than it answers.”

PakMag: What were you like as a student?
Kim: “I thought about nothing but music, playing it and listening to it. So, now I can relate to kids whose heads are full of Fortnite”.

PakMag: Where were you born?
Kim: “Hornsby, New South Wales”.

PakMag: What is your favourite food?
Kim: “Fajitas. My husband makes the best fajitas outside of Mexico”.

PakMag: Why did you become a teacher?
Kim: I can’t really answer that. I just know I always wanted to teach. I was one of those kids who always taught to a room of invisible children, from when I was knee-high.




Back to school anxiety is very common around this time of year, with the new school year on the horizon. Listen, empathise, identify, reassure – What is the actual worry/fear? Be empathetic (I understand…), identify (I remember feeling … too), reassure (I will help you).

Positive talk

Tell your child how great and strong they are. Remind them of other times they felt nervous or anxious, or a previous time they experienced back to school anxiety, and how they got through it. Be positive yourself, do not show you are worried or anxious about them. Show them you totally believe in them and their ability to go to school and enjoy themselves.

Plan together

Involve your child in planning the routine, lunches to pack and things to do after school. Help them pack their bag and get clothes ready for the morning.

Practise runs to school

Wake up early, breakfast, dress and drive to school.

Go with a friend

If your child has a friend going to the same school, try and go together for the first couple of weeks.

Follow a routine

Same meal times, bed times, wake up times and leave times.


Take deep breaths. Picture something funny like a funny movie. Smile big – it tricks the brain and changes the way you feel. Learn tapping – it instantly calms and relieves negative emotions.