Understand what is being asked of them - Each major work has set requirements and a marking criteria. Ask your child to share this information with you. Alternatively, you can access the criteria from the Board of Studies Website. This information is generally available in the Assessment and Reporting documentation. (See links provided below.) Speak to your child about what is required and help them develop a written plan of attack or a to-do checklist.
Provide them with opportunities for creative inspiration - Each major work challenges students to think creatively and critically. However, creative inspiration and ideas are not easy to come by and can be difficult to muster particularly in times of stress. Take your child to the theatre, an art gallery, a concert, museum or even on a simple bush walk. This will trigger new ideas and refresh the brain for creative inspiration.
Help them create a project work area - Ideally it would be great if your child had a designated space in which they could work and leave their project. If the work is consistently laid out students will be more inclined to stop and ponder as they walk by. A designated space can also save time particularly in the design process. You could even encourage your child to create a vision board full of visual ideas and inspiration to hang in this space.
Speak to them about their work - Show an interest and encourage them to share their ideas with you. Ask them questions about their work to stimulate their thought process. If you see a problem with their plan provide them with critical feedback…. but approach it gently!!! Using the phrases “I like” and “I wonder” can be a subtle way to affirm their work and give suggestions. Eg. I like how you have used texture in this design. However, I wonder if the colours you have chosen could be more vibrant. Many major works include a portfolio or logbook. If they are willing, ask them to share it with you. Reading their portfolio or logbook could give you some great starting points for discussion
Encourage them to set time aside during the week to work on their project without interruptions - Help them find a set time where they can work uninterrupted each week for an hour or two on their project. Having a large block of time to really immerse themselves in the process is important if they are to make adequate progress. If possible, ensure this time is uninterrupted by occupying siblings or reducing noise in the house.
Love them - Most importantly they need you to love them through the process. They will get stressed, they will get tired and they will want to give up. In these moments reassure them that you love them no matter what. Make them a cup of tea, bake them brownies, give them a pep talk, generate laughter in the house, watch a movie together and most importantly forgive them when they take their stress out on you
…because in the end their mark doesn’t matter, they do.
Design and Technology
Society and Culture