College Principal’s Report
We have recently seen our ‘Class of 2022’ finish school and commence their study break ahead of exams which for most students began this week on Wednesday 26 October. Our Celebration Day went well and most students (and some staff!) came dressed up and finished off the year in style. I would like to acknowledge all of our Year 12 students, the Year 12 teaching team as well as the Year 12 coordinators, Leadership Team and support staff as we reach this milestone. VCE exams is a period that places pressure on staff and students, but it is also a time to reflect and celebrate with students on what has been achieved. To get to this point in the year is an outstanding effort and we now hope that exams for all of our students go as well as they possibly can.
The beginning of this term has also showcased the creativity of our students through a number of important events: I had the pleasure of attending the Song and Dance night at PRACC during the first week of term and I was able to attend the opening of our Art and Design exhibition this week in the Whittlesea Council Great Hall. The talent, commitment and joy on show in both of these events was inspiring and none of this would have occurred without the commitment and efforts of the Arts Team. I would like to publicly thank them for their efforts. For students to take risks and put themselves in the public sphere and perform, or put their work up for public exhibition is a hugely important thing. I hope you were lucky enough to see our students perform, and if you have not yet viewed the exhibition, I encourage you to have a look over coming days.
In 2023 we are placing an additional investment in time for staff at the college to support the cocurricular Performing Arts program and I look forward to seeing continued growth in this area. The Performing Arts Centre project has now gone out for tender a second time and we await the close of this process in early November. Four contractors attended the tenderers information session and I am hoping that we have a positive outcome. If a contract is awarded out of this process there is the potential that works could commence this year which will be a fantastic result for the school, and a relief as this project has been a long time in the making and it will be god to start!
As a school we are also looking to improve what we are doing to support students engaging in sport and physical recreation. During Term 4 we are piloting an Afterschool Basketball program at the Middle Years Campus. This is being run by Robyn Boyle and so far the attendance and feedback from students has been really positive, which is great to see. I am very grateful to Robyn for her commitment to this program and I encourage students in Years 7 – 9 to come along on Tuesday afternoons in the Gym to see what it is all about. We hope to expand on this program in 2023 and as a school we are interested in your ideas or feedback.
At a classroom level we are currently placing an additional focus on ensuring that students are not using their mobile phones whilst they are at school. The impact of phones at school in terms of distraction, and through creating social issues for students is significant and it has been a challenge to manage this especially after we have returned from remote learning in 2022. It is a Department of Education expectation that students phones are in their lockers and switched off from the first bell to the last bell during the school day. This includes at recess and lunchtime. As a school we appreciate your support with this policy at home especially when phones are confiscated until the end of the day if students are not complying with the expectations. If you need to contact your child during the day please call or email the school rather than calling or messaging the student directly – This makes the process much easier.
Finally, I recently attended the retirement function of former Principal, Trish Horner, on Friday 21 November at the Middle Years Campus. I am pleased that we have been able to hold this function as it gives us the opportunity to celebrate Trish’s contribution to the College and publicly acknowledge her work. There is no doubt that Trish has provided outstanding leadership to the college over an extended period of time. I have thanked her on behalf of the School Council and the school community more broadly, and we wish her all the very best in her retirement.