College Principal’s Report
Our March newsletter comes at the end of a busy term. I am so pleased about how our students have approached this term, and at the progress that we have made over the first stage of the year. Our focus on a positive school climate and calm and orderly learning environment continues. Our high expectations of students being on time for class are being maintained across the term. We have also seen improved adherence to our uniform policy, routines to start and finish the week and new academic processes at Senior Campus, such as students sitting catch-up assessments in the Study Centre. These positive changes have required persistence from all our staff and students, and I am proud to say that it is starting to pay dividends and become more and more embedded in our school’s culture, which is great news. Thinking ahead to next term, I would like families to reflect on maximising attendance for Term 2. We have more than 120 students who have not missed a day of school this term so far – an amazing effort! Approximately 75 % of our students have missed between 1 and 10 days. Of course, there are many reasons for these absences but every day at school counts and I would love for us to reduce this figure going forwards.
I would like to congratulate all of our Year 7 and Year 9 students for their engagement with the recent NAPLAN tests – we have had the highest participation rate ever and this is an amazing effort. NAPLAN is ultimately ‘just a test’ but I think that the positive attitude to completing it also reflects an indicator of positive engagement with learning more generally. I look forward to sharing our NAPLAN results. I encourage our senior students to have a well-earned break over the holidays, but also to use this time to reflect and get organised for the busy term ahead. I was able to speak with our Year 11 and 12 students recently at an assembly – they are going really well. I know that maintaining stamina during this period is hard but we have every confidence in them – they have got this!
Student Agency Conferences were held last week. The level of engagement with Student Agency Conferences in general was lower than we expected, with approximately 38% of families making at least one booking. We would like to see this figure be much higher and are keen to hear your feedback to better understand what would help you to engage with this important process. The ongoing home / school partnership is important in our focus on improving outcomes for students across the College and we welcome feedback in this area at any time. Our showcase Night was held this week, and this is the first step in this partnership. we had an excellent turnout, and it was great to see so much interest in our school, and to see so many students there supporting the event. At the other end of the college, we will be holding a Senior Campus Information evening for Year 10 and Year 11 families on Monday 3 March to assist families to understand senior pathways and how best to support students in this stage of their studies. This event will be live-streamed, and I hope to see many families there.
There are a number of upgrades occurring on both campuses to improve facilities for staff and students. This includes improved AV equipment in the SC gym, more seating and recreations options for students, and also the refurbishment of teaching spaces. A Student Engagement centre is being created at MY Campus and this will be an ongoing and very positive project. Our Performing Arts Centre is progressing well at the Middle Years Campus: The completion date is still February 2024, and it will be fantastic to see the theatre rise up out of the ground over the next few months.
Finally, I was able to attend a community function at Mill Park Library this week to acknowledge Harmony Week – celebrating the diversity in our multicultural community. I am so proud of our students and staff because we reflect this richness and see it every day. I have been really pleased that we have been able to support our Muslim students to pray at school during Ramadan and it has been great to see how respectful these students have been. I know that we are also coming up to other major religious festivals including Easter, which many members of our school community will celebrate at different times depending on their background. Our students have been proactive in this space – today many of our middle years students have come to school wearing cultural dress, showing such pride in their backgrounds. I know we will continue to be stronger together and grow together as a learning community.