From the Principal
I write at the end of Term 4 with a number of emotions at the forefront of my mind. Chief amongst them is pride, excitement, sadness and gratitude, and I would like to deal with each of these things in turn in this article.
At the end of my first year as Principal of this wonderful College, I am hugely proud of the great progress that as a College we have made in 2017 – a year of natural change and adjustment.
This has been a big year for the College, with much being achieved. As examples, we have undertaken significant building works on both campuses ready for 2018 and begun landscaping works on Secondary. We continue to grow, completing the year 46 enrolments above the budgeted prediction. We have also launched a rebranded marketing campaign with reach into new areas of the Greater Springfield locality and into the Greater Brisbane regions, reflecting our ambition to be recognised for excellence more widely than just locally. We have hosted three highly successful open days, have produced a College Musical, redeveloped our scholarship program, written a Strategic Plan and Built Environment Master Plan, outlining our intentions for the next 5 years, which will be released in the new year, and had over 100 sporting teams competing across a variety of competitions and with 8 premierships in GBC sports and other competitions to their names.
Improving teaching and learning outcomes has also been a significant focus this year, and one of the most significant things that we have undertaken in 2017 is an audit and review of our curriculum and the way we teach through the Strengthening Academic Outcomes Working Group. Led expertly by Dean of Curriculum Wendy Jurss, this work has resulted in the design and launch of a new TSAC Learner Framework, to ensure a consistent and developmental learning journey for all students across their College experience.
The implementation of that Framework, and the resulting new curricular emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy, will be rolled out in 2018 and beyond.
That emphasis has also borne immediate fruit, and I am delighted to inform you of the wonderful QCS results achieved by TSAC Year 12 students this year, and which are summarised in the table below against results achieved by students in other Queensland schools, state and independent:
These results, which are the best in the College’s history, are a great credit to our hard working and departing Year 12 students, to our teachers and to Wendy Jurss, Dean of Curriculum, for their hard work in preparing them.
As you can see, 2017 certainly has been busy. In summary we have played, danced and sung; camped, canoed and cooked; we have built robots, climbed mountains and made friends; we have raced, we have played and we have swum, we have stadium stomped and cheered on the reds, we have paraded, we have assembled and we have celebrated … it has certainly been an action filled year.
Another of my emotions is the anticipation for realising the plans we have for 2018 and beyond, for which we have been actively preparing this year and which will result in exciting projects such as delivering on the new focus on teaching and learning, an increased emphasis on Student Care, particularly with the introduction of the Head of Clan system and vertical forms on Secondary which will ensure that students are at their happiest and most safe and free to concentrate on being successful, a fourth stream of Year 7 classes for the first time ever at the College, new roles for our College student leaders, an increased spotlight on serving others, the introduction of a perennial intercollegiate sporting event, occupying our new and modified buildings, and much more.
Whilst I won’t deny that I am looking forward to a holiday like all of the staff, I will also confess to a great deal of excitement at the thoughts of being back in the office in January, ready for a new year.
Of course, in any school, the fun and excitement of the end of the year is tinged by sadness as we say farewell to some staff and students.
We are very lucky at TSAC in that we are able to retain our teaching staff, however circumstances often dictate that some individuals seek new challenges elsewhere or relocate.
As 2017 draws to an end, I am sad to say a goodbye on behalf of the whole College to the hard working staff named below:
- Josie Yarham, who leaves us to return to parish work
- Jo Matthews, who is relocating with her family to the Sunshine Coast
- Simone Porthouse, who is relocating with her family to Victoria
- Grier Elliot, who is taking 12 months’ leave
- Theresa Ashton, Creative Arts Administration Assistant, who is changing careers to work in aged care
- Tracey Palmer, Kindergarten Teacher Aide, who is taking 12 months’ leave
- Charlene Li, who comes to the end of her 12-month contract
- Alex Dyall and Laura Spatney who will not be not be returning to the College in 2018 after having 12-months leave in 2017
As a staff, we will be offering a farewell to each of these colleagues, but I would also like to share here my great thanks to them for their service and commitment to the betterment of the experiences of thousands of TSAC families.
I know that you will join me in wishing them all well in their future endeavours.
Equally, we say goodbye to some students at the end of this year, including our graduating Year 12s. To those departing, on behalf of the whole College I wish you well and hope that you will not be a stranger to our community. My great thanks for all that you have done for the College.
Lastly, I would like to offer some thanks.
Firstly, to the staff of the College for all of their enormous hard work. They certainly have earned a break.
Secondly, to the students who have worked hard and reached for success this year – I hope you have had a rewarding experience, and that you enjoy your break.
Lastly, I would like to offer my thanks to our parents. In some cases, that thanks is for the time you have spent this year in supporting our efforts to improve the experiences for your children. This may take the form of being on a committee, helping at a function or driving children to and from events. But my thanks to you is also for the confidence and trust you have placed in the College with your child’s education. It is not a responsibility that we take lightly, and I look forward to rewarding that trust further in 2018 as the College goes from strength to strength.
To all TSAC students, family and staff, may your Christmas season be filled with joy and God’s richest blessing as you enjoy some precious family time over the break.