From the Principal
Teaching and Learning
At the 2017 Night of Celebration, you may have heard me refer to the ways in which, as Principal of this wonderful College, I ‘speak out of both sides of my mouth’ by simultaneously championing our wonderful holistic education, refer to our emphasis on high quality Student Care and acknowledge that Teaching and Learning is our ‘core business.’
How can we offer an education in which we value the development of the whole person and focus on the development of the mind through placing academics at the centre of our business?
The answer is, of course, because these things are symbiotic – educational research is clear and abundant that those students who are provided with experiences which are rich in sporting, creative and other activities, and who have an environment that is inclusive, safe and relaxing in which to work, are those students who achieve their potential in the classroom.
We are committed to our holistic education, simply, because we know that doing so enhances our students’ learning potential and because it is crucial to our mission to shape young people who are curious, active and compassionate.
Our 2017 Year 12 results were excellent across the board, and clearly demonstrated that we can provide rich learning experiences for all of our students. The fact that 100% of our Year 12s earned a QCE, 76% of them left the College with an additional qualification in the form of a vocational certificate or diploma, and that we had the best OP results in our history clearly reflect the strength of our diversity – for those students who want to pursue an academic stream and study at university, we can provide for their needs, and for those students who want to enter the workplace, we have the course access and expertise to provide for them too. This year, with an added emphasis on entrepreneurialism through Enterprise and Business, we are also providing more experiences for those students who may wish to go into business for themselves.
For 2018 and onwards, we will continue to focus on Teaching and Learning and a hold to our firm commitment to helping your children achieve their best, regardless of the level of academic standard they are working at. We want students to set goals, strive for excellence and better themselves, and in this article I would like to provide overview of the new strategies we are using to achieve that, outlined below, and which are in addition to the excellent work which the College has been doing for many years in Vocational Pathways, Learning Enhancement, Academic Mentoring and Learning Analytics.
Fundamental to success across the curriculum is high levels of literacy for students. This year we have introduced a Literacy Strategy to assist in this. On the Primary Campus, the introduction of an uninterrupted morning literacy block emphasises the importance we place on these vital skills. During this time, students are immersed in a range of literacy activities that focus on the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Teachers work with students to set individual learning goals and ensure that each student is provided with clearly articulated feedback.
On the Secondary campus, students from Year 8 – 10 are all involved in the Literacy Pro Program, where they are set individual reading goals and have texts selected for their individual interests and reading levels. A strong focus has also been placed on the development of students’ abilities in writing, based on specific criteria for all subject areas.
Our teachers on both campuses, in keeping with our understanding that Literacy is a cross curricular skill, have received Literacy training.
New to the College for 2018 is Ms Catherine Gray, in her role as Coordinator of Academic Extension. Catherine’s role is twofold, firstly in assisting our classroom teachers in ensuring that the learning they are offering in lessons is challenging, and secondly that we have meaningful extension activities on offer for our most gifted students. Already Catherine has begun work on preparing pre-university courses for eligible students, and she has also begun the process of developing holistic identification processes, involving the collation of school based information and standardised testing data, so that we have an evidence base to ensure that no student with academic gifts goes unrecognised.
I hope that 2018 will present a wonderful series of learning experiences for your child, and that he or she is productive and successful in meeting the challenges they set for themselves. I am confident that the new strategies outlined above will assist in this.
We also have an excellent teaching staff who have a genuine desire to help your child, and I encourage you to have ongoing dialogue with them about their progress.