Principal Team Report
On Thursday 22 and Friday 23 August, Marianne Lee, Sandra Greenhill and I attended the Riversdale Inner East Network Principals’ conference. This is a valuable opportunity to professionally network and collaborate with our colleagues in the inner east region, and continue our professional development as educators within our community. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr Paul Browning, Headmaster of St. Paul’s School in Brisbane. Paul is passionate about successful leadership and its effect on school culture, and led us through a series of often thought-provoking and challenging exercises designed around the title ‘Compelling Leadership’. We reflected on the importance of trust in our organisations, the role of empathetic listening, the critical decision-making process and most importantly, the role of values underpinning every action in our learning communities. The underlying message of the sessions was the significance of the role of trust and relationships within our College.
This was a neat and timely segue from our college professional learning day last Thursday, when all staff at Koonung unpacked our 'Student attitudes to school survey' data with the aim of listening, understanding and responding to our students’ concerns. The theme of the day was positive education and how we interact with our students every day, in order to keep them feeling safe and supported. Our Directors of Learning, Middle and Senior School, Allira Howe and Conor Sheehan, confidently facilitated the analysis of our data and possible directions forward in developing strong, positive relationships between staff, students and parents. Director of Learning - Student Enhancement, Michael Oaten, had staff actively engaged in dialogue and trialling activities that we use in our Positive Classroom program and Kylie Poppins led a thought-provoking session based on the work of Brene Brown on shame and vulnerability.
This session then came full circle this Tuesday, when Director of Learning - Engagement and Leadership, Peter Hodkinson, along with the college leaders, ran a strongly attended student focus group on student motivation, the results of which will be shared with staff next week. Student voice and agency are crucial drivers of our teaching and learning program and we are passionate about listening to the concerns and opinions of our young people.
Briefly, in other news around Koonung:
- We’re excited to report that the first project meeting for our $6.05m rebuild will be held next Tuesday, at which the process for master planning will begin.
- Last week the Science Domain thrilled students with activities and events to celebrate Science Week, the highlight of which was a Kahootz challenge between staff and students, at which our students emerged victorious.
- Next week is our Division Athletics at which around 140 of our students will be competing for a place in the subsequent Zone competition.
- Staff and students have also generously donated much time and enthusiasm to various activities around the College, including Art Space, ‘So you think you can dance’, the karaoke singing competition, chess club, library games and the list continues indefinitely.
- To elaborate on Art Space, Technology teacher Kirby Sens led over 50 students at a lunchtime session creating environmentally friendly, beeswax lunch wrap.
We are more than proud of the many extra-curricular opportunities provided for our students at Koonung!