From time to time, word filters back to me from the wider community that Warrnambool College is a school largely focused on sport. I understand where this perception comes from – we have numerous sporting academies operating throughout the week, we have a sporting pathway program embedded in the curriculum that over 100 students are involved in and we have hundreds of students that make it all the way through to state finals in their chosen sport each year. There certainly is a lot of sport that students participate in at our school, and this is to be celebrated as being physically active is extremely important throughout adolescence and hopefully sets up healthy patterns for the rest of life. Participating in sport also provides plenty of practice for our school values – persistence, resilience and mutual respect.
However there is so much more to our school that brings a smile to my face each day. We now have academies for Chess, Drawing, Food and Music. ‘Homework Club’ on Wednesdays nights has more than 100 students and various staff involved on a weekly basis. Language learning this year has taken our Indonesian speaking students to Melbourne and our French speaking students to France this year. Students engage in product design projects during the week, including our recently established ‘Chicken Coop’ project. Our multi-cultural leadership group meets weekly and has engaged in community art projects in Warrnambool. Hands on Learning students are constantly finding new ways to practically contribute to our school and the Warrnambool community. The ideas unfurled event last week showed off our incredible student artistic skills. Our student leadership teams met yesterday and went through progress against their yearly goals for 2018, planning the next steps for second semester. The musical production of ‘Strictly Ballroom’ rehearsals are enthusiastically attended and progress towards what will be a stunning performance in term 3. Students are also dancing their way through Presentation Ball rehearsals on a weekly basis. I could go on – I’m missing so many ways in which our staff and students contribute to wide and varied fabric of success at our school.
I do want to focus on three examples of students thriving throughout this past week. Despite some of the worst weather you’ll come across in Warrnambool, last Friday the MiVCE students showed incredible resilience in hosting the Colour Fun Run after school to raise money for the local fires appeal. When the rain was pouring down throughout the day, they could have easily given up. In seeing the event through to the end they learnt so many lessons and I’m proud of their persistence. On Wednesday night this week, I had the privilege of sitting in the audience and hearing the incredible progress of the year 7 SEAL concert band. I have no idea how our music staff were able to craft together so many musical numbers from this class in only 16 weeks of learning. It was simply incredible to witness. Then Thursday during lunch I was invited to the Café Culture class ‘High Tea’. The attention to detail to the sweet and savoury morsels was amazing and the way the students created a café culture of order taking and providing drinks with the delicacies was a delight to share in. I am bounding into the weekend full of joy for the effort that our staff and students put in each day.
I hope that you also regularly notice the vast array of skills that your student displays in and out of school. Ultimately education is about developing the whole child, and this is something that we take great pride in supporting at Warrnambool College.