Principal Team Report
A quick glance at the Koonung calendar this month reveals that there is a plethora of opportunities for our staff, parents and students to come together, socialise and make connections with members of the wider community.
Commencing with the “Avengers:Endgame” movie at the Balwyn Palace Cinema, our student leaders hosted a fundraising evening to raise money for backpacks to support the homeless during these cold winter nights. Pre show snacks sustained the audience during the movie as the packed theatre watched the Avengers super heroes save the universe. Even this non super-hero fan enjoyed the show and was able to recognise most of the main protagonists. The opportunity to host events such as this creates significant organisational challenges, and it is great to see our young people collaborating so effectively to ensure that the night was such a success.
Mother's Day Breakfast
Following on from the movie night was our PFA run “Mother's Day Breakfast”. Carrying on the theme of superheroes, our students were provided with the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the amazing efforts made by mothers the world over to support the next generation to flourish. Once again the PFA outdid themselves. The decision was made to move to the Senior Centre this year as previously the Middle Years Centre has struggled to accommodate the crowds. The larger venue was creatively transformed overnight by our tireless parents, who provided photo booths, acknowledgement boards, gifts, door prizes and an amazing spread of food to celebrate our mothers. Tara Payne, mother of Sammy and Rory Spicer, was our MC and handed over to each of our student leaders to share their reflections on their own mothers. The students spoke with clarity, passion and humour about the characteristics of their own mothers. There were many tears in the room as we were all able to relate to the stories told by each student and at times the struggles that they have faced. On behalf of all members of the Koonung community, I would like to thank the PFA for their work to ensure that this event enabled us to celebrate the true meaning of Mother's Day.
This week the College will host our Multicultural night, a chance to celebrate and acknowledge our cultural diversity with a range of food and entertainment. Multicultural night has now established itself as a key event on our calendar. Coordinated by our International team, we aim to bring together parents and students from a range of ethnic groups. Led by our International Student Captains, there will be speeches, music and dance. We encourage families from all ethnic groups to embrace this opportunity to share a little about themselves and the things that are culturally significant to you. If you miss this opportunity this year, please look out for it in 2020.
Parent Opinion Survey and Attitude to School Survey
Many of these events have grown in response to information that parents and students provide the College each year via our Parent Opinion Survey and the Attitude to School Survey (AtoSS). Over the next three weeks every student will be asked to participate in the AtoSS. The information provided in this survey is incredibly valuable to support us when planning our future directions. Students respond to questions regarding connectedness, bullying, staff and student relationships, and teaching and learning to name just a few. Students will complete this survey during their English classes. The data collected is analysed to enable us to gauge the effectiveness of programs that we have implemented and then forms the basis for planning against our improvement cycle.
NAPLAN has also been conducted at Years 7 and 9 this week. For our Year 9 students, this was their first opportunity to sit testing in a more formal exam style set up. The students adapted very quickly to locating their allocated seating and understanding the rigours and expectations of an examination. While we recognise that NAPLAN can create some stress for our students, it too provides valuable benchmark data regarding student achievement over a two year period. As a College we focus on the growth of students both at the individual and cohort level and plan interventions and programs to assist all students to achieve the minimum standard of “one years growth for one year of schooling”.