News from the Principal
Dear Westall Secondary College Community,
Beginning in Headstart (Monday 3rd, December and into 2019), we will commence our new junior school structure, where each student’s level of Literacy will inform their groupings in the timetable and classes. The rationale behind this decision is to ensure that each student’s Literacy development is our number one focus. The new structure will reduce the variability of students’ Literacy levels in classes across all domains, thereby complementing our Explicit Direct Instruction model of teaching, and allowing teachers to utilise specific Literacy and EAL strategies within the classroom.
All students in Year 7 and 8 (current Grade 6 and Year 7 students) for 2019, have now completed a comprehensive Literacy assessment. The students have been split into 2 groups, with each group having a mix of Year 7 and 8 students taught together for English and Maths. This means English and Maths classes are now grouped around similar ability rather than being split into a separate Year 7 group and Year 8 group. This supports us to ensure every student is taught at the right level. Students needing extra support are given that, others at the expected level are taught accordingly, and those above level are challenged and extended further. All other subjects will continue to be run as separate Year 7 and Year 8 classes.
This initiative has been planned for over 2 years now and we are confident this will further support literacy and numeracy growth for every student. Achieving above expected growth in literacy and numeracy has been a target for us over the last 4 years. Please see the report at the end of this newsletter that shows the success our school has had with this. The report categorises us as an “INFLUENCE” school. This is the highest of the 5 performance categories.
We really are kicking big goals as a school now and achieving outstanding results. Literacy and Numeracy growth continue to be key targets in our next 4 year Strategic Plan. This new initiative across Year 7 and 8 in English and Maths for 2019 will allow our students to further flourish and promote a culture of excellence.
In regards to excellence, at the end of this month, we celebrate all students who are graduating their current year level and commencing their new year level from Monday 3rd December. We also especially celebrate and recognise our top achievers. On Thursday evening, 29th November, from 6.30pm at the Clayton Church of Christ, we have our Formal presentation and Graduation evening for current Year 12 students, and our top achievers at each other year level. We would love to see as many parents, siblings, aunts, uncles etc. as possible, come along to this event.
On the following day at school, Friday 30th November, 10.15am to 11.30am, we have our final whole school assembly to recognise a range of award winners and top students in each subject, at each year level. Again, parent attendance and involvement is welcomed. I look forward to presenting to our students at both of these events and recognising both academic excellence and personal best.
Please note that Tuesday 20th November is a Student Free (Curriculum) Day, to support staff in finalising 2018 assessments and reports, and planning Headstart and 2019 programs.
Until next time!
Mr. Tristan Lanarus