- Mrs. Sue Simadri
Welcome to 2019!
We warmly welcome our Year 7 cohort, and the many new students, including international students, who have joined us across the school this year. We trust that your time at Westall will be rewarding and enjoyable.
College Photos and ID Cards
Two weeks ago, our students and staff had their photos taken for use within the school. Photos should now be available online for families to purchase as individual photos or a photo pack.
As a number of students were absent on the day, a second photo day will be organised for Term 2; at this time, we will also schedule the group photos, including, international students and the various student leadership teams.
Individual photos will also be used for ID cards for every student. These cards can be used for photo ID purposes, as well as, public transport concession cards, right up until March 2020. For VCE students, they serve as the photo ID for exams. Payment for the student ID card is included in the school fees or it can be purchased separately for $10.
Year 7 Immunisations
The City of Kingston Immunisation Team were at the school earlier this week to administer the first dose of the Year 7 School Immunisation Program to Year 7 students. Students who did not have their consent form or were absent on the day, can have their immunisation at local centres through the course of this term; please see the attached for dates and centres.
Compass is the Learning Management System that we use at Westall. Attendance, assessment, communication, notification of excursions and events, booking interviews, are some of what is available through this platform. All parents/guardians are able to access Compass with a unique username and password. It is really important that parents and carers are able to login in and monitor their child’s attendance and progress. If you are unable to do so for whatever reason, please contact the school. If you have not as yet logged in, we encourage you to log in as soon as possible and begin using the system, so that you become comfortable with navigating Compass.
Real Time Reporting
As of this year, Westall is moving to Ongoing or Real Time Reporting. This means that teachers will provide feedback on your child’s progress and achievements at various stages in the semester, which allows for the student and the family to address issues and make changes prior to the end of semester. Teachers have collaborated over several months to prepare a series of Common Assessment Tasks (CATs) and Rubrics for all subjects in Year 7 to 10.
As a result, our semester reports will no longer include written comments from teachers; instead, they will consist of a set of grades for student learning behaviours and achievement on the CATs (or SACs in VCE), as well as the Victorian Curriculum standards that the student is at.
More and more, Compass is becoming our one-stop-shop. I strongly recommend that parents begin using this platform, if you are not currently doing so. The college can provide support, as and when needed; please ring 9546 3233.
Progress Reports and Parent Teacher Interviews
We are past the halfway mark of Term 1, and, teachers are completing a variety of assessments to gauge your child’s progress. Their feedback will be communicated to you via the Term 1 Progress Reports, which will be available to parents in the first week of Term 2. Please note that the reports will be posted on Compass; printed hard copies will be not be issued.
Parent Teacher Interviews will be conducted on Tuesday, 30th April, from 3 – 6pm. This is a great opportunity for parents to meet their child’s teachers and to find out how he/she is really doing. Compass online bookings are preferred (instructions will be included in the next newsletter).
Textbooks and BYOD
In order to make suitable progress, it is critical that students are equipped with the right textbooks and stationary. It appears that a large number of students are still attending classes without the required items. If this is due to disorganisation on the student’s part, please assist them in developing strong habits by employing simple strategies, such as, checking their timetable and packing their bag the night before. If your child does not have textbooks due to financial reasons, please get in touch with their year level coordinator so that measures can be put in place to ensure that your child has access to material.
Similarly, students must have a BYO device to bring to their classes. Teachers in most subjects are using technology to enhance teaching and learning, which means that students without a BYOD will miss out on certain opportunities. The school does have netbooks that students can borrow, however, these are not always reliable. As Westall moves to using Compass a lot more, students will be submitting work online, checking for work set by their teachers, as well as reflecting on their learning. Please note that all BYO devices are the responsibility of the student. They must be transported in a proper carry case and secured in the locker during break times.
It’s Not OK to be Away!
Daily school attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they don’t fall behind both socially and developmentally. Children and young people who regularly attend school and complete Year 12, or an equivalent qualification, have better health outcomes, better employment outcomes, and higher incomes across their lives. It is important that children develop habits of regular attendance at an early age.
To minimize disruption to your child’s education, please make all appointments outside school hours and DO NOT book family holidays during the school terms.
Families are reminded that all students should be in full summer uniform this term. Please see attached for the College Uniform Policy, which is also available for reference in the student diary. Thank you to all families for your continued support in ensuring that your children are in the appropriate gear for school.
Please note the following:
- Summer dresses are to be worn with above ankle or knee-high socks, not stockings or tights or pants. PSW, the uniform store, now has tailored pants for girls.
- Scarves are part of the winter uniform, and cannot be worn in Terms 1 or 4.
- Non-obvious make-up is fine, however, students wearing excessive make-up will be asked to remove it.
Students have had the holidays to get themselves organised, and as such, coordinators will be sending home students who are out of uniform.