From the Principals' Desk

No change to learning from home

The Premier has announced that schools will begin to return to normal classes by the end of the month with a Pupil Free Day scheduled for Monday 25 May and classes resuming for Years 11 and 12 students on Tuesday 26 May. Details of the return to normal schedules for students in Years 9 and 10 are still to be clarified and will be conveyed to families as soon as they are known. Until then, the current programs and processes in operation at Nossal will continue. Students should continue to log into their daily Tutorial meetings, (an important element of the school's commitment to wellbeing and mental health) and actively attend and participate in their scheduled classes and other school activities. The school continues to offer IT Support and should a student require this type of assistance, please send a chat message to the IT Systems Administrator, Mark Humphries who will make arrangements for any necessary repairs to be made to devices.

 

After talking to and listening to colleagues in other schools, Nossal in comparison has and continues to make great accomplishments in the new world of "full time remote  learning".  We have all done well in making the adjustment and confirming our commitment to our own and other's health and work. Now is not the time to relax our efforts. Stay the course and lay a strong foundation for ongoing, significant achievement in Term 3. 

 

Reviewing our remote learning practices

Last week during the Staff Professional Learning program, in his role as Director of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Angus Clark provided staff with important information gained from an online survey completed by our students in the third week of the current term.  The data gave staff feedback on how students had adapted to remote learning and presented staff with an opportunity to reflect and discuss what was effective remote teaching practice and areas that they might seek to refine. 

Some interesting observations from the student surveys:

  • Generally, the majority of students have found the transition to online learning easy
  • A similar number though say they have found their online day is more tiring than if they were attending school at Nossal
  • More than half the students who responded to the survey recognised the need for them to engage in regular physical activity during the day
  • There was generally a lower level of motivation to engage in their learning online, and associated with this was an increase in the levels of personal stress felt by the students

In relation to their online learning, the majority of students noted:

  • Overwhelmingly, they were given the opportunity to participate in classes using the chat feature of Teams, with a slightly smaller group enjoying using their microphone, a contrast to the significant numbers who did not enjoy the use of the webcam as much.
  • Group work was welcomed although the preferred option was when students could choose their own groups, however for pedagogical reasons, this was not always the preferred method of classroom operation adopted by teachers

Other comments made included:

  • Students found they had more time in their day, mainly due to their lack of transit time to and from school. This meant they generally felt less tired and so could concentrate more and they were also able to focus more on their work because they were not distracted by friends
  • Feedback also suggested that teachers needed to allow for a longer break time between lessons, which would reflect more closely the reality of school, if we were all present at Nossal
  • They also requested that like them, teachers working in isolation without the opportunity to easily discuss their curriculum programs with colleagues, can easily become blind to what colleagues are doing and therefore needed to be mindful of the demands of asynchronous workloads across a total student's program

Remote learning has come with some new and different challenges for our school to embrace, but as is the way, the Nossal community has risen to this challenge and worked to achieve great outcomes. 

Iso-Letics, another first for Nossal

Last Friday, we held our first Nossal Iso-Letics Day and what a day of outstanding achievements we saw. 

 

Under the leadership of our Sports Carnival Coordinator, Anita Coffa, students were encouraged to replace the planned Athletics Carnival Day with an individual physical challenge day where students contributed to their overall House result.  The innovative program required all activities to take place during Periods 3 and 4, with students encouraged to get outside and do some physical activity, record it with a video or photos and submit it to their House Leader as their contribution to the House's overall involvement.  The challenge was accepted by a large number of students who made use of the time to enjoy some brilliant Autumn sunshine.

 

 

Congratulations to Phoenix who were the narrow winners of the challenge by just 9 points from Pegasus, followed by Griffin and Garuda.  Garuda were winners in the Team Chant competition, with special commendation to the students of 0A3 for their commitment to their House by showing their colours.

 

As readers can see in this graphic, students covered a large distance, some 1850 kilometres during the allotted time for this event, with Nam Nguyen (Pegasus) riding 21.6kms, (a similar distance to riding from Nossal to Monash University) and Sheethal Ajithkumar (Griffin) walking for 2.5 hours!

 

Congratulations to everyone who took part in this fun activity, with special thanks and congratulations to Miss Coffa for her initiative and planning to make the event such a success.

 

Check out the pictures on the General News page of this newsletter for some pictures of the enthusiastic staff dressed in their House colours.

Clyde Road Level Crossing Removal

When staff and students return to Nossal at the end of the COVID-19 shut down, one of the most obvious changes will be the works being undertaken opposite the school at the end of Sir Gustav Nossal Boulevard.

 

 

 

The establishment of the works area for contractors removing the Clyde Road Level Crossing is well underway and the site is being frequented by lots of heavy machinery and trucks.

 

When school returns, students, parents and staff are asked to be aware of the changed traffic flows with contractor's access to the works area via the side gate to Intrepid Street and Enterprise Avenue.  It will be important for the safety of all on our site, that pedestrians use only designated footpaths and vehicles travel at the sign posted speed limit.  For additional safety reasons, during peak times, motorists are asked to enter the property from Clyde Road, at the corner of Kangan Drive, and exit the campus via the gravel road to Intrepid Street.

 

The Level Crossing Removal Authority are seeking community feedback on aspects of the open space and community areas that will be created around the Berwick Station precinct. They would like to invite you to join their conversation and share your ideas online by visiting their engagement hub at your.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au and complete the survey by 5:00pm Monday 25 May.

 

Keith Butler

Assistant Principal