As we navigate our second period of remote learning, the commitment of many in our community – students, parents, teachers and support staff – must be applauded. While I will still contend that the best online learning environment will never replace the quality of face to face teaching (the social interaction, the nuances of feedback, noticing and questioning), it has been great to see our school pivot back to our online system in a relatively seamless way. We’ve integrated feedback from Term 2, trying to balance the demands of learning tasks with supporting students’ wellbeing, and generally the feedback tells us the volume of work is about right at the moment. As always, and as I mentioned in a video earlier this week, we appreciate your ongoing feedback – in this environment more than ever, it is so valuable to give us a sense of how things are travelling for those learning from home.
The wellbeing of our students, staff and families remains at the forefront of our mind. Following feedback received from the video I shared earlier this week, I can confirm that we have booked one of Australia’s leading child psychologists, Andrew Fuller, for a community webinar. We’ll share more information via Compass, Facebook and email in the coming days, but I can confirm we’ll engage with Andrew for a community webinar at 7pm on Monday 7th September. Places are limited, so keep an eye out for the registration process.
Despite the environment we find ourselves in, it has been incredibly pleasing to see the improvement agenda for the college continue. We feel it is important that while we adapt and adjust to remote learning, we keep one eye on the big picture, including the development of our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan. Through innovative staff meetings via Microsoft Teams (including whole staff connection of 110 staff, smaller breakout group discussions, and collaborative documents), we have discussed, debated and co-constructed the essence of an ambitious improvement agenda for the next four years. Some of the hallmarks of our work over the past 18 months, which have led to a shift in trajectory for many of our student outcome measures, feature strongly in our new plan. Things like a focus on clarity, communication and collaboration as part of a team-based culture. An articulation of what we mean by high expectations (at all levels – leaders, staff, students and community), and then the consistent implementation of those expectations. High levels of support through a reimagined wellbeing space and structure, and at the heart of what we do – high quality teaching in every class with support for literacy and numeracy. Over the coming weeks our plan will evolve from vast ideas and contributions into a draft plan and then a confirmed plan; I look forward to sharing it with you all in the near future. It becomes the role of the community, particularly our elected school council as representatives of the community, to hold us to account to achieve our next level of ambitious improvement for our students.
In other news, it has been very positive to see the increased focus of Careers and Pathways in our school having an positive impact on students. Our recent Year 10 course counselling was a huge success, with much thanks to our parents for the engagement in the video conversations and the investment in supporting your child’s pathway. Our new partnership with Federation University is coming to life, with our Year 11 students now able to undertake a Year 12 university subject as part of their Year 12 VCE course. We’ve worked hard to build this program to best support the aspirations of our students – not only do the university subjects provide the opportunity for an additional boost to the student’s results, but passing the subjects provides credit towards a Federation University degree, and guaranteed entry into the corresponding course. We’ve had over 20 applicants for the program, and are currently working through the admission process based on previous academic performance, GPA reports, and ensuring students have the required prerequisite subjects in their VCE program.
Finally, a reminder that parent-teacher interviews will continue as normal this term, albeit via video link. Parents will need to book via Compass (as per normal), with bookings open on Friday. You can contact the college on (03) 5127 9200 if you need assistance with booking your appointments.
Thank you for your enduring resilience at this time. If you have any feedback, questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again, and stay safe.