Principal Team Report
This week we have the opportunity to pause and reflect on the progress made by each of our students over the past ten weeks. Throughout the term learning tasks and assessment tasks have been posted on compass and formal feedback has been provided, lesson plans have been posted to help keep parents informed of the learning program within each class. In addition, interim reports have been finalised and shared, providing a brief snapshot of progress to date and Parent Student Teacher (PST) conferences have occurred, with over 2,150 interviews booked. These conferences enable a three-way dialogue where we each seek to gain a greater understanding of how student learning is progressing. Also, throughout the term, our sub school teams have been conducting student support group (SSG) meetings to facilitate a team based approach towards supporting students with particular needs. These needs can include involvement at an elite level in sport to challenges related to wellbeing. Where there is an identified need, individualised learning/education plans have been developed in consultation with the classroom teachers and these are utilised to support each student to achieve their potential. Our SWAN (Students With Additional Needs) team work across the College supporting our funded students both in the classroom and around the school to ensure that all students with a disability are catered for and fully included in College life. Regular SSG meetings are conducted for each of our SWAN students.
In addition to student achievements in the classroom I would like to acknowledge the amazing talent demonstrated by so many of our students in last Friday’s Talent Quest. Throughout the day students from all levels had the opportunity to shine before their peers as they sang, danced and played a range of musical instruments. In the evening they had the opportunity to perform before their parents and members of the wider community. It was extremely pleasing to see so many of our younger students, particularly Year 8, performing. The depth of talent which was evident ensures that the performing arts at Koonung will continue to flourish. I would like to thank our student leaders Emma Hocking, Jo Healey and Sebastian Jose for their work leading this event. They were well supported by staff: Peter Hodkinson, Chelsea Thomas, Mark Anderson, Emily Biernacki, David Forward, Stephanie Grant, Kylie Poppins, Pauline Volpe and Ms Yates.
As the term draws to a close, we are already planning for our major events for next term. These include our College Open Day on Tuesday 30 April. College tours run each Tuesday morning, but on April 30 our doors are open for the entire day and there will be presentations in the Library and Theatre at 7 pm. If you know of anyone who may be interested in attending Koonung Secondary College in the future please let them know. In the lead up to Open Day we visit many of our feeder primary schools to answer questions about life at Koonung. We would like to acknowledge and thank the student ambassadors who accompany us on these visits. Our students enjoy the opportunity to return to their primary school and share what life at high school is like. We know that standing before a large group can be quite daunting and we have been very proud of the manner in which each of these students have conducted themselves.
The focus of our recent working bee was to undertake some garden maintenance and to freshen up the corridors. An environment which houses over 1000 people on a daily basis understandably develops a few scuff marks and broken plants and as a result this form of maintenance is ongoing, however, we do ask that our students think before they rest their foot against the wall or stand in the gardens! We would like to sincerely thank the 32 parents, students and staff who so willingly volunteered their time on a wet Saturday morning to undertake these tasks. With so many we achieved so much.
Taste of Tanzania
Last Saturday, the College provided a venue for a charity dinner hosted by David Winter to raise funds for Umoja, a school supported by David in Tanzania which provides educational pathways for youth who would not otherwise have access to education post primary school. The dinner, entitled Taste of Tanzania, was a celebration of culture and food and also designed to provide insight into the programs offered at the school. David has been a long standing patron of Koonung Secondary College. His contributions to the College over the years have included: attending working bees (not as a parent), financial support by working with rotary to source grants for paint and labour, and most notably, his ongoing support of our fundraising efforts and events (eg: Year 12 breakfast, Mother’s and Father’s Day breakfasts) by providing us with seemingly unlimited supplies of bread and pastries. As a result, we were very pleased to be able to support David in this endeavour. I would particularly like to acknowledge the contributions of three of our students: Isabelle Lakey, Shane Leung and Eliza Hocking, who came to help out preparing food for a couple of hours late on a Saturday afternoon and who then stayed until late in the evening serving food and cleaning up. They truly gave above and beyond. I would also like to thank two of our staff, Gill Ross and Allison Hart, who supported David throughout the day preparing food. It really was a team effort.
Next term Mary Eade joins the Principal team as Acting Assistant Principal, replacing Mark Quinlan who was appointed to the Acting Principal role at Box Hill Senior late last year. It has been a busy term without Mark and we are looking forward to having Mary in this role. Mary’s main focus will be curriculum and teaching and learning. Replacing Mary for most of her class load is Glenda Hanslow. Mary will retain her Year 12 English class. Other staff movements include the appointments of a new science laboratory technician, Etienne Folliot and a new food technology assistant, Sarah Lane. Paula Pringle will be moving from her role as food technology assistant to join the SWAN team, replacing Katrina Pumpa who is on family leave.
On behalf of the staff at Koonung, I wish you all a safe and relaxing break with chocolate galore.