Mr. Tristan Lanarus
Dear Westall Secondary College Community,
We have reached the halfway point of Term 2 and as always there are lots of exciting things happening around the school.
This week we were handed the keys to our new International and Wellbeing Centres and staff and students will begin using these spaces next week. They look amazing and it is great for our community to have such great facilities. Along with these new spaces, the buildings at Westall Primary School, including a new gym and canteen that will be shared between the schools, are starting to take shape. The students can’t wait to start using these new spaces and I think the staff are just a little bit excited too.
On Monday 13th of May we had our Curriculum Student Free Day. I would firstly like to thank parents and School Council for supporting the day. As a parent I know the challenge of organising children when there is no school. The day was certainly valuable for our teaching staff with the opportunity to work with Joe Ybarra from the United States. He is one of the most sought after experts in EDI (Explicit Direct Instruction) which is our Teaching and Learning model in the school. Terms such as “Chin it”, “TAPPLE”, “Read with me”, “Memory and Cognitive Load” and the use of mini whiteboards by students, are just some of the terms and actions that make up EDI. This is about HOW we teach and the evidence this system works at a National and International level, and here at Westall, is significant. We are already getting great results with Above Average NAPLAN gain and excellent VCE results.
This day was one of the four nominated days the Education Department provides for each school. Our 3rd Student Free Day for the year will be Friday July 19th, first Friday back in Term 3.
Staff have also participated in Koorie Awareness and Understanding training over the last 2 weeks. This will help us to integrate Koorie Curriculum and activities into our teaching and inform new initiatives such as our Koorie themed meeting place being developed at the front of the Balook Building. As a school we are an exemplar for multiculturalism and inclusion and the recognition and celebration of our traditional land owners is an important part of this culture.
NAPLAN drew to a close this week with the new, 2 week, online testing period. Congratulations to all Year 7 and Year 9 students on completing these important assessments. I am pleased to announce that our school had almost zero technical issues and we had a very successful transition to the new online platform. I know some other schools had quite a few difficulties so I am very grateful to Mrs Kerwick, Mrs Dewhurst, Mr Henderson, their teams and the ICT Team for such a smooth operation.
The recent Cross Country and House Sports Day was a great new initiative involving all students. This was another excellent example of students showing care and support for each other, music, colour, competition and participation. Well done to all involved and to our new Sports Leader Mr Robertson on the initiative. Our next College Council Meeting is Wednesday 29th May at 4.30pm. Any parents/carers interested in coming along and seeing how these meetings work are more than welcome.
Until next time!