Welcome to the 2021 school year. I hope you had the opportunity over the holiday break to spend time with family, reconnecting with friends and celebrating the festive season with the people you care most about. Being able to spend Christmas with loved ones was a highlight for me giving me the opportunity to catch up with friends and family whom I missed dearly during the periods of isolation. I hope you enjoyed this special time too. I extend a warm welcome to the many new families beginning their time at Lyndhurst, including our incoming Year 7 families, but also those who have joined our College across Years 8 to 12.
A very warm welcome also to the staff who are new to the College this year, both Teaching and Education Support Staff. Two new Assistant Principals have joined the team this year; Mr Scott Rumble will oversee Senior School Improvement, focussing on both VCE and VCAL from year 10 to 12 and Mr Adam Kruger will oversee Teaching and Learning across the College. We welcome back Mrs Melissa Belias and Miss Sophie Noulikas from leave and the following teaching and Education Support staff new to the College: Mr Daniel Hern, Mr Alan Qi, Ms Le-Le Dang, Ms Shikha Thakur, Mr Tom Lakic, Mr Brad Livesay, Ms Penny Round, Mr Tom McCormick and Ms Evelyn Vagias. We are still in the process of recruiting more staff to our team. I am sure that the whole Lyndhurst Community will embraces and welcome all students and staff who have joined us this year.
Like many of you, I wish I had a crystal ball to see what 2021 might hold. I realise there is still an air of uncertainty surrounding us as we navigate our way forward, but we can rest assured that we know how to handle the ups and downs of this continuing pandemic. Our staff, students and wider community have proven their resilience time and time again. The strength displayed across last year gives me great confidence that we can rise to any challenge that may unfold.
At our first school assembly we invited back our 2020 Year 12 students, celebrated their achievement, and recognised their success and students received scholarships and certificates in recognition of their achievements. What a great way it was to start 2021 and hopefully inspired our student body to strive to be the best they can be.
We have many and varied opportunities for our 2021 students this year, and I encourage all of our students to take advantage of what is on offer. Throughout the school year, there will be various sporting opportunities, performing and visual art competitions, as well as academic challenges for students to participate in. And of course students from 7 – 12 can take on leadership roles within the College. The student leadership positions will be advertised to the student body and students need to start thinking now about which position they would be interested in applying for. There are many varied positions that cater for everybody. Our Student Voice Leader, Ms Lauren Shaw will work closely with myself and our student leaders and our whole student body to enhance student voice and work with our students to continually improve our school and make Lyndhurst Secondary College the best it can be. In addition, our students have been and will continue to be, involved in our staff recruitment process. They provide valuable input to support us in employing the best staff for our College, both teaching staff and education support staff.
I now like to take this opportunity to welcome our 2021 Year 12 School Captains:
- Abulfazal Ahmadi
- Bonnlyssa Soth
- Jasmine Delaroche-Souvestre
- Nathanael Ueseli
I commend them on obtaining these very important leadership positions for 2021 and I look forward to working with them to maintain a caring and lively school environment.
Below outlines out vision and values :
As I have mentioned over the last couple of years, High Expectations of all members of our school community is paramount to improving our students learning outcomes and helping them achieve the best possible pathway for their future. The more we expect of each other and of ourselves, the greater our accomplishments. We believe all our students can learn and achieve great things and we are committed to supporting our students in achieving their very best.
In 2021 Lyndhurst, Secondary College will continue to expect more of our students and of ourselves, working together as a community to support our students in achieving great things. Expecting students to arrive to school and class on time, ready for learning is key to ensure success for all students. We expect our students to be in full school uniform; a student dress code not only engenders pride in personal appearance, but instils recognition of students as an integral part of the Lyndhurst Secondary College community; it creates a sense of belonging. The College will continue to have high expectations of our students, not only in these areas but also with regards to attendance, work ethic, conduct and upholding the values of commitment, excellence, integrity and respect for self, others and the environment.
Our staff will be asked to challenge and expect more from each student in their class, helping them not only achieve their personal best, but to continue to strive for more.
As a school community, parents, carers, staff and students, we will work together to continue to raise expectations and improve our students’ outcomes in both their learning and wellbeing.
We have had a great start to the 2021 school year as we welcomed over 145 new Year 7 students and a number of new students across 8 – 12. We are getting daily enrolment enquires across all year levels and our numbers continue to grow. We had a staggered start to the school year to support our incoming Year 7 have a smooth transition to secondary school life. They had the opportunity to explore the school, find their way around and make new friends, with only Year 12 students present for the whole day. We also invited new students from years 8 – 11 to attend the College for a half day orientation which was a great success. The rest of the school community joined the Year 7 and 12’s on Monday February 1st, starting with a welcome sub school assembly and then heading straight to classes, meeting their teachers, getting ready for a great year.
Our students met our expectations by arriving to school and to class on time, wearing their uniform with pride. We will continue to raise expectations of all our students with a particular focus on your VCE and VCAL students, challenging them to work harder, focus on their studies and work towards achieving their very best. We will work with parents, providing them with regular progress reports on their students and together we will support our young people in raising their expectations of themselves and supporting them in achieving their goals.
This year we have divided our Sub Schools into four groups:
- Senior School Year 10, 11 & 12 - led by Mr. Brannan
- Year 9 - led by Ms Sampson
- Year 8 - led by Mr Aziz
- Year 7 - led by Mr Potter
We will continue to raise expectations of our students in across Junior School, students, focussing on the quality and quantity of student work, including the amount of homework and study that students do. To support our students our teaching staff are continuing the next stage of their journey on our teaching and learning model, a copy of which is displayed in each classroom. In 2021 we will continue to focus on improving our students’ literacy skills as research clearly shows that this will have a positive impact on all areas of students learning outcomes and prepare them for work and life outside of school. We are now in the third year of this journey. This will form the major professional development for our teaching staff throughout this year and on our curriculum days, outlined below. Our teachers will continue to meet biweekly, collaborating and planning/discussing strategies, providing students with feedback to support the learning of all our students.
Professional Development/Curriculum Days (Student Free Days) for 2021
Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th January (First two days of the school year)
Friday 11th June
Friday 20th August (TBC)
College Council Election:
College Council has a very important role in providing overall governance of our College. This includes policy development, financial accountability and the strategic direction of the College. Each year an election is held for half of the Council. Please consider being involved in this important forum. If you would like to discuss this further then please make contact with me at the College. Election notices have been placed in this newsletter.