Welcome to the third edition of our new newsletter, it is pleasing to be able to share with you many of the positive and productive elements of our school, with the first four weeks of this term being no exception. Below, I will outline some important information about semester timelines, our ICT strategic review, VCE students, feedback on Parent Teacher Interviews, and some points of celebration with our Grade 5/6 Secondary Awareness Day and IDAHOBIT Day.
Parent Teacher Interviews
At the end of last term, we held our Parent-Teacher Interviews for semester one. It was great to see so many parents and families coming into the school to discuss their child’s learning with us. This year we moved our interviews into a more central location - the Library and Year 12 Study Centre- making it easier to move between interviews and locate teachers. Feedback from both parents and teachers has been positive, so we will maintain this structure for future events.
Thank you to those parents who responded to our request for feedback after the event. Your insights are vital in helping us to continue to improve. Key feedback included; management of the ten-minute time slots to keep interviews on track (something we will look at for semester two), and positive feedback regarding the improved booking system.
Awareness Day and Information Night
It was great to see so many families and prospective students attend our Information Evening earlier in the term. Being relatively new to the college, I am impressed by the breadth and depth of programs and opportunities we are able to offer students, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen these in the coming years. Students and families learnt of our:
- Strong focus on learning and high expectations for success
- Opportunities for extension in English and Mathematics
- Sports Excellence and Music Excellence programs
- International programs (including three language program and study tour opportunities)
- Reinvigorated careers program
- Focus on student leadership in the college.
Coordinated school tours were conducted on Awareness Day, with many prospective parents visiting our college. Deciding where to send your child to secondary school is a significant decision, and I always recommend parents visit schools during operating hours, to gain a true feel for, and sense of the school.
For any prospective parents still wishing to visit our college, to see what we have to offer and to learn my vision for the college over the next few years, please contact the General Office and I will be very happy to conduct a personal tour.
It was an honour to speak at our celebration of the national IDAHOBIT day, where I took the opportunity to talk to students about the richness of diversity, and the importance of tolerance, empathy, and unity in communities and society in general. Whilst we see ourselves as a key part of the Moe/Newborough community more broadly, we also recognise the value of ‘community’ within our own college, and it was fantastic to see so many students stand together in support of each other. I would like to thank Karen Thurgood, our school nurse, and Donna Perkins, our wellbeing team leader, for their work in coordinating the day. The Lowanna senior music band set the scene with live music in the sunshine of the main courtyard, and hundreds of students signed a pledge of support amongst the face painting, and informative marquees of Headspace, Red Frogs and Street Games. A great day enjoyed in great spirit.
Semester 2 Timeline
Following a review of our attendance data, and in conversation with our students and staff, we have identified that the last two weeks of Term 2 have historically not always resulted in the rigor and engagement required to ensure the highest levels of learning and achievement for our students. The challenge has been, that by week eight of the term (in line with VCE timelines), semester one exams are complete, and reports have been written.
In our endeavour to lift expectations and enhance learning outcomes for all students, we have adjusted our timelines to commence Semester 2 on Monday 17th June. This change will bring our Year 7 to 10 classes in line with VCE classes, and Lowanna College in line with most high performing schools. This initiative will also assist in balancing the length of semesters 1 and 2. Practically, this means that students undertaking six-month long electives (e.g. Wood Tech, Music, and Food Tech) will commence their new elective on the 17th June.
IT Strategic Review
Late last term we commenced a review of our Information Technology systems, practices and policies. Technology has become and essential element of everyday living, and is at the heart of most workplaces and industries. Technology is also a great enabler for learning, however, it is important that learning is driving the technology, and not the other way around.
In my experience, the current generation of students are great ‘consumers’ of technology (think YouTube, Google, gaming), but not always great ‘users’ or ‘creators’ of technology, in a productivity sense. These latter two are the skills our work