On behalf of all staff, a warm welcome to the 2021 school year, particularly to those students and families who are new to our college community.
It is always good to get through the administrative side of the start of year and have students down to work quickly and we did that again this year. Nearly all students had their locker by recess on the first day and classes were underway. Our final enrolment numbers are close to 1430, similar to those of last year, even though we have needed to cap Year 7 numbers (and similar in other year levels) due to the College reaching capacity.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the following new staff to the College this year:
- Cassidy Allport - English
- Brendan Curmi - Physical Education / Soccer
- Luke Elridge - Design Technology
- Chufeng Liu - Business Management / Commerce
- Nellie Mastrop - Humanities/English
- Connor O’Leary - English/Humanities
- Allanna Procak - English/Humanities
- Su Jin Park - Japanese
- Jillian Troutbeck-Noy: Food Technology
- Venus Yeung - Mathematics
Educational Support Staff:
- Rachel Brooks - Dance
- Jane Pace - Literacy Aide
- Chloe Barazza - Social Worker
Welcome back to Nicole Carlon, Joanne Cundasawmy and Livia Fasulo who all return from leave. Louisa Norwood will continue her Assistant Principal position in a part-time capacity; hence, her position will be backfilled by Theresa Burlak.
And finally, congratulations to Catherine Damon, Lorne Anderson and Penny Earl in receiving their Teacher Recognition: Years of Service Awards from the department. Both Catherine and Penny were recognised for 35 years in the teaching profession while Lorne received recognition for 45 years in the teaching profession. What an achievement!
What to expect this year
The College is in its fourth year with the implementation of the College Strategic Plan. This includes the delivery of high quality curriculum, instruction and assessment in every classroom to improve the growth and achievement of every student. It is also involves creating a differentiated learning environment in which students are intellectually engaged, have active student voice, in a culture in which the health and wellbeing of students is central to the learning success of students. As a college, we have already seen improvement in all of these areas over the last three years.
The College will further embed a professional learning community approach and the further development and documentation of a sequential curriculum and assessment plan across the college, within the learning areas and capabilities, within year levels and for student cohorts and individual students. This is important so teaching teams continually evaluate and modify teaching practice, establishing agreed processes, to enable greater consistency in teacher judgements of student learning based on a range of evidence together with formative assessments showing planned progressions in depth and breadth of learning for all students. This is also important so teachers design challenging activities that involve student voice and choice and deep understanding as well as modifying and adapting instruction to each student’s ability and providing feedback to assist all learners to continually challenge their learning. Specific improvement and growth in VCE and VCAL, Reading, Writing and Numeracy will continue to be a focus for the College.
In addition, a priority is to continue to minmise student absences by actively promoting and prioritising inclusion and engagement across the school community including proactive measures for early intervention, recognising positive behaviours and promoting psychological and social wellbeing through the creation of inclusive and safe spaces and pastoral care programs. The college has also updated the Student Attendance Policy. This policy can also found on the College's Compass Management System. Finally, this year also sees the further expansion of the College's Football Academy with the introduction of the AFL stream at Year 8. This will run alongside the successful Soccer Academy.
Facilities Upgrade and Improvements
As the college continues to improve the learning environment for all staff and students to excel in, a number of projects have occurred over the break ready for the new year.
- Office Redevelopment – new carpet in admin offices, conference rooms and corridor and some painting
- Painting of SPACE and associated English TWS
- Painting of H9 - H14 external selected walls
- Upgrade and painting of external walls of PA2, PA3, PA4, L4 and L5 (including removal of old rusted walkway coverings)
- Upgrade to locker bays – Year 7 Locker Bays, Year 12 Locker Bay, S17 and S20 Locker Bays
- Roof in S11 as well as a number of classroom doors have been repainted as well.
- The Gym Floor has been upgraded
- Continual roll out and Installation of new classroom lights.
- Concrete areas in the Science, Humanities Administration and Canteen areas have been professional cleaned
- All carpets have been steamed cleaned, all floors buffed and all windows cleaned
The College will be taking a greater stance on students who litter in 2021 with the continuation of the anti-littering campaign #enoughofthemess. I think it’s every student’s right to learn in a clean environment but every student’s responsibility to help ensure the environment is clean. Students on afterschool detention and internal suspension can be asked to help support in picking up papers in the yard.
The gymnasium upgrade is expected to commence at the first half of the year. The shade sails that we applied for will be erected over the next few months. Finally, the allocated capital works funding provided by the state government at the end of last year will see the college work with the VSBA to upgrade the sporting infrastructure centered around the oval. College Council is currently working with the required parties to design a project that will meet the needs of the college. More information will be provided as we the work commences.
All of these improvements provide better learning facilities for students in our college. With the exception of the DET capital works grants for the gymnasium and oval upgrade, all other of these projects are totally school funded, from funds we raise through the generous support of parents and careful financial management at the school level.
Year 12 Student Success Stories
The outcomes of placements for our Year 12 graduates from last year have been extremely positive, something that the school is very proud of. On initial analysis, of the 150 students who fully applied for tertiary programs through VTAC, 140 students had already received an offer (92%) in January. Many more offers occurred within the second round offers that occurred in early February which lifted the percentage of students to over 97% receiving a tertiary offer for 2021. We were also very pleased with the planning undertaken by our VCAL Senior students who also featured well in the VTAC offers as well as securing Apprenticeships and Traineeships and employment. I would very much like to congratulate the students involved and especially thank the counselling team of Catherine Damon and Agnes Fenech. We also had success with our Year 11 students accelerating in 2020, with a very high number of excellent results. 99% of VCE students graduated with their certificate while 97% of VCAL graduated with their certificate. We also had one student, Zackary Williams, graduate with their Headstart Certificate. Zackary has completed his educational modules and will see him on placement for the next two years.
Our VCE Dux was Madison Cheal with an ATAR score of 99.65. Madison received 2 perfect study scores in English and Health & Human Development as well as a 50 in Business Management in Year 11. Our VCAL Dux was Bradley Zammit. Many students have also been successful in applying for tertiary scholarships.
Congratulations to Jackson Phillips who successfully joined the ADF on January 12th 2021. Jackson is currently stationed in Kappoka, New South Wales, training to be a combat engineer.