Awards Ceremony, Fitness program for Physical Education Year 9-10 & Jonny Shannon Year 7 Presentation on Bullying and Online Safety
Friday 11th August, 2017.
Last week we held our Semester One Awards Ceremony. It was a fantastic assembly where all the hard work from our Whole School Improvement Plan is paying off. This is something the College School Council, the School Improvement Team and all staff are working very hard to achieve. The Awards Ceremony is one of the most important events on the College calendar because it is an occasion where we publically recognise student success.
I know as a father how proud I am when I see my own kids get awards for achievements and it was fantastic to see so many parents, grandparents, caregivers and family friends attend this ceremony. I really appreciate you being able to juggle your day around to attend, so thank you. The presentation began with an update to the school community of what progress we had made in regards to our Whole School Improvement Plan.
In regards to Stage 1 - Strong Leadership:
- Leadership is so important that as I have stated many times it is the first step in driving improvement in any organisation whether it is a school, business or football team. If you don’t have a strong leader it is easy to lose focus and direction;
- Not a day goes by that I don’t mention our Whole School Improvement Plan with students, parents and staff;
- On any given day I continue to spend up to an hour visiting classrooms to monitor the progress being made with our Whole School Improvement Plan;
- We know where we are going, what we are doing and how we are going and it is critical that we are all going in the same direction.
Having a Principal who is focused on whole school improvement is essential in creating a high performing school.
In regards to Stage 1 - High Expectations progress we have:
- Raised the assessment benchmark for passing a SAC in Year 11 from 40% to 50% which has been challenging for a number of our students;
- This semester we are trialling, Edrollo which is an online tutoring resource which will assist our Year 12 students with their subjects;
- VCE teachers are conducting after school classes to support every student in VCE;
- Academic support letters are being sent home now for students in Yr 7-10 who haven’t reached the standards set by the domain;
- Students who are 12 or more months behind in Year 7 English are being supported by our Literacy Intervention Program. Fountas and Pournell is a levelled literacy program which will see these students gain 12 months learning in 6 months. If we don’t do this, these students will continue to fall behind which isn’t good enough; and
- Our after school homework club is growing in numbers with many nights two classrooms being utilised;
The School Improvement Team is currently discussing the implementation of EXAMS for ALL year levels for next year. That would mean all students from year 7 -12 will complete exams.
I have spent a lot of time looking at our academic data especially where some students have been unsuccessful. I have spoken to over 50 students who have failed one or more subjects and asked them the reason why they have been unsuccessful. In all conversations it is not because the students don’t know the content of the subject, it is because they failed to submit a CAT.
A solution to support students is that I’m looking at employing extra staff to keep those students back after school if they don’t submit a CAT. This strategy will ensure that the CAT is completed so that all students pass all subjects.
In regards to Stage 1 – Establishing an Orderly Learning Environment progress we have staff:
- Continuing working with our College consultant Jenny McKay in regards to student management;
- Having high expectations of student behaviour and are applying the processes consistently;
- Implementing the process that all students line up at the start of the lesson, when they are quiet they enter the room and stand behind their desk. This is a non-negotiable routine for all classes within the College as this is a precondition for student learning; and
- The college has staffed a de-escalation room which is a classroom supervised by external staff to assist students to regulate and/or control their behaviour. Only a very small number of students who have complex needs are involved in this process with the selection process being undertaken. Parents of students involved in this trial have been contacted on what the procedure entails. I will not tolerate any students upsetting the flow of any lessons to ensure that all students have access to every opportunity in succeeding at school.
In regards to Stage 2 developing a College wide Teaching and Framework, staff have been:
- Attending professional learning after school in relation to our Teaching and Learning Framework. Staff have been working with our College consultant Jenny Wissenburg in creating a Teaching and Learning Framework. All high performing schools have a T&L Framework. This is a framework that teachers will use for teaching and learning. It will have elements such as assessment marking student’s CAT’s, bookwork etc. Moderation is where teachers of the same classes sit down together and make sure that they agree on the curriculum being taught, marking CATS and other assessment tasks the same way. Observations, this will involve teachers going into other teachers classes and observing each other and coaching is where staff will work with a coach to sharpen their classroom teaching in areas such as feedback and questioning; and
- Working on developing an agreed Instructional Model for all classroom lessons – that is where all teachers follow a similar process for lessons for eg all lessons here have learning intentions, that is what students are going to learn, what students are going to know and what they will understand by the end of the lesson. Teachers will also write up success criteria and ensure there is a reflection at the end of the lesson
In regards to Stage 2 Building Teacher Capacity staff have been:
- Meeting fortnightly in what we call TEAM IMPACT meetings. I have spoken to the students about Professor John Hattie and Effect Size. Staff have been working on effective feedback as this has an significant impact on student learning. Teachers are to give feedback to students about where they are going, how they are going and where to next and how the feedback needs to be timely and individualised;
- Working on developing their explicit teaching that is where teachers clearly show students what to do and how to do it such as: Worked examples – teachers show students the steps required to complete a task or solve a problem;
- Having their performance and development plan meetings. In these meetings staff are talking about where students are academically in their class. If your child(ren) aren’t reaching the standard I want to know what their teachers’ are doing to ensure that all students are learning and how it is being applied in the classroom.
- Asked about their own professional learning in regards to the John Hattie work on effect size; and
- Completing a course in literacy for learning which is about teachers learning the relationship between literacy and successful learning. Teachers are currently being asked how they can demonstrate this professional learning from John Hattie and Literacy for Learning program is making a difference in your child(ren)’s classroom.
Fitness program for Physical Education Year 9-10
Students are currently participating in a fitness program for term 3 where they spend time between practical and theory lesson setting some personal fitness goals and learning applications for fitness for life. During the practical sessions they are participating in various activities such as group fitness, Weights room, Plyometric’s, Cardioboxing and HIIT. The students participation levels and intensity have been great and they have all enjoyed putting together their own personal goal to make improvements with their fitness. Students are expected to do some activity outside of school some examples could be: Structured sports, walking the dog, swimming, yoga and interval sprints.
Jonny Shannon Year 7 Presentation on Bullying and Online Safety
In week one of the term students we part of a presentation that covered bullying/Cyber bullying and how to make friendships on and off line. Students were drawn into the engaging talk by fun and memorable stories that don’t just tell, but also show students how they can proactively address the challenges of bullying and online safety & their digital footprint. The information covered was:
- Social Skills
- Bullying and Cyber Bullying
- Social Media Safety
- 3 Step Resilience Building
- Phone and Online Addiction
- Teen Sexting
Fitness Program and Bullying Program