Welcome to week 5. This week we saw the VCAA exams commence at the College, with English on Tuesday. Our VCE students have applied themselves extremely well through a challenging year. The examiners have reported back to us that this cohort of students appear extremely industrious throughout their exams and we are hoping they all achieve the best scores they can. We are very proud of their efforts.
We also marked NAIDOC week with the use of the College Acknowledgement of Country at the start of classes. We are working to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan through the Narragunnawali group. A Reconciliation Action Plan is a strategic document that supports an organisation’s business plan. It includes practical actions that will drive our College’s contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which we operate. The College will be calling for interested people to form a working party to develop this through 2021. Through the work of Chris Grant, the College has sought permission from the Wurundjeri Land Council to rename Home Group, the Leonardo Centre and the Leonardo Project as part of our work to promote reconciliation. We are currently awaiting permission from Elders to use this language.
I would like to thank Year 9 student Caden Roberts for the effort he put into preparing for our Remembrance Day Ceremony on Tuesday. His performance of the Last Post was simply stunning. The event was live streamed to all classrooms at 11am, so that everyone had the ability to mark the occasion in a Covid safe and appropriate manner. It was a wonderful ceremony, that you can see if you go to our Instagram and Facebook pages.
As we plan for the 2021 year, we are focussing on 3 goals as a College. Following on from such a disrupted year of education, the DET is supportive of schools narrowing their focus for 2021 and has three goals for schools to achieve in 2021.
- Learning catch-up and extension: Some of our students have thrived in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their learning progress, and some have fallen behind, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers. We will support both those who need it to catch up and those who have thrived to continue to extend their learning. We have been fortunate enough to secure significant funding to create a “Tutor” program to provide learning catch up for those most impacted by covid, through 2021.
- Happy, active and healthy kids: We will make sure we look after our students’ mental health and enable every student to get back outdoors, get active and get creative. This means effectively mobilising available resources to support our students, especially the most vulnerable. We are considering developing a program to replace Home Group that we call “Connect”. For 2021, this would see us adding time to Home Group each day.
- Connected schools: We will build on the stronger connections that schools have established with their families, carers and communities through 2020 to embed and spread improved ways of working to support our students on the back of Covid-19.
During Leap Up (Year 2021) we will be trialling reducing all classes by 2 minutes to 70 minute sessions. We will be increasing the time we commit to Home Group and renaming Home Group to “Connect”. I am seeking feedback on this trial through CCG following the Leap Up program. The program “Connect” will be led by Ms Baucke, who has a Masters in Positive Psychology. The purpose of this is to develop deeper connections with our students and their “Connect” teacher, and to promote happy, active and healthy students. More details about the implementation of this will follow soon.
Previously I have discussed traffic management into and out of the College in this forum. The College OH & S Committee is reviewing our current Traffic Management Plan. If any parents would like to provide feedback on this topic, please feel free to send me an email. We are looking to create a safer plan that reduces any risk of accident further, as we have concerns there are some risks attached with our current plan.
The College has secured $176,000 of additional funding for 2021 only, to be allocated to the provision of a Tutor Program to provide catch up for students who we have identified as having made low learning growth in 2020. The Leadership Team is in the process of developing this program. We hope to be able to engage some additional staff to deliver the program, that will be overseen by Mr Chen, who has had outstanding success leading the College to consistently above State benchmark learning growth in Naplan Numeracy over the last 5 years. This is aimed at delivering on goal 1, around learning catch up.
The story behind our wolf mascot contains a line from a Rudyard Kipling poem, “the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” In 2021, no student will be left behind and this line will define our work.
We are also excited to announce that significant works are commencing next week to repair some roof leaks and restore several classrooms and the Leonardo Centre. This work has been a long time in the planning and has seen us have to shut down the Black Box Theatre and The Leonardo Centre. Renovations to one of the dressing rooms in the Theatre will also be a part of this work. The work is expected to be completed this year, allowing our Year 7 students full access back in the Leonardo Centre from the first day of 2021.
Have a great weekend everyone!