Principal’s Comment – 30th March 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

We approach the long weekend having had another enjoyable and productive week, with a Chapel address by our erstwhile Chaplain, Revd. Sally Buckley, setting the scene for the celebration of Easter.

Sport

We have had cause to celebrate on the sporting front as embryonic teams in tennis and beach volleyball travelled to Perth to take part in competitions there. Both teams are a product of the work we have been doing in providing additional coaching for promising players and so it was good to be able to give them some match experience against established teams. That we did so well – runners-up in the country section in the tennis, and fourth in the volleyball – is testament to the commitment and sportsmanship of those involved. All who attended returned raving about the experience which is very encouraging. I am, of course, grateful to my colleagues, Mrs Laura Thompson, Miss Esther Welsh and Mr Iain Clark for allowing all of this to happen.

PIAF Camp

The Perth International Arts Festival Camp also returned from Perth at the weekend. The camp is the brainchild of Ms Lyndel Taylor and, accompanied by Mrs Marcia Leonard, she provided a programme with wonderful series of opportunities in the expressive arts. These incredible offerings would not normally be available to our students and it was, again, so heartening to hear of the enthusiastic response of our students to the trip. This enthusiasm extended to the discovery of new areas of interest and the chance to really think about things in alternative ways.

Co-curricular Activities

As has been demonstrated, CCAs contribute significantly to the education we provide and I am encouraged by the commitment of staff and students to running these. This year five of our Prefects have initiated activities: Riley Greatrex is tutoring students in mathematics, Josh Van Staden is running a media club, Kassidy Topping hosts a drawing activity, and Bella Clifton and Kasey Garvey have organised a fitness group which meets before school. This leadership is impressive and is symptomatic of the quality of our senior people. These are, of course, complemented by a whole range of other opportunities: help with studies and homework, robotics, gardening, Country Week preparation, Bible study, model United Nations and drama to name several.

Big Picture

This broadening of opportunity is mirrored so well with our Big Picture programme which is really developing momentum. The energy and enthusiasm for education that our students are displaying is very refreshing, and the new challenges being set are beneficial in the wider context. It was so heartening to receive very positive comments as a consequence of the presentations given by our students at the Chamber of Commerce lunch last week.

Elevate Study Skills

Similar praise about our School and its people came from Eliza, the presenter of the Elevate study skills programme, who commented about the enthusiasm, commitment and good behaviour of our students. The programme itself drew very favourable comment from students, staff and parents who attended. All of the material provided will be made available on SEQTA and I hope that students will wish to refer to it in their approach to study. My colleagues and I will certainly be doing so in a myriad of ways as we continue to assist our students in this process.

PST Meetings and Reporting

The first of our Parent-Student-Teacher (PST) meetings was held last night, when those involved in Year 7 met to discuss progress. Again, there was a very positive atmosphere which echoed the impressions we have gained so far this term. Such meetings are another important aspect of the whole process of educating our young people and I am grateful to you all for playing a part in this by attending such meetings. The dialogue involved is always helpful, even if, on occasion we might have wished for more positive comments!

The next such occasion is for Years 11 and 12 from 1530 next Tuesday, 3rd April. Full details about our electronic booking process have been made available and I look forward to welcoming many of you next week.

Of course, such meetings also provide a form of reporting about the progress and achievement of students and I have written to you all about the development of the use of feedback on a regular basis, via SEQTA, as a powerful method of doing so. This year sees us enhancing further the use of SEQTA with more information being made available on a consistent and universal basis. As a consequence you should be seeing the programmes for all subjects being made available in a clear and consistent format; outlines of lessons, with resources being used is also there, as is homework and opportunities for further study. Whilst we defer to the use of the Student Diary as the means to record homework students should, as a matter of course, refer to SEQTA to check what is required. Of course, if you need any assistance accessing SEQTA, or have any comments about its usefulness please do let us know because we do want to use it good effect.

Lost Property

Further to previous comments about this I do need to let you know that the lost property box will be emptied at the end of the term and the contents donated to one of our charity shops. Please encourage your child to check the box for misplaced items.

Uniform

An email will be sent shortly detailing the appointment system to be used to buy items of the winter uniform which is worn in Terns 2 and 3. A reminder that School hats will be compulsory for all students in all terms, when outside.

Absences

Could I also remind you to let Reception know if your child is going to be absent? This helps enormously in the whole attendance registration process; thank you.

Forthcoming Events

Friday 30th March – Good Friday holiday (School closed)
Monday 2nd April – Easter Monday holiday (School closed)
Tuesday 3rd April – Year 11/12 Parent-Teacher Meeting (details to be sent in due course)
Counsellor in School
Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th – April – GSSSSA swimming carnival at Mount Barker
9-13th April - Years 7 and 8 Metricup Camp
Outdoor education - no expedition at the end of this term - possible postponement to Week 2, Term 2 (tbc)
Friday 13th April – Last day of Term
Monday 30th April – Staff Professional Development – student-free day
Tuesday 1st May – Term 2 starts for all students at 0840

With all good wishes for a blessed and peaceful Easter.

Yours sincerely,

Kerr

P. Kerr Fulton-Peebles
Principal