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Newman News Term 1 Week 2: From the Principal

15 Feb 2019

PK-12 Family Mass

Congratulations to all students and families for the excellent start to the year. The joy and happiness emanating from our students is a testimony to the collaboration with families in the faith and learning environment that is developing at our College. Our PK- 12 Family Mass has now become tradition that exemplifies our commitment as a community to celebrate our identity that places Jesus Christ at its centre. Thank you to students and their families for their attendance and participation in the liturgy. The family spirit that was evident is an exemplar of what it means to be part of a Marist community. Congratulations to our Year 12 and Year 6 student leaders respectively who were commissioned on the night into their roles for 2019. We look forward to the year ahead.

ICSEI Symposium Norway January 2019

In early January Ms Lisa Fogliani and I were invited to co-present with the University of Southern Queensland Leadership Research International (USQLRI) a symposium on the development and implementation of our College’s Vision for Learning Shine Through Discovery – Let Your light Shine (Matthew 5:16). The International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) is an internationally renowned meeting of policy makers, research and practioners in education focusing on best practice in learning. To be selected to present is a great testimony to our school improvement agenda in building our student experience of learning animated by our pedagogical pillars of Challenge, Collaborate, Create and Celebrate. The reception of the symposium participants was affirming and complimentary of what we have achieved over the least three years. Critical to our growth has been in aligning our strategic framework with the following strategic intents:

  • individual and team building of staff capacity
  • a strategic approach to staff professional learning
  • focus on growing innovative cultures for school change
  • engaging student voice in their learning
  • systematic delivery of curriculum
  • new contemporary learning spaces reflective of pedagogical pillars
  • sustaining commitment and energy of whole school community
  • ongoing leadership and management of #shinethroughdiscovery
  • captivating creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

The alignment of these aforementioned strategic intents, put simply, has improved our students’ learning experience. Our learning pathways are guided by the capacity of students to engage in their learning collaborating with our teachers, commensurate with their interest and ability. This has been exemplified in senior school where student goal setting and achievement, combined with subject counselling, has provided a more targeted approach to each student’s pathway. Our outstanding WACE results last year, particularly our median ATAR of 84.5, reflected the importance of this strategy.

The highlight of the conference was in both the staff and student voice examples we presented. Unscripted, our students’ voice demonstrated the growth in their confidence to articulate what is important to them in their learning and the impact of Shine Through Discovery – Let Your light Shine (Matthew 5:16). The same is apparent for our staff who have embraced the concept that they lead learning as co-learners with our students.

Click here to watch the student video.

Click here to watch the staff video.

The driving question from the feedback to the symposium was on the strategy not just for consolidation, but for ongoing improvement.

Focus for 2019

Our focus in 2019 is to continue to build the capacity of the teacher and animate student voice. The opportunities that are afforded to students through recent initiatives, like the IDEAs Lab in Early Childhood, STEM Festival at Lavalla and Solve It at Marcellin will continue to grow and gain traction with our students. Long term support through Homework Club and targeting intervention in literacy and numeracy will continue to grow. Other examples include developing industry partnerships to provide real world experience for our students. An example has been an agreement we have just confirmed with the mining company MACA. This partnership is focused on providing students with opportunities across engineering, service and apprenticeships.

Annual School Improvement Plan 2019

The Annual School Improvement Plan (ASIP) 2019 will continue to focus on our Vision for Learning and its animation across the College. Central to its success will be the leadership of our staff in its actioning. Please click here to view the College plans for this year.