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Newman News Term 4 Week 4: From the Principal

08 Nov 2019

Cyclic Review

The College has just undergone a School Cyclic Review conducted by Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA). A School Cyclic Review focuses on the effectiveness of a school’s engagement with self-review, the impact of self-review on school improvement and the future directions for the improvement of student outcomes that the school has identified. The data sources for this review included parents, College Advisory Council, staff, and students coupled with the College’s own self review statement, Strategic Improvement Plan, Annual School Improvement Plans and Annual Reports.

The feedback from the review across the domains of Catholic Identity, Education, Community and Stewardship were very affirming for the College. The review report specifically identified the College’s Vision for Learning Shine Through Discovery – Let Your Light Shine as a clearly defined strategic and operational direction of the College. It notes Teaching and Learning are student driven and data informed and a learning culture that encourages growth in all students is clearly visible. Underpinning this strategic priority is our renewed focus on Catholic Identity through the implementation of our Ministry Plan and commitment to the formation of the spiritual life of students and staff.

Strategic Plan

The timing of this review is significant as we enter the consultation phase of our new strategic plan. Newman College is owned by the Trustees of the Marist Brothers and governed by Marist Schools Australia (MSA). We are a member of Catholic Education Commission Western Australia (CECWA) and as such receive our Federal and State funding as a group member of CECWA. Our strategic priorities for the future will need to focus on the sustainability of our PK-12 College as an affordable Catholic School that provides excellent teaching and learning for students. In an increasingly competitive educational precinct, it is an imperative that our College is agile and innovative, creating opportunities for our students while supporting their wellbeing as they navigate their learning and life journey.

Consultation

This week we completed our first round of consultation with parents and staff on their priorities for the next strategic plan. Parent attendance was low but the feedback nonetheless salient and constructive. We intend to curate the information we have collated to date and then seek further feedback from our families in the new year. For the interest of parents, the following questions were put to those who attended:

  1. In your experience, what is unique about Newman College?
  2. Why did you enrol your son/daughter at Newman College?
  3. What does Newman College do best of all?
  4. If you were Principal of Newman College for a day, what would you change/fix?
  5. What school factors do you believe contribute most positively to your child’s learning at school?
  6. How might the school further assist your child’s learning?
  7. What can Newman College do to further assist you as a parent?
  8. How would you describe your overall experience as a parent of a child/children attending Newman College?
  9. Would you recommend Newman College to your friends? Please give reasons to support your response.

We will also be engaging in student voice in determining our priorities for the future. What was clear from the consultation and the recommendations from the cyclic review, was the need to ensure that the College is consistent in its application of teaching and learning. To this end, our work with teachers to build their individual capacity as professionals, aligning our practices, and to grow the students’ learning experience is our intent.

Developing New Learning Experiences

Singapore Learning Immersion

Twenty five Years 9 and 10 students and four members of staff have been in Singapore this week as part of a newly developed partnership with Republic Polytechnic (RP). RP is a post school educational institution that seeks to nurture innovative, entrepreneurial and cultured professionals. Our partnership and this learning immersion aims to foster and challenge our students and staff to be resilient, global thinkers; students who are agile, collaborative and embracing of the demands of the 21st Century. The program for the week was centered on collaborating with RP students on problem-based learning activities. The program aims to develop the following skills:

  • Effective self-directed learning and critical problem inquiry
  • Effective collaboration and problem-solving
  • Effective reasoning, argumentation and presentation

Working and collaborating with students in this industry-based learning environment fostering creativity and entrepreneurial skills has been life changing for many of our students.

The benefits of this experience will be in shaping our learning programs into the future. Staff will become more adept in creating learning experiences that foster the aforementioned skills. Supporting these programs will be learning spaces that reflect our strategic intent as exemplified in the development of our new Learning Hub (due for completion December 2020). To this end our students across our College will benefit as we continue to develop our teachers and students to be agile and flexible learners in our ever-changing world.