A warm welcome back to 2022. I trust everyone had a restful break and that students are now ready to embrace the challenges and rewards that a new school year inevitably brings.
We would like to pay a particular welcome to the new staff, refer to the below list, and students who will enter our Newman family this year, we hope that our Marist family spirit will bring you a sense of belonging, appreciation, and fulfilment.
This year we are continuing to build on our culture of excellence. People who commit to a culture of excellence understand the significance of reflection and action towards continuous improvement. Members of our community may wish to improve in one or more areas, such as academic results, wellbeing, organisation, engagement, collaboration, and relationships to name a few. Generally, students, (and indeed adults!) are committed and motivated at the start of the year to reach their goals. However, as life happens and ordinary time moves on, that motivation can start to wane. Routine is what keeps those committed to improvement on the growth journey. Tiny gains feed our motivation. Students are encouraged to ‘ritualise to actualise’ their improvement goals through achievable actions. The commitment to see through micro changes and actions is what brings significant growth long term. We call this the aggregation of marginal gains.
Will you commit to ‘ritualise to actualise’ by making slightly better choices each week or day? This can be as simple as keeping your room or locker tidy, tucking in your shirt, saying please and thank you, smiling more, committing to a realistic study routine, taking the stairs instead of the elevator…. it may even be enjoyable to see the multitude of tiny, improved decisions you can make – and their impact over time. Guaranteed, if you commit to the small things, the difference in your experience come the end of the year, will be remarkable. Wishing everyone a magnificent start to the term and a happy and productive few weeks.
New Staff 2022
The College would like to extend its sincere congratulations to the Class of 2021 on their magnificent WACE and ATAR results. These fine young women and men set out to meet their goals last year and worked diligently with their teachers and Leader of Wellbeing, Ms Rebecca Bramanto, to that end. The infographic below highlights our top performances.
Last year saw the resumption of NAPLAN testing for students across Australia. Careful analysis and tracking of NAPLAN data is one of the rich sources teachers at Newman College use to track student growth and the efficacy of our learning and teaching approaches. As a College we have seen gains in average student achievement across the assessable domains.
Pleasingly, the number of students achieving Band 8 across all NAPLAN domains in Year 9 has increased in 2021, indicating that student growth is on a positive trajectory as students consider their senior pathways.
Analysis of our NAPLAN data reveals areas for strategic consideration and a future focus to ensure achievement and exemplary growth for all students. The 2021 Annual School Improvement Plan set a worthy intention of reframing the focus on literacy within the College. This led to the formation of the Literacy Action Group, who were charged with developing an explicit, coherent, and sequenced approach to literacy across Years PK-12. The group has been successful in actioning this with a focus on an aligned reading, writing, and spelling approach in 2022 and the adoption of a writing programme which caters to students PK-10. This will ensure consistency for students as they progress through each year of their schooling and will allow the continual consolidation of skills and activation of deep learning.
Further to this, it is widely acknowledged that engaged and knowledgeable teachers are essential to the long-term success of students. A significant commitment has been made to the upskilling of teachers in aspects of literacy and greater communication between teachers of all year levels has been established as best practice. This has led to a greater understanding of the challenges faced at the transition points of schooling – such as when students transition from Year 2 to Year 3 or from Year 6 to Year 7 – and a deeper awareness of the expectations for success at each year level through programming and sequencing.
Teachers across Newman College have participated in targeted professional learning throughout the year and belong to a thriving learning community where knowledge is shared, and collaborative practices are paramount. We have also established access to data analysis software, Best Performance, which will truncate a range of data sources for teachers and can assist in the formation of targeted learning plans and the provision of resources to target gaps in learning.
As a response to a recent review conducted into our Learning Support offerings, several new roles have been created for 2022. Students will have access to a Learning Support Mentor who is a teacher with a background in literacy and numeracy support. As experts in their field, these teachers will work directly with students to assist with goal setting for individual subjects and assessments as well as providing instruction and one-on-one support. Students will also have the opportunity to work with their Learning Support Mentor at Homework Club on a designated day each week to maximise their performance. A Learning Support Mentor has also been appointed to collaborate with staff in ensuring they are employing best practice in their teaching approaches and are using a range of far-reaching strategies to support all students in lessons that are universally designed, enriching and accessible.
Refinement in our numeracy offerings have also continued in 2021 and the decision has been made to move away from the Maths Pathways model in 2022. Mathematics teachers at Newman College are dedicated to the phases of our learning cycle to ensure data is used to inform their practice and the learning experience is personalised for all students. A continued focus on Literacy and Numeracy will feature as a strategic intent in our 2022 Annual School Improvement Plan which will see teachers across all year levels and subject areas engage in action learning as we work to align the skills and content of our curriculum.
Students will also be engaged in a proactive and targeted goal setting program which will ensure students are empowered to set goals for their own achievement and can work collaboratively with their teachers to achieve them. This will be complemented by a targeted study skills and revision program which will empower skills with the necessary habits and skills for effective study and independent learning.
Newman College continues to be a thriving learning community which empowers students and teachers to give witness to our Vision for Learning ‘Shine through Discovery’ – Let your Light Shine.
We have a passionate improvement agenda which is informed by our focus on tracking student growth and achievement and look forward to celebrating the success and animated growth of students in 2022.