Dear Parents, Students & Staff
1. School Review Process
As you are aware we have been involved in a Department School Review which takes place every four years. The process includes the preparation of a self evaluation report and a second report prepared by a team of verifiers who spent 4 days in the school talking with students, staff and parents, observing a range of classes and reading some documents about our curriculum, student management, school organisation etc.
Using all this information we form a Design Team of staff and two Department representatives who then prepare our next four year Strategic Plan and the associated Annual Implementation Plan for the first year. We have almost finished the Strategic Plan and will place this on our website shortly for parents to read. The AIP is also well underway.
The process has identified the various strengths of our school, some aspects which we want to review and enhance and some new approaches for us to investigate and implement. Our desire is to see Fairhills going from 'Good' to 'Great' in the learning opportunities we provide for our students.
2. Year 12 Student Work Practices Survey
Our Year 12 students completed this survey earlier in Term 2 so that the staff could evaluate how our students are approaching their work this year. Several pieces of information will be of interest to you & to all parents, not just those of Year 12s:
- 96% of our Year 12 students have broadband access at home to assist their studies
- Most students have between 7 & 9 hours sleep (average 7.6), but most disappointingly 19 students have less than 7 when the medically recommended figure is 8 to 9 hours.
- Two thirds of our students don't switch their phones off at night and consequently risk having their sleep disturbed. Included in this newlsetter is a scientific report on this issue. I encourage all parents to read it and take appropriate action.
- Two thirds of our Year 12 students have a part time job which provides a great opportunity to learn new skills (and be paid for learning them). However about 30% exceed the recommended limit of 8 hours a week. Research shows that working in excess of 8 hours reduces students' school results. Parents please take note and take appropriate action.
- Finally, and most importantly, the VCE is designed by the VCAA for students to spend 100 hours working on each semester unit. Approximately 60 hours is provided in the timetabled classes with the other 40 to be done in private study periods or as homework. This equates to 3 hours per week per subject for each semester. Many of our students come close to meeting this requirement but some don't with the result that the average is 2.3 hours/week/subject. Teachers are working hard with their students to bring this up to the 3.0 hours target. As we succeed in this, so will our school's VCE outcomes increase. Parents & students, we ask that you support us in this endeavour.