Dear Families, Students and Community Members,
Reporting to Parents
In the second last week of term interim reports will be available for all year levels via Compass by the end of the day on Tuesday 26 March. On Wednesday 27 March Compass bookings will be open for our parent/teacher/student interviews which will be held on Wednesday 24 April from 12 pm - 8 pm. As mentioned in my last newsletter article, we are allocating a full day with altered hours of attendance for this important event this year. Classes will be cancelled and students are required to attend the interviews with their parent/guardian, wearing their school uniform. A letter will be sent to all parents with the instructions for making the bookings via Compass, including a map of teacher locations to assist in managing, as efficiently as possible, bookings across a number of teachers. A reminder that parents are able to access all results and comments for benchmark tasks completed to date across Years 7-12 on Compass throughout the term as part of our continuous reporting process. It’s important that parents take the time to check Compass and stay informed about their child’s progress. Our continuous reporting process was introduced to provide both parents and students with more timely feedback.
An important part of our publicity in the lead up to our SEAL information night (Monday 1 April) and Sports Excellence Program Information session and Open Night (Thursday 2 May) are the visits we make to all feeder primary schools (14 schools). This started last week and involves myself, Marina Walsh and Daniel Williams taking some of our students to visit each school for 30-40 mins. Most schools are keen for us to speak to Grade 5s and 6s. The visits are held over 3 weeks of this term. On each visit we have taken a group of current Year 7 students and two Year 12 or Year 9 students to speak about their experiences as students of Mordialloc College. They have represented the College with distinction to date and the pride they feel in their school is obvious in their respective speeches, complemented by a powerpoint presentation and video clip about the College and programs offered. I would like to thank all students for their involvement.
Student Position on School Council
A couple of weeks ago we held a ballot for the one vacant student position on Council. There were three nominations: James Vicendese – Year 11, Ben Stewart – Year 12 and Billy Kruss – Year 12. Congratulations to James Vicendese who was elected and will remain now on Council for two years. School Captains Levi Burns and Elizabeth Ng join Council as community members and Jeremy Thai-Chan in Year 8 joined in 2018 in a two year position.
Curiosity and Powerful Learning
Two of our Key Improvement Strategies in our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan are to “develop precision in teacher practice using agreed lesson structures and challenging learning tasks that reflect high expectations for student learning and strengthen feedback and coaching for staff;” and to “develop and embed rigorous, reliable and well differentiated assessment practices to support quality learning outcomes for all students.” To support this our Professional Learning schedule with staff this year is focused on:
- Connecting feedback to data following a cycle of inquiry supported by our Triad coaching program and Learning Area focus in supporting the use of assessment data to improve each teacher’s ability to diagnose and evaluate student learning growth over time. This includes using multiple data sources and for differentiation to be evident in lesson planning and feedback to students;
- continuing to embed the MC Instructional Model (for consistency of teacher practice) supported by our Triad coaching program and Learning Area walks
- continuing a whole school literacy focus on Writing.
We are measuring improvement in teaching practice and precision through student perception data collected during early Term 1 and all teachers will be surveying students again in October. Teachers receive results for their individual class/es and we also receive collated results for the whole school by learning area and year level. Teachers also complete a self-assessment tool at the start, mid-year and end of year, where we expect to see growth.
Teachers are also continuing their work on developing challenging learning tasks in their collaborative planning time together each Monday after school. When learning tasks are purposeful, clearly defined, differentiated and challenging, then all students will experience powerful, progressive and precise learning. We believe curiosity is enhanced when students work at a level appropriate to their understanding.
Professional Practice Days implementation
As per the new Victorian Government Schools Agreement introduced last year, in addition to the four whole school student free days, teachers have been allocated four professional practice days (pro-rata for part-time teachers) to be utilised over the year (one per term). They are entitled to be released from classes to focus on the improved delivery of high quality teaching and learning. The work undertaken on these days must be consistent with Department and school priorities (as outlined in our Strategic Plan) and selected from the following areas: planning, preparation, assessment of student learning, collaboration, curriculum development, relevant professional learning and peer observation including feedback and reflection.
The College priority has been to plan how we can most effectively implement this requirement to minimise the disruption to our students' learning program.
Year 7 & 8 Sport
For the last three weeks of this term we are trialling allowing students in Year 7 & 8 to come to school wearing their sports uniform in preparation for their weekly sport program which requires most to be ready to leave by the start of lunch on a Tuesday for Year 7 and Fridays for Year 8. Many get changed at recess so in effect they are only in their school uniform for the start of day and first lesson. They must come in their correct sports uniform, no variations accepted. This is only for sport, not when they have PE. If students do the right thing we will continue this for the remainder of the year.
Cultural Diversity Week
This week we have been celebrating Cultural Diversity Week. It coincides with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Thanks to Mrs Peerbux for organising an engaging program of activities and teachers Ms Baker, Mrs Watson, Ms Smith and Mr Newsome for their assistance in running the activities. Apart from the daily quiz and poster competition, there was origami, bocce games, Taiko drumming incursion for Year 7, a range of different food served in the canteen over the week and calligraphy lunchtime sessions.
Careers of the future
See what skills will provide graduates with better career prospects in the long run by clicking on this link -