Schools are complex environments where the interactions between teachers, administrators, parents, wellbeing staff and outside agencies combine to support students in a range of different ways. With over 1000 students in the school and around 100 staff, there are multiple connections taking place every minute of every day. I feel very privileged to be the Principal of a school that values the individuality of each student and scaffolds the learning for them.
I was reading a report funded by the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia and undertaken by Professor Helen Forgasz and Adjunct Professor Gilah Leder of Monash University which found that girls in single-sex schools are more likely than girls in co-educational schools to study chemistry, intermediate mathematics, advanced mathematics and physics in their senior years, but that a disturbingly low proportion of girls in both types of schools take IT or computing subjects.
At MGSC we are raising awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) subjects and have introduced Digital Technologies into the curriculum this year for all students in Years 7 to 9. Last year, a good number of our students joined the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia’s trip to the NASA Space School and undertook a range of scientific classes and experiences. Our students also won the Super Hack Challenge at Melbourne University and were successful in winning places at interstate Science Conferences. At the end of the year we held a digital two day incursion for our Year 9 students on app design which was a great success. These are only a few of the achievements of our students which happen with the support of our dedicated and highly motivated staff.
As a school community we are always seeking to improve what we can offer our students. Beginning in 2019, Mentone Girls’ Secondary College will offer an Enhancement Program for girls who seek a greater academic challenge. The Enhancement Program will run from Years 7 to 9 and will provide students with the opportunity to learn through higher-order thinking, inquiry and rich tasks as part of an enhanced curriculum in English, Mathematics, Humanities and Science. Further information about this new program can be found on our website.
A vital part of our school community is the School Council who meet regularly throughout the year. The group is comprised of elected parent and staff representatives and this is in addition to their day to day jobs. I would like to thank the following Council members who are finishing their term – parent members Mark Weatherley, Glenn Chadwick and Paul Thorne and staff members Maurice Woolcock and Gary Hughes. Their contributions have been much appreciated.
I welcome our new parent members: Rosa Ferrari, Simon Cleur and Geri Sumpter and Department of Education and Training (DET) members, Alison Pickard and Wendy Harvey. They join parent members, James Malliaros, Darren Hawkless, Rachael Angus and Richard Elstone and DET members Louise Rieniets, and ex-officio members, Inny Smit, Carol Duggan and Bronwyn Moline.