Dear Families, Students and Community Members,
Reporting to Parents
On Friday of this week the results and comments for benchmark tasks completed and assessed to date across Years 7-12 will be released on Compass for student and parent access. Please make sure you check to stay informed about your child’s progress. Our new progressive reporting process was introduced last year, to provide parents and students with more timely feedback.
In the last week of term interim reports will be available for all year levels via Compass. On Wednesday 28 March we will be holding Years 7-12 parent-teacher interviews in the two storey building classrooms, both upstairs and downstairs. It will be the usual 2.30 pm early dismissal day for a Wednesday and parents are able to book interview times online via Compass from 3.00 – 6.30 pm. Please see the Compass newsfeed for instructions on making bookings via Compass and also the room location for each teacher. If you have any problems or questions please call the General Office for assistance. We look forward to seeing many parents at the interviews next week.
Future Funding to complete our Masterplan
Over the last 6 months I have now met a number of times with our local member, Mr Tim Richardson, and Education Minister, James Merlino, and most recently the local candidate, Geoff Gledhill, and Shadow Education Minister, Tim Smith, to discuss the planned future financial commitment by the State Government which will enable the College to realise the full completion of our masterplan. It is important that plans are put in place now in order to allow the Mordialloc College community to access a complete range of 21st century learning facilities across the College and, most importantly, to adequately cater for and accommodate our growth in student numbers.
Our priority projects to date are:
- New Year 8 Learning Centre – this was originally planned for completion within the last funding allocation and therefore the design and construction documentation has been completed.
- New Visual Arts and Technology Centre
- New Senior School Study Centre with classrooms attached
An important part of our publicity in the lead up to our SEAL information night, Wednesday 18 April, and Open Night, Thursday 26 April, are the visits we make to all our feeder primary schools (15 schools). This started last week and involves myself, Liz Evans and Daniel Williams taking some of our students to visit each school for 30-40 minutes. Most schools are keen for us to speak to Grade 5s and 6s. The visits are occurring over the last 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 clips about the College and programs offered. I would like to thank all students for their involvement.
Curiosity and Powerful Learning
One of the Key Improvement Strategies in our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan is 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.” As such, this year we have continued implementation of our five year action plan for Curiosity and Powerful Learning covering the 10 theories of action (2018 is the third year of implementation) with a targeted professional learning program focused this semester on Higher Order Questioning, supported by our triad peer coaching program, where teachers are continuing to build their capacity as coaches in the giving of authentic feedback. When we systematically employ higher order questioning, then levels of student understanding will deepen and levels of achievement will increase. Students will be more likely to be curious if regularly asked to analyse, create and evaluate.
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 as we approach the end of the semester to collect their mid-year data. We are also expecting to see growth on the teacher self-assessment tool, again completed at the start and middle of the year.
Teachers are also continuing their work on developing challenging learning tasks (started mid-year last year) in their collaboration planning time together on Mondays 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
In addition to the four whole school student free days, in the new Victorian Government Schools Agreement 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 College 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 new requirement to minimise the disruption to our students' learning program.
Cultural Diversity Week
This week we have been celebrating the theme “everyone belongs” throughout Cultural Diversity Week. Thanks to Mrs Peerbux for organising an engaging program of activities and to teachers Ms Baker, Mrs Watson, Mr Shanahan, Mr Walters, Ms Zou, Ms Virgo, Ms Yang and Mr Fisher for their assistance in running the activities. Apart from the daily quiz and poster competition, there were bocce games, a Chinese food celebration day, French board games and lunchtime calligraphy sessions.