FOOTSCRAY LEARNING PRECINCT INFORMATION EVENING
Tuesday 5th December 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm at Footscray City College
While Footscray City College is providing the venue for the Information Evening on the proposed Footscray Learning Precinct (FLP), it is being hosted and organised by the Victorian Schools Building Authority (VSBA) of the Department of Education & Training.
On December 4th, Minister Merlino will be making an announcement about student transition arrangements, school governance and a shared learning framework for the schools within the Precinct. These schools include Footscray City College, Gilmore College, Footscray Primary and Footscray City Primary.
As well as providing an overview of the vision for the Precinct, the Information session will provide more detail around the areas covered by the Ministerial announcement. There will also be some Q & A time.
Feedback from the community engagement process conducted by the VSBA in August has helped to inform the detail developed so far around the transition of students, governance and the shared learning framework.
We encourage our community – parents, staff and students – to attend the Evening on the 5th December to find out more about what is envisaged for the Precinct, and what the next steps are.
If you are interested in attending, please click on the following link to register for the event.
You can also read more about the Precinct using this link.
In terms of recent developments for the schools of the Precinct, master plans have been drawn up for our school (FCC), Gilmore College, a new campus at Pilgrim Street, and Footscray City Primary.
The plans have been developed for FCC with a view to it becoming a senior campus (Years 10 – 12), and with Gilmore and the new Pilgrim Street site planned around being junior campuses (Years 7 – 9). These three campuses will form the one secondary school within the Precinct.
The master plans are currently in draft form and will be finalised and released in early 2018.
New Timetable for 2018
In 2018, the college will be changing to a fortnightly timetable for our student programs. The main impetus for this change was one of the key strategies in our Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) for 2017 which was 'to develop a revised Year 7 – 9 curriculum that includes a focus on STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) and 21st C skills and capabilities.’ Essentially, we are aiming to make a serious endeavour to deliver a curriculum which will equip our students to meet the work and life demands of the future.
As many of you will be aware, STEM/STEAM capabilities are touted by industry and higher education as essential for effective functioning in the future at both a personal and employment level. It is predicted that there will be significant growth in jobs related to these areas, and for those who do not pursue work directly in such areas, it is expected that digital and scientific capabilities will still become increasingly important for everyone to function effectively in the world of the future. It is also now a requirement of the Victorian Curriculum that digital technologies be taught within the curriculum.
As a result of the revision of our junior curriculum, a key initiative has been to introduce two new semester long subjects into the year 7 and 8 program – one is Digitech and the other is STEAM. Digitech will focus on developing students’ digital skills and capabilities, including those of coding. STEAM will be project based and students will largely collaborate in teams to address a real-life challenge and develop a useful product or products to resolve this challenge. In the process students will be drawing on, and developing skills and knowledge from the different disciplines of science, technology, engineering, maths and art/design.
At Year 9, the main change is in the area of projects. Community Action will continue to be a compulsory semester long project, timetabled for a full day on a weekly basis. There are two main reasons for maintaining Community Action as a key feature of our Year 9 program. Firstly, it explicitly promotes some of our values and purpose of the current strategic plan for the school which states that we aim to develop ‘confident, resilient, well-rounded young people, who act with respect and active responsibility towards others in the community, and the environment....’ Secondly, over the years, there has generally been very positive feedback from many students and parents about the program.
Other Year 9 projects that have run previously, such as CSI – Forensic Science, Screen & Film Production, Art Adventure, Mythbusters and Outdoor Adventure will become semester long elective units. Sport will still be offered in the Year 9 program but it will no longer be compulsory, and students will have other leadership focused elective units to choose from. Some of these include Maths Mentoring (in primary schools), the Duke Edinburgh program, and Find your Voice (training of presentation of ideas in public forums). Other options can be seen via the Year 9 Handbook which is accessible from our website.
The inclusion of new subjects is, of course, a challenge when we already have a very busy curriculum. Some of the other changes to the Year 7 & 8 programs include a small reduction in the number of periods per fortnight for the arts based term units (Art, Drama, Music) from ten periods to nine. Maths will also have nine periods per fortnight as some Maths will be covered in the STEAM units, and PE and Sport will alternate on a weekly basis. Like many other schools who use a fortnightly timetable, we have chosen to go to this schedule to minimize the impact on other subject areas, whilst allowing the introduction of new subjects to provide a more current curriculum to help meet the needs of our students.
Graduation and Presentation Evenings
Although Term 4 is officially one of our longest, it seems to move rapidly from the moment the Year 12s finish their courses, culminating with their Graduation evening in October at the Flemington Racecourse Atrium venue. Once again we had a wonderful celebratory evening with our Year 12s and their families, and our students are to be commended for the manner in which they conducted themselves at the event, and for the cohesion and care they showed for each other as a group.
Congratulations goes to all of our Year 12 students who were acknowledged with certificates for completion of their VCE or VCAL, and to others for their outstanding performance in individual subjects. Special mention goes to two of those students – the dual recipients of the Highest Performer Award – James Madsen-Smith and Vincent Victory. Also a special thank you and commendation for their eloquence and aplomb goes to Lainey Drake and James Madsen-Smith for their valedictorian speeches, and to Tia Altschwager and Vincent Victory for their leader of ceremonies role.
The presentation Evening for the Year 7 – 11 students at the Clock Tower in Moonee Ponds was also an excellent evening with so many of our students acknowledged for their achievements in academic studies, sport, the arts, leadership and contributions to the community. Congratulations goes to all of those students with their diverse range of talents, skills and commitments.
Thank you to the students who confidently and ably conducted most of the proceedings of the evening – Jamie Brown, Mia Brittain, Imogen Braun and Quincey Davis. All of those students involved in the music, theatre and short films showcased in the entertainment segments of the evening also made the event all the more enjoyable and celebratory.
2018 Course Commencement
Our Year 12 students for 2018 have already commenced their programs for next year and likewise for the 2018, Year 11 students. It will be no time before our junior students too, will move into an introduction to their programs for 2018, and we will be farewelling the 2017 school year.
Report Writing Day Monday 4th December - Student Free Day
Monday 4th December is scheduled for teachers to complete their report writing prior to the proof-reading and distribution process. No students will be required at school on this day. Friday 1st December will be the last day of the 2017 Year 7, 8 and 9 programs for our students. The week of the 4th December marks the beginning of the end-of-year program including a week of Course Commencement where our Year 7 to 9 students will experience an introduction to their 2018 programs as Year 8 to 10 students.
Maria Bawden - Principal