Second term is always an exciting period.
This is the term that denotes the half way point for the Year 12 students; if they haven’t already, they will be counting down to exams soon. More likely, though, they will be counting to their formal at the end of this term.
The term started with two days of parent teacher interviews, followed in quick succession by a curriculum day, where all our staff ventured to Nossal High to meet and collaborate with our colleagues from the other select entry schools. We had to wait for week three of this term before we had a full five-day ‘working’ week. Yet we still manage to squeeze into the time we have a vast array of activities, and classes, and assessments. By this time of the year, parents should have been receiving feedback on their child’s assessments via the parent portal on Compass. The school policy is that feedback is provided within ten working days after submission of the task. This is genuine continuous reporting and provides timely feedback.
Our sporting teams have been very active with teams representing the school in ultimate Frisbee, soccer, futsal, tennis, baseball, softball, football (AFL), swimming and taekwondo. The latter sport is new to the school. A taekwondo club was started this year and now has over forty students training regularly with Mr Sam Yang, who just happens to be a six-time national taekwondo champion. Twenty-four of the students recently competed in a statewide competition; the school made history being the first school based club to compete. Success followed for the majority of our students; 11 gold, 8 silver and 3 bronze medals.
The breadth of opportunity at the school is one of its most important strengths. The music program continues to grow and earlier this term we had a delightful music soiree in the Agora. One of the student initiated groups, Bedside Buds, made a very successful trip to a retirement home to give gifts of terrariums to the residents, provide some companionship and play them music. To add to the different opportunities, we are just concluding a very successful Humanities week, where students have written graffiti on our very own Berlin Wall, prepared for a mock 1950s style nuclear warning, sought guidance from the Delphic oracle and attended the annual Budget breakfast.
One of the main highlights of this term was the school’s annual play production. This year’s play was Cosi, an Australian play set in an asylum in the social context of the Vietnam War. Like last year, both the members of the VCE Theatre Studies class and other thespian-inspired students perform the play. Directed by their teacher, Mr William Donaldson, the play explores the themes of sanity and questions the idea of ‘normal’. As the character Justin says, “You’ll discover this, is that they are just normal people, well, not quite normal…But you get my drift?” I can assure you that all members of the school are ‘normal’. It was an outstanding success; the audience laughed throughout! In addition, I will make special mention of Noah Napier’s performance as Roy.
The importance of productions cannot be overstated. A school with a strong culture of opportunity should provide the means for students to discover and participate in the magical world of theatre. The philosophy of the school in providing a well-rounded education and developing the Renaissance person is supported by the provision of plays and musicals.
The students are very keen to be involved in the whole school. As I write this report, we have students in Year 10 competing against the other select entry schools in debating, table tennis, chess, volleyball, theatre sports, OZCLO and badminton. This is a new competition and we look forward to it expanding over the coming years. Student feedback was integral in this event coming to fruition. We seek and value student feedback and input in a variety of ways. Recently the students spent time giving us written feedback on several topics, including assessments, house and the school uniform. Next week the students will have an opportunity to complete the DET Student Attitudes to School Survey. We are also in the process of electing two students to school council under the new rules introduced by the government.
No doubt the remainder of the term will be as busy as the first five weeks. I would like to thank the many staff who have given their time to the many co-curricular activities that have taken place so far.