Dear Families, Students and Community members,
Strengthening Culture of Achievement
My ongoing mantra to everyone here has been to set ‘High Expectations’ in everything we do. High expectations of our own performance and of those we influence, whether we are student, teacher or parent. Underpinning this focus are our core values of Personal Best, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility. It is so important that they continue to be evident in how we all work together throughout the year.
As a school community focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for all of our students we need to continually reflect and seek improvement in everything we do. A reminder of the Goals and Key Improvement Strategies in our Strategic Plan (2017-2020):
- Student Achievement – to improve the VCE all study score to above the state and to maximise student learning growth for all students 7-12 across all learning areas
- Student Engagement – to develop confident and engaged students who have an authentic voice in planning their own learning pathway in and beyond school
- Student Wellbeing – to empower confident, healthy and resilient students
A number of key improvement strategies have been planned over the life of the Strategic Plan aimed at achieving these goals and the specific targets set.
- 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
- Develop and embed rigorous, reliable and well differentiated assessment practices to support quality learning outcomes for all students
- Develop and implement processes and practices to strengthen transition into, through and beyond the school
- Plan learning sequences and activities that strengthen authentic student voice and self-directed learning
- Build student resilience and identify and respond to the needs of specific groups or individual students through a documented and implemented wellbeing approach
In terms of the Curiosity and Powerful learning initiative and our implementation plan, we will continue to focus on the theory of actions introduced over the past two years in: High Expectations and Authentic Relationships and Learning Objectives, Success Criteria, Narrative and Pace (2016); and Teaching Protocols (our Instructional Model) and Development of Challenging Learning Tasks (2017); while introducing two additional theories this year, Higher Order questioning and Connecting Feedback to Data. These are linked into our first two key improvement strategies above.
Year 7 Information night
On Monday 19 February the Year 7 Parent information evening was held in the Year 7 Learning Centre. This was an opportunity for parents to be introduced to the key features of the Year 7 program (structure of a typical day, communication with home group teachers and leadership team, the iPad program, home study, learning tracker, Compass, Google docs, and assessment). Thanks to Liz Evans Year 7 Coordinator and Daniel Williams Director of Middle School for organising this night along with Alice Leppin Director of Pedagogy and Programs and the home group teachers and members of the leadership team for their support and attendance to work with the parents on the night. We had a positive attendance with many new families to our school starting in Year 7 this year and there was very much a positive vibe about their child’s start at Mordialloc College.
Tips for new parents transitioning to Secondary School
We really value the home-school partnership and parents staying connected and engaged with their child’s learning in Secondary School. There can be a tendency for parents to step back from their child’s schooling but the best outcomes can be achieved when schools and parents work together to create the optimal supportive learning environments at school and at home for learning, aligned to shared values and aspirations. I encourage all parents to stay informed by staying in contact with their child’s main teachers, reading the College weekly newsletter and maximising their use of one of our main means of communication, the Compass parent portal. Through the portal you can do the following:
- Monitor your child’s attendance, and enter in explanations for late arrivals or absences.
- Communicate with your child’s teachers and update their family details.
- Monitor homework, assessment tasks and view outstanding learning tasks.
- Download and view their child’s progress on individual assessment tasks during the term and end of semester reports.
- View ‘My News’, a news feed of school announcements, alerts and updates.
- View your student’s timetable and the school calendar.
- Book parent-teacher meetings.
- Pay and provide consent for events, excursions and school fees.
You can access Compass at https://mcsc-vic.compass.education. If you have any trouble accessing, please contact the general office so your password details can be checked.
Regularly talk about school and the new and unfamiliar experiences. Assist them to develop organisational skills to plan and prioritise; and encourage your child to take advantage of the many extra-curricular opportunities to broaden their interests and talents. Above all else to have a positive attitude and be prepared to give things a go!
A reminder to parents and students about the use of our student study planner as a valuable organisational tool to support learning and is an important means of communication between school and home. Students should take their planner to every class and keep it graffiti free and tidy. Students should record home study, important dates e.g. upcoming excursions and due dates for class work. Teachers will use the planner to inform parents about matters of importance within their specific class. I ask that parents check their student’s planner on a regular basis.
This year, we are again very excited to welcome back former student and school captain, Josh Mulcahy to lead our School production of “The Addams Family” with the assistance of Mara Sears, Adelle Stevenson, Ariana Nickou, Liz Evans and Demis Danoudis. The production was launched in our new Performing Arts Centre on Monday 5 February with many interested students in attendance. Auditions for students are currently taking place. This year, there will be a fourth performance night on the Saturday to meet the demand for tickets.
Congratulations to our two groups of students now in Year 10 and 11 (total 30) who have been training and also fundraising (since last year) for their trip to Malaysia to take place over the last four weeks of this year supported by four fantastic teachers - Alice Leppin, Dylan Piubello, Laura Gorman and Andrew Fisher. The trip provides a wonderful opportunity for students to achieve personal and team goals and develop valuable skills for later life, such as teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and communication.