Dear Families, Students and Community Members,
Continuing to Strengthen 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 Key Improvement Strategies in our Strategic Plan (2017-2020):
- 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
Our Professional Learning schedule with staff in 2019 is focused on:
- Connecting feedback to data following a cycle of inquiry supported by our Triad coaching program and Learning Area focus in supporting the use of assessment data to improve teachers' ability to diagnose and evaluate student learning growth over time. This includes using multiple data sources and for differentiation to be evident in lesson planning and feedback to students;
- Continuing to embed the MC Instructional Model (for consistency of teacher practice) supported by our Triad coaching program and Learning Area walks
- Continuing a whole school literacy focus on writing
Parent/Teacher/Student interviews – Advance Notice
In response to parent feedback last year that there wasn’t enough time allocated for parent- teacher interviews we are allocating a full day with altered hours of attendance for this important event this year. School Council have endorsed Wednesday 24 April 12-8pm for our parent/teacher/student interviews, in Week 1 of Term 2. Classes will be cancelled for this day and students are required to attend the interviews with their parent/guardian, wearing their school uniform. Bookings will open on Wednesday 27 March. A few times this year I have written about the importance of students regularly attending school to make the most of educational opportunities and to achieve to their full potential. The department is not in support of families taking holidays in school time and as such we have deliberately scheduled parent/teacher/student interviews in the first week of Term 2 where there are two public holidays and potentially the temptation to have an extended Easter family holiday. We expect that parents and guardians will value the opportunity to speak with teachers about their child/children’s progress and will therefore be in attendance at the interviews, and students are all back at school on the first day of Term 2, Tuesday 23 April.
Reporting to Parents
On Friday of last week the results and comments for benchmark tasks completed to date across Years 7-12 were released on Compass for student and parent access. Please make sure you check to stay informed about your child’s progress. Our continuous reporting process was introduced to provide parents and students with more timely feedback. Progress reports for the term will be available by the end of Week 9, when bookings for parent/teacher/student interviews open.
At our first school council meeting for the year on February 21 a small group of students presented to us on their World Challenge experience. Thanks to Maddie Mead, Zoe Pegrum, Lucy Reekie, Georgia McLeish, Charlotte Davis, Matt McVay and Yarno Vlasblom for being prepared to present to school council out of normal school hours and for providing an engaging presentation.
Congratulations to our two groups of students in Year 10 and 11 (total 30) who had a most memorable time in Malaysia over the last four weeks of last 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. Our current students in Year 9 and 10 will soon be hearing about the plans for World Challenge in 2020 and what they will need to do to sign up for this amazing opportunity.
On Monday 11 February the school production was launched to the student body and they were very excited to hear we are putting on the show Footloose under the direction of Mara Sears, Adelle Stevenson, Cameron Young, Kelly Ferguson and Demis Danoudis. Our teachers will be supported by Year 12 students from 2017 Natalie Wood, Hannah Blavo and Imogen Kane, who are excited to return to the College to assist in directing the show. We had huge interest in auditions with so many enthusiastic students which was fantastic to see. The final cast has been selected and rehearsals have begun! We will again have the fourth performance night on the Saturday.
College Council Elections
In the recent call for nominations for parent vacancies on Council we received a number of nominations which was most pleasing. It is my pleasure to welcome back Ian Fox, Heath McMillin and Adam Wade; and welcome our new members to Council – Jason Allen and Amelia Mastorakos. Andrew Moffat has been nominated for the one DET vacancy and has therefore been duly elected. I thank them for their commitment to Mordialloc College.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to outgoing parent members Tracey Gabell and David Peters for their significant contribution to Council and their ongoing support of the College.
Tracey has served on our council for the past eleven and a half years and as member of our school community for the past thirteen years as a parent at the school. Tracey has held the positions of Treasurer and Vice President during her time on council and has also served on all sub-committees of council. A fantastic commitment to supporting the College community. She will be missed! David served on the council for the past two years and we thank him for his contribution. David remains a current parent at the school.
This week we are currently holding a ballot for the one vacant student position on council. We have three nominations: James Vicendese – Year 11, Ben Stewart – Year 12 and Billy Kruss – Year 12. Students have until Friday 8 March to cast their vote at Reception. School Captains Levi Burns and Elizabeth Ng join council as community members and Jeremy Thai-Chan in Year 8 joined the council in 2018 in a two year position.
Victorian Schools Interschool Debating
Congratulations on the wonderful work of teacher Peter Vicary for raising the profile of debating at the College and providing a fantastic opportunity for our students to become involved in this extra-curricular activity. Last year it was a huge success and Peter has up to thirty students involved in debating club this year which is held after school one night a week. These students are keen to work on their debating skills with the aim of competing at interschool competitions. This year we have entered two teams in the Victorian Schools Interschool Debating competition, which is predominantly against private schools.
Police Surf Community Lifesaving Carnival
Congratulations to teacher James Evans and students from the Year 9 and 10 Advance classes this year and last year who were selected to compete on Tuesday 5 March in the Southern Metropolitan Region Division 2, Police Surf Community Lifesaving carnival. Students were congratulated for their outstanding performance and spirit in participating in this carnival. Mordialloc College were the winners on the day defeating the police team, Cornish College and Parkdale SC. Look out for the report in next week’s newsletter.
On Friday 22 February, the House Swimming Carnival was held and it was a most successful and enjoyable day. The event was extremely well supported by students and staff with the majority of the student population in attendance and all enthusiastically engaged with the busy program in lovely conditions. Congratulations go to Iwala (Red house) on their great win and to the respective boy and girl age level champions who were listed in last week’s newsletter. Well done and thanks to our Sports Carnivals Coordinator Cory Watters for his excellent organisation of this event and all students and staff for their wonderful work and positive involvement on the day. We have over 100 students competing in the District carnival next week against other secondary schools in the area and results will be published in a few weeks’ time.
Ms. Michelle Roberts