End of Term, End of an Era and New Beginnings
It is hard to believe that we are half way through another year. Two terms down and we have seen our Receptions settle into class and learn how to “do school”. We have seen improvements in student learning achievement as they grapple with questions that throw them into the learning pit, collaborate in problem solving and work together to push each other into deeper learning.
Teachers, as learners, have been involved in professional development in Interoception, Learning Dispositions, Metacognition, Aboriginal Perspectives as well as pedagogies in teaching English and Mathematics.
Our total focus is on learning, both as staff and students. Our play programs, wellbeing and Interoception programs, class and specialist programs, our behaviour expectations, our values and policies are all aimed at providing learning opportunities to help every member of the school community learn and improve. This culture of learning was acknowledged by the recent External Review echoed by our students, staff and parents.
The end of the term brings the end of an era. June Liston, our school cleaner, will retire after a lifetime at the school. June’s mother was the school’s original cleaner. The Stillwell Unit was named after her family who were pioneers in this area. June joined her mother cleaning the school and later took over the business. June was the main cleaning contractor to the school for many years until a large corporate cleaning company won the contract and employed June to stay on as cleaner.
June was the subject of a movie made by students and a teacher which won a movie making award. You can view the movie here: https://youtu.be/zZa5eftnjOQ
More than just a cleaner, June was a parent of students from the school and became an active volunteer. Her skills in art led her into supporting classes for concerts and performance including Wakakirri and culminating in 8 school musical extravaganzas performed at Hopgood Theatre over as many years. June’s stage sets, costumes, masks, puppets and props became extraordinarily creative and professional. June also assisted backstage with make up and costume changes.
June will continue to work in the school as a relief SSO and will also continue her voluntary work. Thank you, June for your years of cleaning the school, cleaning up unmentionable things and doing the little extra things that only someone who really cares about a school would do. We wish you all the very best for your retirement but are very pleased that you will still be in the school at times.
Another era is ending with Penny, Erica and Isla Parker leaving our school to move to the mid north. Penny has been actively involved with the school for over 14 years. She was a member of the original Craft Group, was a long term member of the Governing Council as well as serving as the Chairperson for a year, convened numerous sub-committees and served the school as a volunteer in many ways for which she received a Volunteer Award from Amanda Rishworth. We wish Penny and the girls all the best for the future.
Term 3 will see the new beginning for the interior of our 45 year old Stillwell and Holly Units as the $1m STEMWorks redevelopment transforms these tired old units into modern, flexible learning spaces to enable students to develop creativity, curiosity and problem solving skills through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths learning. The Castle Unit is also part of the program with large windows and doors being placed in the end wall to bring in light and provide access to a new nature play area being developed.
The builders’ yard will be created in the northern carpark. OSHC parents and caregivers will still be able to access OSHC but will have to park at the west end of the car park. The building begins on the first day of the holidays with completion date set for September 8. There will be significant restriction to areas in the Stillwell and Holly Units. Entry to the classes will be only through external doors as all the common space in the centre of the units will be subject to the redevelopment. A security fence and wheelchair ramp will be set up at the front of Stillwell to provide safe access to and from the classrooms to the main entrance for access to the rest of the school. All Stillwell classes will work flexibly and collaboratively across the three front rooms. There will be short term pain for a long term gain.
Lee Clements, our extraordinarily wonderful Receptionist will be on leave for the first 4 weeks of next term. We wish her a relaxing and well earned break. Sam Oakley and Tanya Black will take on Lee’s duties in her absence.
We celebrate a new beginning with Mr Scott Megson, his wife Biancamaria and son Patrick at the birth of their second child, Henry.
We all look forward to an exciting future.