On Wednesday of week 1 Woodville High School welcomed approximately 400 new students to Our Woodville, including 160 Year 7 students. This was very special day for our community as we opened our gates to Year 7 students for the first time in 107 years.
Eager, smiling faces entered the school gates for the first time to be welcomed by leadership, teachers and support staff. The morning was enhanced by a traditional Kaurna smoking ceremony which greeted students and families as they arrived.
Due to COVID restrictions, the planned morning tea reception with parents was unable to proceed, so as a small welcome, parents were offered a voucher for a coffee at local café Mia Piatto, courtesy of Our Woodville.
Year 7 and 8 students gathered outdoors in their respective cohorts and were welcomed to Woodville High School with a smoking ceremony by local Kaurna Elder, Uncle Corey who also delivered an amazing Welcome to Country, linking our motto ‘Reach for the Stars’ with Indigenous knowledge and the importance of staying connected to school. Our principal then gave a formal welcome to each cohort, outlining the opportunities and experiences each child will experience across the next six years of Woodville education.
The year 7 and 8s participated in a program across the remainder of the week, developed by the year 7 and 8 teaching teams. Activities included getting to know you games, introductions to our Wellbeing programs, tour of the school and DayMap/Google, our Learner Management Systems. Capturing the voices of all the new Woodville students in our week 2 Pathway lesson will allow the school to reflect and improve on the transition program for those who enter in 2022 and beyond. Feedback from students included;
‘I enjoyed meeting new people and being friends with the said people, I also liked how the staff members were and how cooperative and kind they were to the new students of the school’.
‘With my first week I enjoyed learning about high school and how different it was to primary school’.
The program was well supported by our Home Group and subject teachers of our Year 7 and 8 cohorts, who worked alongside the Year 7 and 8 Year Level Teams to plan, prepare and implement a program that catered for the diverse range of learners that walked through our school gates. Bronan Economou, coordinator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education at Our Woodville applauded the efforts of the respective teams, acknowledging the inclusive nature of the program and care for all students.
We have received a range of positive feedback from families already;
“Congratulations on a well coordinated return to school. Our daughter has had a great first week!”
“Thank you, she had a fantastic start and we’re all very happy!”
“Day one on Wednesday was so friendly and we loved the smoking ceremony, it was deeply welcoming.”
In the interest of continuous improvement we invite all parents and caregivers of Year 7 and 8 students to provide feedback on their experiences of beginning High School at Our Woodville. Please click on the link below, and fill out the brief survey. All survey respondents will go into the draw for their child’s end of year camp costs to be covered by the school – one winner will be chosen at random from both Year 7 and 8.
Sam Tuffnell and Alice Forster