The year has certainly come alive with energy and excitement of staff, students, and families who converged through the school gates for the journey of a new term. It has been a time of sharing stories, being reunited with old friends, and meeting some new ones as students and staff settle into the classroom and school routines. It has been a busy first few weeks with the acquaintance evenings and getting to understand the students in our classes. I would like to thank staff for their leadership, meticulous planning, and the many personal gifts that they bring to our school community that has made the commencement of the year such a success. I would like to express a thank you to staff for their unrelenting ambition to continue to seek improvement for every child in every classroom and for their capacity to navigate the many challenges which we all encountered in 2020. One thing that has been apparent for me in the first few weeks as Principal at Woodville High School is that it is a dynamic, highly respected, and impressive school. A school where teachers are committed to knowing and supporting all students and their families. As I move around the school, I see a strong investment from staff and students in building quality relationships for student growth and brain development. It is evident our staff value diversity and promote equity. My role in Term 1 is to understand the context of the school: its history, culture and values, current performance, physical surroundings, policies and procedures and resources.

To understand the culture and performance of the school, I am committed to accessing information from different perspectives student, staff, parents, and the broader community and at different leadership levels. As such I will block out time in my calendar to meet with staff and parents and walk-through classrooms and connect with the different learning areas.

Ultimately our aim is to keep childrens’ inquisitive passions alive, to foster curiosity, to encourage students to challenge themselves personally, academically and socially and to exceed expectations of the Australian Curriculum and SACE.

In 2021, we want to continue challenging our students in a supportive, progressive environment and help them discover who they are, what they are capable of and prepare them for life beyond school. Furthermore, we want to ensure that our students have the skills, knowledge, capabilities, and dispositions they need to thrive now and throughout their adult life. I believe WHS is ideally placed to embrace the changes of educational thinking and to respond to the needs of an ever-changing society as we have clarity of purpose, understand the difference we can make, and we have a high-quality staff and leadership team.

Everyone is a valued member of the community and together we will collaborate and shape a high performing culture to achieve our school’s vision.

My aspiration is to work with students, staff, families and the broader community to move this great school to a school of choice and excellence.

The engagement of parents is a major factor in the success of students and the school.

As a school, we recognize that school and parent partnership are strongly related to improved student achievement, engagement, attendance, and wellbeing. Acquaintance evenings initiate relationships between teachers and parents, and the provision of ongoing opportunities for parents to engage with their child’s learning journey in conversation with teachers and further strengthened through communication technology.

I am hopeful the community restrictions will abate this year and we can shape a vibrant community and have wider engagement with all parents and guardians, and this be reflected in increased attendance numbers in all our community events.

Anna Mirasgentis