As we bring Term 1 2022 to a close, I want to thank you all for your continued support. Term 1 has certainly been a busy term not only with events and celebrations but has also brought its own challenges with COVID, particularly its impact on schools, individuals, their families and communities. The collective resilience of our community is a comforting strength to draw upon.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all families, students and staff at our school, for their energy and perseverance in ensuring learning and wellbeing remained a focus at Our Woodville. Our school has remained open and safe, and has continued to provide students with opportunities to participate in significant events. It warms my heart to see such dedication to our students and their development.
As a school we are clear on our ‘why’ and we are working towards a positive collaborative culture where parents, staff and students are being valued, heard and visible in the decision making across all operations of the school. I am committed to creating opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and other members of the school community to become leaders and decision makers as we work together to build on the culture of our school that is based on coherence, collaboration, shared leadership and decision making. Our school committees, the new student leadership structure, clarity in communication, new Learner Management System, development of new policies, the valuing of diverse voices and perspectives and implementation of staff, student and parent feedback to inform our improvement agenda is a reflection of our commitment to build a collaborative culture at Woodville High School. This is one of the Constellations in our Strategic LaunchPad that will continue to remain a focus for our new Strategic Plan. The new Strategic Plan will be developed and owned by all stakeholders. I will be providing further information in emails and future newsletters.
I wish all the families, staff and students of this vibrant community a wonderful holiday and hope it brings renewal of spirit and many special memories with family and friends. This opportunity for rest and recuperation, alongside our loved ones, will hopefully serve as a time for us to reflect on life with gratitude. No matter our beliefs or faith as a community let us maintain optimism, compassion and hope for the future. Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead for us or the challenges that stand in our path. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States once said ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’ I look forward to working with all members of our community to create a school of excellence, equity and choice.
Student Leadership Assembly
Congratulations to all of our student leaders, I am genuinely pleased that they have chosen to accept the most important responsibility of leading this incredible school. During our assembly I outlined that leadership is reflected through their words, their attitude and their actions and to let the badge remind them each day that they are charged with the responsibilities for stewardship, championing and creativity. Stewardship by taking care of
each other and our school and our community. Being the champion of each person they serve, each student, each staff member, be the champion of our history, our traditions, our future and our whole school community. Creating opportunities for positivity, fun, friendship, be creative, daring, considered and be guided, and most of all lead from the heart.
Our new Student Leadership Team will amplify and elevate the voices, gifts, aspirations, concerns, and challenges of young people and their communities; This will move the school toward a more equitable dialogue that explicitly incorporates, acknowledges, and values a diverse array of perspectives. Our vision of leadership is aligned with our school motto Reach for the Stars where each student is valued as unique individuals who are strong, capable and competent and encouraged to be the best version of themselves. We believe students have an extraordinary wealth of abilities, strength, and creativity to reach their aspirations. As a school, we aspire for young people to intensely shine their inner light upon the world by mobilising their gifts, values, knowledge and capabilities to create a better future for all. Young people’s light brings hope as it penetrates the darkness around them. Paulo Freire once said ‘Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world’.
As leaders, we need to know when to view our work through a telescope. There are times when we need to take a long-term perspective on our work and focus our eyes on our core values and the stars we are striving for. We need to be clear on our core values and through them bring our motto to life. As leaders, they should not be derailed or easily distracted, but cast their eyes in the night sky and focus on the stars, their aspirations that they are journeying to achieve, with their team. In their leadership work, they need to live the school’s core values and break the barriers that keep us doing the same thing every day, without deep reflection on what we do and why we do it. I look forward to walking alongside our new leadership team’s school improvement journey.
Woodville High School has begun the transition away from our student database, EDSAS, towards a more efficient system the DfE have labelled EMS (Education Management System). The system is designed to be a centralised data storage that connects to a range of other systems which will add a much greater range of functionality.
One of the systems linked directly to EMS is the new Learner Management System, ‘Frog’. Frog is a system that has a range of flexible options, allowing each school to customise the user experience for each stakeholder (students, staff and families). Currently Frog is being rolled out in the primary schools and has already been implemented in all the new DfE schools.
A working group has been formed to begin the implementation of EMS and Frog at Woodville High School. The members of the group are Anna, Luke, Sam, Sharon, Simon and Anthony and will be working directly with Jane Logan from the EMS/Frog Team. Once the system has been set up the team will work with Learning Area leaders to customise Frog for the school’s context and establish our learning areas and curriculum. This will also be the first stage in the transition away from Daymap.
This is an exciting time in the digital landscape for the school. The features of Frog will allow us to begin a journey into continuous reporting, digitised curriculum design, increased communication and greater accessibility to student data. The goal of the system is to minimise administration and repetitive tasks that are required of the current systems and is designed to continually evolve as schools require greater functionality.
An Emerging Technology to Enhance Human Cognitive Skills and Creativity
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the emerging technologies where machines can be taught to use language, form abstractions, and concepts, and solve problems, which is currently a human domain. AI promotes learning, reasoning, and perception. There are AI approaches also in mathematics, computer science, linguistics, psychology, space science and so much more.
Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer program to learn and think and to do something that we would normally think would rely on the intelligence of a human. In the last decade we have seen rapid developments in the field of computing and AI which are reflected in our every-day products. Some of these AI powered products are used in mobile phones, smart watches, home assistants, cars, smart toys, etc.
The advantages of AI applications are enormous and include reduction in human error, 24×7 availability, risk taking, undertaking of repetitive jobs, digital assistance, faster decisions, new inventions, and automation. In a school environment, AI can contribute to:
- Organised Information as it is rare for teachers and students to scour the library for any materials these days
- Personalised Learning
- Virtual Reality Learning
- Better for Students Special Needs
- Immersive Learning and
- Intelligent Tutoring Systems.
Collaborative AI Experiment using VR Technology
The Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Development (IISRI), located at the Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Geelong, are conducting a physics lesson taught using AI where the University will be linking virtually with two Victorian High Schools, and one chosen from South Australia, which is Woodville High School. It will involve students from years 7-10, participating in small groups, to undertake the experiment, and understand the concept of friction.
The Deakin project will make use of the virtual physics laboratory by using high-speed internet and haptics technologies to conduct experiments. Deakin is developing a novel platform and Lab Learning Activities. This activity will contribute to the equitable provision of STEM education by ameliorating deficits in laboratory resources and STEM focussed teacher professional learning. The students will discover the basic concepts of physics by interacting with Deakin University Laboratories. Wearing a VR headset, students place their hands on a haptic device (a handset) which allows them hand movements in the virtual world and feel the forces of the objects they are moving. This will give the students a true sense of the experiment from thousands of kilometres away. Types of technologies used will include VR, Haptics, Robotics, High-Speed Internet- NBN. The date has yet to be confirmed, but will take place during Term 2.
Artificial Intelligence Concept Demonstration during Science Week
As well as the AI experiment with Deakin University, we will also be developing AI Week, an experience for our Year 7 students, incorporating an AI focus in our STEM subjects and discovering how AI can be incorporated into our curriculum to enhance learning further.
The concept of AI in future student learning activities will be demonstrated during Science Week.
Harmony Week is an annual event that celebrates the cultural diversity we value so highly at Woodville High School. This day is designed to celebrate this diversity, unite us, raise awareness and promote positive action throughout the school. It’s about reciprocity, inclusiveness, respect and belonging for everyone. I want to thank the organising committee Luke Smith, Michele Moore, Laila El-Assaad, Michelle Yiannicou, Milena Popov, Bronan Economou who coordinated this incredible day and brought us back to who we are as a school and the values we hold dear. One of the greatest gifts that an education can provide is the intercultural understanding that grows through friendships with people from different cultures and faiths. Harmony Week is just one of the many moments in our school calendar that celebrates the innate gifts we all bring to shape this incredible school.
The Harmony Video has been published which highlights what an incredible School we work in, one that values diversity, intercultural understanding and reciprocity. Enjoy watching the video! https://woodvillehigh.sa.edu.au/harmony-week.html
Open Evening was a wonderful opportunity to experience and celebrate the diverse and vibrant school community in action. Visitors observed and interacted with the staff and students in our creative learning environment. Our students showed confidence and leadership and created a strong sense of welcome to our current and prospective families.
Thank you to all staff and students for their incredible work to prepare for Open Evening and in particular Sam Tuffnell and Milena Popov who coordinated this significant event.
To continue to improve this evening where we welcome family and friends to an evening where they can experience the richness of community and participate in a tour; where our students, with pride, showcase the many opportunities the school has to offer from Year 7 – 12, I invite families to provide me with feedback.
Principal’s Art Award
Congratulations to Year 10 student, Nhien Tran, winner of the Principal’s Art Award. Nhien has won a MacBook Air generously donated by Transform Orthodontic Care.
Awards were also presented to Abby McDonald, Year 8, for runner-up and Chrislee Stevens, Year 10, for students choice award. Both students received a $100 ITunes voucher.
My School 2022 Update
The My School website has been updated for 2022 with new data, including the first NAPLAN results and attendance data in 2 years.
The data update includes fresh school-level NAPLAN data, which means parents have the opportunity to compare 2021 results with previous years.
It includes a range of information including:
- 2021 NAPLAN results
- 2021 school profiles and population, and school attendance
- 2020 school financial and post-school destinations information
Users can search for any school and find out a range of information such as how many students and teachers are at the school, attendance rates, funding levels and sources, and NAPLAN results.
Our student progress information in particular provides a measure of a school’s impact on its students’ literacy and numeracy outcomes – the difference schools have made to their students’ learning between one NAPLAN test and the next, 2 years later.
ACARA did some research recently with EY Sweeney on what parents use the site for. The survey indicated that 44% of parents surveyed visit the website to see how their child’s school is performing in literacy and numeracy, and 32% do so to fairly compare their child’s school’s performance with other schools.
Please read the media release
Our Online Assembly
Our live assembly is an important event for our community one where we recognised and celebrated student achievements and presented our 2022 Student Leadership Team. We would normally be together celebrating in person and as an entire community but we continue to adapt and respond to our changing world. The last three years has demonstrated that true success comes in different ways and that power of resilience, perseverance, and flexibility is important. There have been many changes but the students and staff have stayed true to our core values and our schools motto, Reach for the Stars. Woodville High School has a legacy of triumph over difficult situations. The current situation is particularly challenging as we are chartering our way through unknown territories as we attempt to manoeuvre out of a pandemic into an endemic scenario. I congratulated all students and staff on the way they are dealing with COVID, our response as a school to adversity is impressive. I want to thank the Students and all Staff on their outstanding efforts and achievements over the last three years as we attempt to live with COVID. The news of the world over this past week has been filled with sadness and uncertainty but at the same time has uncovered the true beauty of human relationships, creativity, resilience and hope. 2022 provides us with new opportunities to learn and grow as we support one another and our community through social connection, belonging, and a thriving school culture. Our school motto reach for the stars through adversity has been ignited during this current climate.
I wish all the students and staff of this vibrant community a wonderful holiday and hope it brings renewal of spirit and many special memories with family and friends. This opportunity for rest and recuperation, alongside our loved ones, will hopefully serve as a time for us to reflect on life with gratitude. No matter our beliefs or faith as a community let us maintain optimism, compassion and hope for the future. Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead for us or the challenges that stand in our path. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it”. Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States once said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” I look forward to working with you to continue to build a school of excellence and choice where everyone belongs.