What a fantastic year it has been under the new leadership of Principal Anna Mirasgentis. In regards to whole school curriculum, teaching and learning and quality assurance, we have seen significant improvement across the school as we continue to build a school of excellence with world-class learning and teaching for our students from Year 7-12.
The students have now wrapped up their learning programs for the year and we look forward to welcoming them back for Week 1 in the new year. This includes our new Year 7 cohort, which we are excited to welcome into our Woodville High School community.
In regards to our curriculum development, we have reviewed, improved and mapped the curriculum from Year 7-10, ensuring a consistent delivery of the Australian Curriculum across the school. We have identified where each of the general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities are taught and have mapped every unit for every subject from Year 7-10 in preparation for 2022. We will continually review and improve the curriculum year after year through the mapping process. This was achieved by investing into three curriculum review days for every learning area in Term 2, 3 & 4 where teams of staff collaboratively planned the most effective way of implementing the curriculum in the context of our school. In 2022, we will continue to invest into our Learning Area teams to map Year 11 and 12, review our Yr7-10 curriculum and also provide opportunities for our teams to moderate samples of student work to ensure consistency of judgement when grading student work.
The Year 7 curriculum is now finalised for the start of the new year. Learning Area teams have written the curriculum utilising the Department for Education Units of Work as a guide to ensure the quality of the curriculum for our new cohort. The focus in Year 7 will see a collaborative team teaching approach, with an interdisciplinary approach to teaching English and HASS as well as Mathematics and Science. Year 7 students will also have the opportunity to try all subjects offered at the school before making their Year 8 subject selections in Term 3. This includes the opportunity to try Indonesian, Vietnamese and Aboriginal Cultures & Languages before choosing their full year compulsory language for Year 8.
The early closure on a Wednesday afternoon has been an invaluable resource again this year to enable professional learning for all staff. In total, we have delivered over 40 hours of professional learning throughout the year incorporating professional development workshops, professional learning team time and four student free days. The four student free days incorporated professional learning on the Art & Science of Teaching Framework, Wellbeing, Intercultural Understanding and Collaborative Moderation. Each of these are critical elements from our site strategic plan. The professional learning teams shared their progress towards the site improvement plan goals during their staff presentations in Term 4 and provided recommendations of the most effective strategies to improve writing and numeracy that will be incorporated into our whole school agreements. Professional learning workshops for differentiation, restorative practices, wellbeing and adolescent learners, ensured our staff were trained in how to meet the needs of every student in our vision to support every student to be successful. The ‘WHS Differentiation Model’ was developed to guide our work on differentiated learning and teaching which will also drive our professional learning focus in 2022.
This year the school has also been a part of the Internationalising School Project, aiming at developing students’ intercultural understanding and to develop global citizens. Following the Term 2 student free day focused on staff intercultural understanding, we collaborated with UniSA to implement the 2021 Braiding Project focused on beliefs and values of students. A yarning circle process was used to draw out similarities and differences. Next year Alice Forster will lead the Braiding Project initiative, aiming to involve more students and staff across the school, implementing the project as part of the curriculum instead of being an annual event. A group of student leaders who were motivated by the braiding project have nominated themselves to lead the project in 2022 and we will aim to utilise our partner primary schools as part of the project.
Other notable improvements in 2021 include the introduction of Studiosity, the new Course Counselling Process, and the new branding of the school, including the Course Handbook and Yearbook. A new Learner Review ‘tracking and monitoring’ Model has also been established and will be implemented at the start of 2022 to support students to be successful through a case management approach. Finally, a Reporting Committee has developed recommendations for improvement for the reporting of student achievement and growth, which will be shared with the Governing Council in Term 1, 2022.
Next year is set to be even more exciting as we build on the progress made in 2021. We will enhance our focus on our teaching and begin reviewing our task design to ensure tasks are accessible for all students, and provide opportunity to demonstrate to the highest level. We will also monitor our progress at Year 7 in relation to the team teaching and interdisciplinary approach to learning, as well as a whole school focus on blended learning.