Welcome to all our staff, students and families to Term 2. Already the term is well underway, with school programs resuming with renewed enthusiasm. The days are a little shorter and the weather a little cooler and the autumnal colours are reflected all around our school environment. Since our last newsletter, there have been quite a number of events and activities involving members of our community. What an opening to Term 2! Thank you to the staff, students and families for a wonderful beginning to the term.
At the beginning of Term 2, we engaged as a staff with our core value of diversity and celebrated the cultural and linguistic diversity of students, staff and families of Woodville High School. Staff in collaboration with Dr Nadeem Memon and Mr Dylan Chown, who are both lecturers at UniSA, facilitated the day. The focus for the day acknowledged the diversity of students in classes, the use of this diversity as a curriculum resource to generate knowledge, and as a resource for pedagogy to recognise the experiences students bring to the learning, the school and its community. The staff used an Aboriginal communication process called a Yarning Circle to facilitate discussions, which was a process developed by recognised Elder and direct descendant of the Kullali Peoples (of South Western QLD) and Wakka Wakka and Gubbi Gubbi Peoples (of South East Queensland), Aunty Debra Bennet. The day was a powerful reminder of the virtual backpacks each student, staff and members of the school community bring when they enter the school gates and encouraged thinking around inclusive and culturally responsive pedagogy to support teachers to utilise the tools within people’s virtual backpack to build relationships and enhance learning.
Our role as educators is to provide the opportunities for students to be creative, innovative and resourceful and equip them with the ability to solve problems in ways, which draw upon a range of learning areas and cultural experiences. Through our curriculum, we want to empower the students; give them a voice and broaden their perspectives as global citizens. As such, we have commenced our review of curriculum, assessment and reporting processes, the pathways program and the student leadership structure for 2022. More information will be provided throughout the term to capture the voices of staff, students and families.
Whole School Curriculum Planning is a priority to develop a shared vision, common language and a consistent understanding of the school’s processes for curriculum planning, monitoring, evaluation and review. Using the department’s resources, curriculum leaders and their teams are developing scope and sequences that enables planning of a sequential and cumulative progression of student learning across the years of schooling. This will minimise the risk of repetition or serious gaps occurring when the units or sequences of lessons are developed. Year Level Curriculum Planning will also enable sequencing of student learning and assessment for a cohort of students and supports teachers to make connections between topics and units in different curriculum areas, including the capabilities that will be explicitly taught and evidenced. This can highlight opportunities for integrated or interdisciplinary learning, or to make links with co-curricular activities. Year level planning also identifies potential areas of duplication or overlap in the teaching and learning program. Units of work will be designed by teachers and reviewed annually to develop differentiated and personalised learning experiences for students. Curriculum leaders are leading this work with a number of planning days scheduled throughout the year that will ensure opportunities for student growth and achievement.
Woodville High School has engaged the Centre for Restorative Justice to develop a school culture and practice that promotes high quality relationships based on a foundation of shared values to ensure a safe, respectful, learning environment where learners have a strong sense of belonging, wellbeing, engagement, challenge and purpose.
The partnership will support the implementation of restorative processes as a whole school system. Restorative Practices can be defined as:
“Processes that advocate that the people most effective at finding a solution to a problem are those most directly impacted by that problem. Opportunities are created for those involved in conflict to work together to understand, clarify, resolve the incident and work together towards repairing harm done”
Within the education system, restorative practices provide a cohesive system of conflict resolution, social inclusiveness, values development and community strengthening. Using these systematic techniques, Woodville High School will continue to create safer and more productive learning environments, and better equip students for a lifetime of strong and lasting relationships. Restorative practices can be shown to reduce suspensions, exclusions and expulsions and contribute to educator health and wellbeing by reducing stress. Our aim as a school is to reduce the number of suspensions as our most vulnerable students are impacted. We want to be a school of choice and excellence where there is high expectationsand targeted support for each learner to achieve or exceed agreed standards and success.
Parents and carers will also be invited to a workshop with Deb Black in order to develop their understanding of the different restorative processes that will be used within classrooms and inform the schools behavioural policies and procedures.
The Executive and Staff will be trained this term. I want to thank the Governing Council, staff and student leadership for their support.
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2021 for Years 7 and 9 students were held on Tuesday 11 May, Wednesday 12 May and Thursday 13 of May 2021. NAPLAN tests assess student knowledge and skills in writing, reading, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
The data attained from the NAPLAN Tests are used to understand individual and cohort trend of students. The results of the test provide information for students, parents, teachers and principals that can be used to improve student achievement. Teachers are able to utilise the data from NAPLAN to inform the learning growth of cohorts and focus in on areas that need improvement and rigour. Teachers at Woodville High school will also use the information from NAPLAN, PAT R and M and student grades to assist when developing learning and assessment plans, discussing pathways and subject selection.
As an educational leader, I recognise the validity of using such tools for targeted diagnosis for individual students and, the value of understanding trends for cohorts of students to inform systemic or localised change. Equally as important is the development of the whole child through the development of the capabilities, disposition and values that students need in order to live, learn, lead as active lifelong learning community members. The focus on service, sport, culture and the environment, provides another dimension to our students, and these non-academic pursuits are an integral part of the holistic development of our young people.
Academic Reviews/Student Parent Teacher Evening
I would like to thank all the families who attended these events and the staff for their professionalism and commitment to excellence. The education of our students is a partnership between families and school, and this is strengthened through participation and engagement in learning conversations as student perspective, leadership and reflection is just as important as the teachers are. It was powerful to witness students, parents and staff in dialogue establishing high expectations in academic achievement, wellbeing and collaboratively shaping their learning goals for Term 2.
Student pathway to success is a shared responsibility between the school and families. The academic reviews and parent, student, teacher evening is an opportunity to share expectations and make a commitment to work together to improve communication and a student’s educational outcomes.
The focus of the academic review and parent, student, teacher evening was:
- academic achievement
- strengths and progress
- challenges or areas of growth
- strategies for improvement
- identify strategies together to support growth
- strengthen lines of communication
- assessment review
- shared future expectations
Thank you to all the families, staff and students who took the time and provided valuable feedback through a survey. The feedback will be used to inform continuous improvement of these events.
I would like to introduce to you the 2021 Governing Council Members:
- Jamie Smith – Governing Council Chair/Finance Committee (Parent Representative)
- Robert Davis – Governing Council Deputy Chair/ Finance Committee (Parent Representative)
- Anna Mirasgentis – Principal
- Councillor Oanh Nguyen – City of Charles Sturt
- Amythyst Black – ATSI Parents Group Committee/ Canteen Committee (Parent Representative)
- Milena Popov – Principal’s Executive Officer (Multicultural Parents Groups Representative)
- Akshay Sharma – Council of International School (CIS) Improvement Committee/ Indian Parents Group (Parent Representative)
- Priyanka Sharma – Council of International School (CIS) Improvement Committee /Curriculum Leader Committee/ Uniform Committee (Parent Representative)
- Maja Williams (Parent Representative)
- Christina Assaniotis – Uniform Committee(Parent Representative)
- Kate Tran – Council of International School (CIS) Improvement Committee/Curriculum Leader Committee /Vietnamese Parents Group Committee (Parent Representative)
- Gyllian Godfrey – Curriculum Leader Committee/ Uniform Committee (Parent Representative)
- Ryan Westell (Parent Representative)
- Stefanie Medrow – Finance Committee (Parent Representative)
- Jennifer O’Shea (Parent Representative)
- Erin Davis ( Student Representative)
- Perry McDonald Moult ( Student Representative)
- Cherie Hutton (Staff Representative)
- Wendy Gawne (Staff Representative)
- Nigel Gramp (Staff Representative)
Governing Council are seeking expressions of interest for two community members. Please click on this link for further information: https://woodvillehigh.sa.edu.au/governing-council.html