The conclusion to the school year is fast approaching and we have much to celebrate and reflect on in regard to our achievements and growth. Educating, guiding and nurturing a community of learners throughout a school year is an incredible accomplishment that we can sometimes forget is worth celebrating.
Term 4 is a time of celebration when we try and capture a whole year of creativity, learning, growth and achievements through awards, prizes, presentations and performances. As we reflect on the road travelled, we have much to celebrate as a school and as such, I express my deepest gratitude to the staff and students for their leadership and commitment to excellence and equity.
The many celebrations, academic, sporting, artistic and music events highlight the many talents and gifts of our students. All students should be proud of their achievements and commended for their commitment and hard work. The success of these events and celebrations is also the result of the support students have received from their families and the staff who have enabled them to develop their skills, utilise their innate ability to serve and showcase their gifts and talents.
For our Year 12 students, last week was the conclusion of formal lessons, the last lessons after thirteen years of education. Our Year 12 students will always be a part of our community, always uniquely connected with stories, celebrations, memories and experiences. For some families, having travelled halfway around the world to provide an opportunity for these students to have a better life, it is a remarkable story of sacrifice and success. We could not imagine what this journey could have been like, but we are certainly very proud and privileged to have been a part of their story. So as we say goodbye to the Class of 2023, we also welcome them into the Old Scholars of 2023, joining a unique group of alumni who have been educated at Woodville High School.
As part of farewelling and celebrating their time as students at Our Woodville, a special breakfast and assembly was held to farewell the class of 2023. I thank all the families for their support; they will always be part of the extended Woodville High School family. I would like to wish all the Year 12 students the very best for their examinations. We wish the Year 12s our fondest farewells as they step out of the school gates and forge a pathway in life beyond school. They now have the leadership and opportunity to make an impact on the world in their own extraordinary way. May they achieve every success in life; whatever that success means to them. As Principal, to have played a part has been the greatest privilege for me and an extraordinary gift to have been part of their formation and the community that we have built together as staff and students of our Woodville.
As we farewell our Year 12 Students and celebrate their achievements and growth we are also welcome our transitioning 2024 Year 7 students and their families and caregivers. Term 4 is an important time as we begin to connect with new students and their families that are commencing at Woodville High School in 2024. The transition of the children to Our Woodville is a significant developmental experience as they begin the next phase of their learning. The transition process includes students visiting Our Woodville for two consecutive days in Week 8 where they engage in programs and activities with their 2024 teachers and peers. Parents and caregivers are also invited to meet the staff and leadership team at our parent information evening on Thursday 7 December 2023. Building community with our children and families contributes to positive wellbeing, a sense of belonging and resilience in our younger students.
We are also mindful that exams are approaching for learners in Years 10 and 11 with final assessments taking place over the next few weeks.
Woodville High School will always remain true to its history and heritage while being bold in its ambitions for the future. The transformational work we have undertaken over the last three years will position and propel Woodville to become increasingly cohesive, equipped, and capable of providing an exceptional education that serves as a bedrock of the community. In 2023, we are in the last year of our three-year Strategic Plan and as such we have taken this incredible opportunity to imagine our preferred future for Woodville High School. Through collaboration, we facilitated a co-design process that leads to a co-owned and co-authored strategic three-year vision that will bring coherence to the learning and wellbeing experience.
The new Strategic Plan titled Towards 2030: Our Future, Our Place, Our Woodville outlines a clear vision for the school, one that holds true to the schools 108 years of history and rich traditions. It reflects the commitment to our students and families that are part of the fabric of our school.
This Strategic Plan differs from others as it draws on our history and purpose outlined in our motto Ad Astra per Aspera which is the golden thread throughout its history and will lead us to the future that we aspire to. The Strategic Plan is our anchor point to drive improvement, innovation, and renewal in each of our four aspirational constellations for excellence and equity, while holding tight on our core values and our purpose – our why.
- Future-focused Learning
- A Vibrant and Collaborative Community
- Improved Health and Wellbeing
- Transformational Leadership and Governance
Students lie at the heart of all we do at Woodville High School and have done so for the past 108 years. The education we offer is for intrinsic value in forming the minds of students in our care as well as preparing them for life. We aspire for every student to have the confidence and capacity to thrive and prosper beyond the school gates and live with meaning and purpose in all corners of the globe.
Our Strategic Plan developed through consultation with all staff, students, families and Governing Council has been formulated in response to the evolving global landscape and the recent launch of the Public Education Strategy. This will serve as a reference point for all in our community providing them with a clear direction and purpose to guide ongoing decision making, planning and resource allocation.
We want the Graduates of Woodville High School to confidently and successfully celebrate diversity, elevate integrity and cultivate resilience in a world that is complex, volatile, unpredictable and complex. To navigate through such uncertainty, students will need to develop curiosity, imagination, resilience and self-regulation; they will need to respect and appreciate the ideas, perspectives and values of others; and they will need to cope with failure and rejection, and to move forward in the face of adversity. Their motivation will be more than getting a good job and a high income; they will also need to care about the wellbeing of their friends and families, their communities and the planet. Education can equip learners with agency and a sense of purpose, and the competencies they need, to shape their own lives and contribute to the lives of others.
Our Strategic Launch was a celebration of the adoption, and the implementation of the growth strategy that has been developed by the staff, families, students and members of the School Executive and School Board over 6 months.
The Strategic Plan is a systematic process of envisioning a desired future, and translating this vision into broadly defined objectives and a sequence of actions to achieve them.
In the next three years the school will focus on the four constellations and convert our vision into ideas that can be harnessed into tangible services and strategies for improvement and growth.
Our annual action plan will be the instrument for facilitating enhanced learning, teaching, leadership capacity of all Staff and the organisation’s capacity to position itself in a very competitive environment.
I take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Co-design Team, Governing Council, Old Scholars, Staff, Students and their Families that participated in the consultation process for this new strategic vision for the school. I am optimistic that we have what it takes to achieve the objectives in this strategic plan.
We are now working with 4RT to design our publication.
Reconciliation Action Plan
Students worked together with an Aboriginal Artist Jarrad Brusnahan who has connections to Adnyamathanha, Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri country on artwork that is part of our Reconciliation Action Plan. The students focused using the schools’ colours and motto of Reach for the Stars in their designs infused with their own artistic ideas. Jarrad worked with the following Woodville High School students: Vincent Rigney, Miah Williams, Liam Norman, Justyce Davey, Jashaya Wilson-Eglinton, Jashyamae Lock and Taleika Wanganeen.
2024 Student Leadership
I want to highlight that all students have the capacity to be a leader by modelling best behaviour, applying themselves diligently to their studies, interacting positively and respectfully with others and by engaging enthusiastically and proudly in all school activities.
It is our aim to provide every opportunity for students to develop leadership skills with a view to fostering not only the ability to lead but also a genuine desire to lead and serve others. When practicing leadership we expect our students to be courageous, honest, fair-minded, just and dedicated to making a difference.
Servant leadership was evident in the actions of Dylan Foote and Natasha Barker and Thor Bonesmo and Natasha Brice, all the Schools Prefects and Captains in their leadership, community service and generosity of spirit. They showed a commitment to serve others and were held in high respect by students and staff. They have set the bar high for best practice in student leadership and I thank each of them for their counsel, opinions, and sound advice throughout the year. It has been an honour to witness these leaders model incredible resilience and perseverance as they continued to serve the school community. Their enthusiasm and energy has brought our school motto and core values to life.
The role of Head Prefect and Deputy Prefect is significant as you not only need to uphold and promote the core values and expectations of the School but also contribute to the development of a strong school spirit through leadership and the development of inclusive relationships.
I am honoured to announce Woodville High School’s Head and Deputy Prefects for 2024. Congratulations to our students who have been entrusted with these pivotal leadership roles in our Woodville community.
These young leaders will be instrumental in shaping the culture and learning within the School in 2024. I am pleased to announce our appointed Head and Deputy Prefects:
Head Prefect Senior Years
Deputy Prefect Senior Years
Head Prefect Middle Years
Deputy Prefect Middle Years
Jemimah Kennedy Rochester
As a community we congratulate these students on their appointment and thank all the students who had the confidence and courage to apply. We are confident that the new Prefects will have what it takes to inspire the students of Our Woodville in the year ahead, to set a very high standard and hold their course with courage. As Head Prefect and Deputy Prefect, they will lead, motivate, influence and encourage an exceptional cohort of students. As Prefects the experiences that they will gain in Student leadership are: working with school executive, leading the portfolios, their peers, organising events, being advocates, leading change across the school and representing the School will be great training and experience for their future leadership roles in life. John Quincy Adam once said if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. I very much look forward to working with each of the leaders in their new leadership roles and nurturing their imagination to change the world for collective well-being and sustainable development.
These students were selected through a rigorous process of written application and interview by the Principal Anna Mirasgentis and Deputy Principal Luke Smith who work closely with student leaders. It was a great privilege to meet with students who had applied for one of these roles. At the completion of these interviews, I was left with a great sense of excitement about what they will bring to the role. If they are representative of young people today, we can feel assured that our world is in good hands. They are thoughtful, reflective and maintain a great capacity to challenge injustice and model the values that we promote at Our Woodville. Last week, the students were presented to the whole school at the Year 12 Assembly where they received their badges. The remaining portfolio prefects will be announced later this term.
Ushiku High School Study Tour
Over the last two weeks, Our Woodville hosted 15 students from Ushiku High School, their Principal Kanazawa-sensei, and English teacher Hitoshi-sensei. Students experienced a taste of life as a Woodville High School student, supported by their buddies. They also enjoyed some sightseeing around Adelaide including the Big Rocking Horse, Gorge Wildlife Park, and the CBD. Thank you Dina Matheson, all of the staff that have supported the students and the following buddies for helping to shape the visit to Our Woodville as a memorable and positive learning experience for Ushiku: Aaron, Elizabeth, Frankie, Grace, Hieu, Huy, Jean, Karma, Leo, Leyna, Lilly, Lisa, Matilda, Nghi, Phong, Sophie, and Tony.