As we commenced the new school year, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, new and continuing for their professionalism, resilience and positivity as we learnt new skills, collected new resources (Rapid Antigen Tests, Masks, and sanitisers) and created new ways of learning and teaching. 2022 is a significant year where for the first time in Woodville High Schools 107 years of history we have Year 7 students and their families joining this incredible community that celebrates our values of diversity, creativity and success. As Year 7, 8 and 12 students converged through the school gates for the first time this year, masked faces could not hide the smiles of most students who were clearly excited to begin their learning for the year. Our newest students were welcomed and reassured that, despite the unusual start, they would be well supported to begin their learning journey at our Woodville.
As we welcome approximately 400 new students from Year 7 to Year 12, I want to acknowledge and congratulate the class of 2021 for their outstanding success. We congratulate each student on their achievements and wish all the graduates of 2021 every success for the future. Importantly we also recognise their achievements in sport, music, co-curricular activities and social justice pursuits. Their engagement in broader school life is commendable and the hallmark of an education that encourages all students to reach for the stars.
The 2021 graduates provided excellent student leadership, created and led change and contributed strongly to developing a vibrant school community through events, performances, initiatives and celebrations. The success achieved by our Year 12 students has been across a range of disciplines, allowing each student to use their unique gifts and talents to achieve their personal best.
Within the Year 12 cohort 98.6% of students gained their South Australian Certificate of Education. The highest ATAR achieved was Khang Bui, scored an ATAR of 96.1 followed by Phyoe Way Win with an ATAR of 94.45.
All of the schools SACE data only tells part of the story of our 2021 graduating class. As important in their story is the quality of their character development and the values they display as citizens in the world. We implore our students to take the values they have witnessed and lived at Woodville High School over the past years into their lives and become the great leaders of tomorrow.
In particularly, I express my gratitude to the staff who worked tirelessly with the students and their families over the years to achieve their personal and academic achievements.
Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions, the SACE Merit Ceremony has had to be postponed and our own school assembly to celebrate our high achievers has also been postponed.
In 2022, we have an increase in enrolments and new buildings that will provide innovative and exciting learning opportunities. We have new learning spaces the:
- Brian Marsland Health and Physical Education Centre
- Frank Schirripa Food Technology and Horticulture Centre
- upgraded Jubilee Art Centre and
- new amenities
- upgraded Science Labs
- upgraded Wellbeing Hub
- Staff Meeting Room
These new and upgraded buildings successfully expand upon and integrates with the existing school spaces providing the opportunity to meet the growing spatial and educational needs of Woodville High School. The new building embraces a modern innovative teaching philosophy which is student centred. Learning spaces are both formal and informal, promoting creativity and flexibility, and allowing for multiple purposes concurrently so that students may undertake a range of activities as individuals or groups.
The complex and fluid shapes of the new or upgraded buildings combined with the integration of the latest digital technology contribute to uplift these buildings as an inspirational educational facility. These precincts will provide learning, leadership and enterprise facilities for students. The landscaping and gardens around these buildings, with indoor/outdoor learning spaces allows students and staff to access expanded landscaped areas as part of their educational outcomes and wellbeing. These state of the art facilities and flexible learning spaces to nurture diverse learning experiences and facilitate emerging students’ progressive ideas, critical to their future career endeavours.
However, as educators we also recognise that the construction of a space is not necessarily the key factor in modifying learning and teaching practice. The school will continue to embed the Art and Science of Teaching as its pedagogical framework to improve student outcomes and performance.
Woodville High Schools new student leadership team is now visible on the schools website. Over the summer break our leaders were engaged in leadership training in preparation for 2022 school year.
In their first meeting in week 3 they acknowledged the achievements of the 2021 student leadership team. Their legacy was the new 2022 student leadership structure that invites students to utilise their gifts and talents in order to continue the schools improvement journey. The students acknowledged that their challenge as leaders is to become more than just the inheritors of a tradition, they are called to be the creators of our culture, the inventors of traditions; the dreamers of new ways of living out our vision and core values.
As Principal, I shared with them the strategic placemat that amplifies Our School Motto, which outlines our purpose, connects and ignites our vision, core values, graduate habits and qualities. As a leadership team I asked them to reflect on their legacy, what difference do they want to make in their school and in their communities to change the world. Leadership is a mindset and our role as educators is to empower them to make the difference they want to see in the world. Leadership is about a commitment to excellence and we all need to embrace this and support them as leaders to be the best. We want them to be clear on our vision, values and the graduate habits that we are fostering. We want them to lead by design not default and shape their future not react to it.
We shared with them that Leadership is about relationships, building trust and self-efficacy and action with a moral purpose and understanding our why, who we aspire to be and the improvements we are trying to make so that every child achieves success. When students have ideas, our role is to remove the barriers and support them to make it happen so that they are empowered. They need to have purpose and cultivate leadership with others. When they are able to articulate their goals, purpose and mission they will truly be great leaders.
In 2022 we are setting high expectations and high standards for staff and students as we continue to improve this amazing school.
Over the summer break I had an opportunity to look at our achievements, challenges, the changes we made in 2021, what impact they had and what opportunities we have in 2022. Last year as a new principal, I connected with staff, students, families and community to understand our history, traditions and our ethos. I also was privileged to have powerful conversations where students, staff and families shared their aspirations for the school. I have captured the aspirations of our community into a strategic placemat that ignites our school motto Reach for the Stars.
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. We want as a school to create a universe where each student’s interests, capabilities and aspirations are valued and nurtured to maximise achievement and growth for every learner through agency, human connectedness, and belonging. The five constellations are the patterns we are forming to provide a learning environment where every child’s needs, interests, capabilities and aspirations are valued and nurtured.
This Strategic Placemat will be unpacked through the school’s curriculum, co-curricular and pastoral care program so we are clear on the improvements we are making in the school. Improvements that students will be leading with the staff and our Woodville community.
We are a school that has a proud history and together we will continue to reach for the stars and leave our own unique legacy as we continue to change and grow as an organisation. We look forward to navigating the stars with you to create an equitable and inclusive universe for all our students.