Student Learning – The DET has released their vision of ‘Practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning.’ Essentially it focusses on three core areas, which have specific principles aligned to them. These are:
Positive climate for learning – encompassing high expectations for every student and promoting intellectual engagement and self-awareness. A supportive and productive learning environment promoting inclusion and collaboration. Student voice, agency and leadership to empower students and build school pride.
Excellence in teaching and learning – Curriculum planning and implementation engages and challenges all students. Deep learning challenges students to construct and apply new knowledge. Rigorous assessment practices and feedback inform teaching and learning. Evidence based strategies drive professional practice improvements.
Community engagement in learning – Global citizenship is fostered through real world contexts for learning. Partnerships with parents and carers enhance student learning.
At Torquay College our teachers are committed to all of these practice principles. This year we have also placed significant emphasis on promoting well-being and inclusion as evidenced in our involvement with the Respectful Relationships program and equipping staff with ‘mindfulness’ strategies to help promote calm and inclusive classrooms. You can be assured that our teachers put a significant amount of time into their planning, have a range of rigorous assessments in place, and continually strive to provide stimulating and supportive learning environments.
Inclusive Schools – We pride our school as being inclusive. This means that whatever a student’s personal situation might be, they will positively be included and not compromised in any way in the school setting. This has required a cultural shift from many traditionally ‘accepted’ perspectives and behaviours, to attitudes that strongly align with our three school values of respect, friendship and personal best. We are very fortunate to have a fantastic student community and I am very proud of the way our students conduct themselves. These positive behaviours need to be reinforced at home so all our students grow up to be respectful and appreciative young adults. At the end of the Newsletter I have included an image of a poster that you might see displayed around the school. It illuminates our different personal contexts and helps our students understand that everyone is welcome in our school!
Torquay Festival – This year the School Council has supported the running of a ‘festival’ on 20 October. It will take the form of celebrating International Food, and also have entertainment provided by students and local musicians. It will be a day time event for both students and families to enjoy. Any parents who can help source local entertainers, or would like to be on the organisation committee, are to please contact Vicki (in the Admin. Office) so we can offer a fun-filled Saturday!
Parent Opinion Survey – Just a reminder to parents who were included in this year’s survey to please complete it as soon as they are able. We really value opinions about your child’s educational opportunities, and the data collected from the survey helps inform our practices.
Prep first 100 days – Congratulations for to all our Foundation Students who completed their first 100 days of school on Friday! It has been amazing to see the growth and development of these students from day one, and also their enthusiasm for school and learning. Our Prep teachers do a fantastic job and we are always amazed at the significant progress they make with the kids in such a short time. This progress is also a testament to the contribution of parents and to all the support you provide in the home environment. We celebrated the event by making ‘crowns’ and holding a party just before lunch on Friday.
Outside School Hours Care – We are very fortunate to have a great care facility provided for students at our school. I have however become aware of some parent’s concerns about fee increases. These are determined by the School Council and not the principal. I have asked the School Council to set up a sub-committee, which will also consist of parent members, to address these concerns and review the present structure. Hopefully this will result in a positive resolution for all concerned.
Have a fantastic rest of the week and I hope that you are all coping with some of the ‘Antarctic blasts’ that have been coming through. While we might get annoyed with rain and wind, spare a thought for the poor farmers who are struggling with drought, and the homeless people without shelter in winter. This week is National Homelessness Week, which raises awareness of the vast number of people who unfortunately find themselves in this situation, and what we can do to help. (Please access: https://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/campaigns/homelessness-week-2018 to find out more.)
It is very easy to take things for granted when most of us living on the coast have good quality of life. Unfortunately this is not the case for everyone. Let’s appreciate what we have, but also try and help those not as fortunate.