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Principal's Newsletter

School Community and student activity – Successful schools are very dependent on the support of their broader community, with regards to both student learning and general engagement. Sport and recreational activities also help engage kids with their schooling. Thank you to the parents who coordinated the Grade 5/6 Disco on Friday night, with a special mention to Karen Brown and Kylie Willingham for all their hard work. Our students love attending social activities such as this, and we are very lucky to have mums and dads offering to give up their Friday night to ensure a safe and fun-filled evening for our senior students.

This week our Prep students will be going on another very exciting excursion, this time it is to Fairy Park. I’m really looking forward to hearing about this ‘adventure’ on their return. Also beginning this week is the Grade Four Swimming Program, with a Grade Five visit to Melbourne Museum early next week. On the sporting front, some of our students who play in one of the Torquay under 13 footy teams, were unlucky to lose their Grand Final last week. Well done to all the players and thanks to Scott Diamond for his great coaching during the season. Thanks to the parents and teachers who support our students in all their sporting ventures.

NAPLAN – Last week the official NAPLAN results were released. As you might have seen in the media, this year there was some contention over the validity of the results due to some schools completing the assessments on an ‘online’ platform, whereas others did the ‘pencil and paper’ tests. All schools are transitioning to a digital assessment, and at Torquay College, we have already conducted some school readiness tests in preparation for next year’s online assessments. In general, our Grade 5 students showed some improvement in Reading, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation, whereas our Grade 3 students showed some improvement in Writing and Numeracy. We are closely analysing data and looking at ways to improve our performance data across the board. With fantastic teachers, a great student/parent clientele, excellent resources and facilities, our data should be higher than it is. This is an area we are committed to improve in and is something we are working very hard on at the moment.

Student Learning – In last week’s Newsletter I wrote about the ‘capabilities’ part of the formal curriculum. This is an area that builds on the discrete knowledge and skills in our students, and critical and creative thinking is a key aspect of this. One way to promote these skills is through STEM, and we are currently converting the ‘computer room’ into a STEM Centre with appropriate resources. These resources include construction materials, robotics, electronic circuitry, iPads and drones. We are also upskilling teachers and building their capacity to be effective STEM educators, which will assist in further engaging our students in innovative approaches to their learning.

Grounds and facilities – Over the next school holidays the new perimeter fencing will be erected, so please keep clear of any works that are being conducted. Essentially to improve safety and security, the new fence will have lockable gates, be constructed to ‘pool fence’ standards and also be more visually appealing than the current ‘paddock’ fencing.

Curriculum Days Term Four – The School Council has been requested to approve two Curriculum Days for next term, where students don’t attend school. (Every state school has four per year.) Next term these fall on Friday 26 October, and Monday 5 November, which is the day before the Melbourne Cup Public Holiday. The other two days were used at the start of the school year prior to the students attending the beginning of Term One.

I hope all the dads had a great Father’s Day on Sunday and managed to spend quality time with their families. I was fortunate enough to have brunch with my daughter at Melbourne Uni, then watch her play in her footy Grand Final, and then even managed to sneak in a quick surf with my son on return to Torquay! Have a great remainder of the week and enjoy the upcoming footy finals.

Adrian Waters

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