Welcome to the final term of the year. I trust everyone had a lovely break and it was fantastic to see so many smiling and happy faces on Monday. We have a lot of exciting events happening as we head to the end of the year, including our first ever Grade Six Camp to Canberra and the Grade Five visit to Camp Howqua. On October 20th, we will also be hosting our first Torquay Food festival with entertainment, food and beverages available from 10am – 3pm. We look forward to a good fun day, so please spread the word in the community.
Staffing - On the staffing front, welcome back to Beth Knuckey who is returning in a limited capacity from Family Leave, and best wishes to Jo Loader as she takes up her new position as Assistant Principal at Torquay Coast PS. We will certainly miss Jo who spent many years at the school as both a teacher and student! With regards to my position, I will be continuing as Acting Principal for the term, whilst the substantive position is being finalised.
Facilities – Over the holidays there was a lot of activity around the school including new perimeter fencing and renovations to the administrative offices. There still are a few finishing touches required including fitment of the safety gates to the fence, interior painting and furnishings. The Sick Bay is also now more accessible and with the new layout students and parents have better access to reception. Thank you to all the admin staff who worked hard over the holidays to ensure everything was ‘ready for action’ on the first Monday of term. As you enter the front foyer, you will also notice a transformation of the old ‘computer room’ to a new STEM Centre. We are slowly resourcing it with a range of fantastic learning activities that will include opportunities for construction, robotics, coding and scientific experiments.
Inclusive Student Learning – At Torquay College we have placed ‘inclusive education’ high on our agenda. What this means is that at our school every student is valued and supported to develop their full potential. We are reviewing our Inclusive Education Policy in an effort to provide opportunities that allow every child to succeed in a supportive and respectful school culture. All staff have been participating in the Respectful Relationships initiative and are discussing ways we can be more inclusive. We’ve also been trying to create spaces such as the ‘Sensory Room’ where kids can take time to reflect whilst being supported by our welfare and integration staff. Essentially we are welcoming an acknowledgement of student differences and ensuring that no individual is in any way compromised at our school. The DET has identified some core areas that they are encouraging schools to take special cognisance of, which include student needs that might relate to:
having a disability or additional learning needs
being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
speaking a language other than English
experience of abuse, neglect or family violence.
At Torquay we are making a purposeful effort to ensure we take all of these considerations into account in the activities we offer our children.
Enjoy Term Four, and I hope you and your families are all adjusting to ‘daylight saving’ without too many struggles getting out of bed in the morning. On a final note (and I promise I won’t mention footy again this year), commiserations to any Collingwood supporters and congratulations to the Mighty EAGLES!