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Principal Newsletter

Torquay Festival – Thank you to everyone who supported our festival on Saturday. Besides the odd shower, it was a great success and we’ve gathered some great ideas for next year. The students who provided the musical entertainment were massively popular and put on a fantastic performance. Well done to all of them and a big thank you to Anika and Ross as the coordinating teachers for these up and coming musical ‘stars.’ Events such as this cannot be successful without a lot of hard work behind the scenes and the support of our wonderful School Council. Special mention must be made of Monika Ewen and Vicki Perry, who worked tirelessly to coordinate and manage the day, and we certainly appreciate all their efforts.

Student Learning – Research shows that the differences in teaching within a school is as broad as it is between schools. At Torquay College we recognise the importance of consistency in practice, and as such have an ‘instructional model’ that we use across the school. This allows all our students to access high quality instruction everywhere in the school and be exposed to consistent strategies and teacher practice irrespective of what class they are in. With this in mind, we focus a lot of our professional learning on the whole-staff, and not just on specific individuals. This Friday on our Curriculum Day, we will be working with some Literacy specialists from Queensland who will upskill our teachers in helping students manage their reading and writing across a range of discipline areas. The focus will be on ‘mentor texts,’ which essentially help students understand how structure and language choices can shape meaning and understanding in a particular topic.

School fences – Although all the new perimeter fences have been constructed, we have been waiting for the gates to be completed. We’ve been notified that they will be installed on the 29th of this month and the job completed in its entirety on this date. We will then place some new signage on the fence with clear directions to the administration block, the Enviro Centre, the Presentation Room and the emergency access points. I’m certain you all agree the fence looks great, and once the gates are in, the safety of our students will have also been dramatically improved.

School Annual Implementation Plans (AIPs) – Every four years schools undergo a formal ‘review’ process that informs its Strategic Plan for the next four year period. This then forms the framework for annual plans, called AIPs, which in essence outlines the core focus and key improvement strategies of the school for each year. Over the course of 2018 we have focussed on best practice in ‘writing,’ collaborative teaching, ‘High Impact Teaching Strategies’ (HITS), continuous reporting and the implementation of the Respectful Relationships initiative. Currently we are working on the 2019 AIP which will consolidate on the work we have done this year, and include an emphasis on areas identified as requiring additional attention. We use a range of data to inform our focus, which includes both quantitative and qualitative data (for example student performance data and attitudinal surveys).

It certainly feels like summer is on the way with more visitors over the weekends, local markets starting up again, sea breezes in the afternoon, and the arrival of a few of those big, annoying, pesky flies that seem to make their way into our homes through even the smallest of openings! Enjoy the next few weeks of ‘relative calm’ before the arrival of ‘schoolies’ and the throngs of annual visitors who are envious of the place we all call home.

Adrian Waters

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