Staffing for 2019 – As I mentioned last week, we are in the depths of planning for next year. This has also required the recruitment of some new staff and we are excited to welcome two new teachers to Torquay College next year. William Barnes will be joining us from Bellaire PS, and Andrea Rayner, who does some relief teaching at the school, has also been offered a contract for next year. A number of other teachers currently at the school on contracts, have also secured positions again for 2019. Our new principal, Jess Kelly, will start in Term Three 2019, and I will continue to lead the school through this transitionary phase until she formally takes up her position. I will then return to my substantive role as Principal of Bellbrae PS.
Capital Works update – Next week our School Council will be presented with some schematic designs for the proposed future work at the school, by Sibling Architects. It seems the main focus of the development of facilities will be on the relocatables where the present Grade Three classes are housed. The DET and architects have suggested removing two of the buildings in the worst condition, replacing one with a new portable structure, and then renovating the existing rooms by adding sliding doors, windows, improving facades and providing outdoor learning areas. We are all very excited to see the designs and we will share them with the broader community once they are finalised.
School Student Leaders 2019 – This Friday at Assembly we will be announcing all of the student leaders for next year. Being selected as a leader is an honour for our students, and no doubt an experience they will keep as a memory their entire lives. As we have a rather ‘full’ Assembly, the starting time will be 2.15pm. We welcome parents and friends to join us for this special occasion.
Student Learning – After significant input from staff and a review of teaching and learning this year, we have decided to focus on three core areas in our Annual Implementation Plan for next year. Essentially these areas are:
Consolidating and further developing our Writing Program. We plan to build on the ‘Writer’s Workshop’ model and expand our professional learning and coaching model from this year to ensure best practice across the school.
Consistent and coherent approach to mathematics, especially focussing on problem solving skills. Although we will focus on numeracy as a whole, we have identified the need for a concerted push to improve analytical and problem solving thinking in our learners.
A bigger emphasis on student voice, leadership and agency in a learner-centred environment. We believe that students should have a broader representation in their learning and in the ways they learn and express their knowledge, and we are hoping to present more opportunities to better enable this.
School Council – Next week is our final School Council meeting for the year. School Councils play a significant role in the governance of a school, and I’d like to thank Nick Kearsey, our President, and all the members for their input and support during the year. Items that will be considered at our next meeting include Student Banking, Capital Works, Facility Hire and a review of our Child Safe Policy.
Enjoy the last few weeks of term and please ensure your child attends regularly right up until the last day. Students will be engaged in constructive learning and participate in some fun activities (such as the Christmas Carols) until the end of term. We also have some big events still to come including Graduation in the last week, the final student Orientation Day, the Grade Three Camp and our annual ‘Volunteers Morning Tea,’ which is an opportunity to thank all the people who contribute as volunteers for the benefit of our students.