It has been a wonderful end to the 2014 school year seeing so many of our students continue to improve in their academics and in their involvement, interest and commitment to their school. Our students have again achieved in the areas of academics, competitions, sports, performing arts and areas of student service with great accomplishments at school, state and national levels. There is much on offer for our kids and there are never ending stories of success and achievement.
This week our students were each presented with their semester 2 report that details their progress over the last 6 months. The new report format provides valuable information on your child’s achievements, application to their learning and social interaction and graphically allows you to see where they perform relative to their year group. With the newly implemented teaching programs and constant refinement of assessments, our teachers are able to more accurately report on your child’s achievement.
At our annual presentation, I reflected on the strategic directions of the school and the accomplishments made along the way. The changes, resources and drive to bring about a positive school climate that ensured students felt safe and happy in a school that wanted them to feel connected and inspired to take up the opportunities offered and do their best. We focused on school organisation, to get it right with timetables, communication, processes and procedures that keep a school functioning in a way that teacher energies can be better directed into teaching and learning to meet the needs of our students. And while we remain committed to continually improving in all these areas, we have made many huge gains that are not only characterised by functioning procedures but a culture that continually seeks to get it right.
We focused on Student wellbeing. We have renewed our approach to student support, from learning assistance, emotional and social supports, through to creating a school where student voice is becoming instrumental to the positive culture of the school. Active participation and a sense of citizenship is growing extraordinarily well at Gymea and the groups of students involved in so many activities, from sports, performing and creative arts through to the many interest groups with the environmental groups, the student leadership assembly and our design2learn student team as just a few examples that exhibit that passion and drive that continues to grow in our student body. Our elected leaders, the prefects and the Student Leadership Assembly continue to provide meaningful planning and execution of ideas to bring our community together. A Multicultural Day, our second in our schools recent history, was a fantastic success, something pursued and organised by our student leaders and so beautifully brought so many together to celebrate the diversity that makes up our school. Our relentless approach to embedding behaviour management in school focused on teaching and reinforcing positive behaviours is echoed through our mantra for all students as safe, respectful and successful learners. Our students are indeed safe, are respectful and increasingly successful at what they put their minds to.
However, it is student learning that has remained pivotal to all our planning and activity. As our third area of focus, there have been many positive changes made with our curriculum and its structures, with the Australian curriculum providing the spring board into the redesign of teaching and learning programs and with the continual refinement of assessments and associated procedures. Our teachers are continuing to blend those important capabilities of literacy and numeracy, of information communication technologies, of critical and creative thinking and those 21st century learning skills that our current generation of learners demand for success. Our connect2learn program provides the opportunity for students to bring their own contemporary digital devices to school and has allowed those students with an important tool to organise their own learning, to access learning and information anywhere and anytime, and provides for authentic collaboration and communication of learning. This program is still throwing endless opportunities in front of us, has taken us through at the most worthwhile and exciting learning experiences and will prove to be the most successful strategy yet to blend information technologies into student learning and enable activities that harness those 21st century skills.
Our planning for 2015 – 2017 has engaged many it its development. Executive, teachers, parents and students have all contributed towards the development of our pan and the directions the school will take over the next three years. Early in 2015, we will present that plan and make it available for our students and families to see.
Gymea is a fantastic school that has enjoyed a great year. I am proud of our students and their wonderful achievements. I wish everyone in our school community a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday.