Principals Report 2017

2017 has been another exciting year for Gymea as we continue to see improvements and share some great stories of achievement in learning, sport, performing arts and in the power of student voice, active citizenship and leadership.

It has been a wonderful and very busy school year seeing so many of our students continue to succeed and improve in their learning and academic achievement.  So firstly, congratulations to all of our award recipients this year. Your efforts, talents and dedication have seen you achieve at an exemplary level with your learning, with your contribution as citizens in your school and in areas of wider school involvement.

This year we opened our Technology Centre through an official opening and more so, to the students of the school.  It has to be one of the most interesting initiatives we have undertaken, as it is so much more than a technology space. Providing a compliment of current model PC and Mac computers, a great layout and accessibility to equipment, it is certainly a funky looking space and it does look special. While all these are great and give us plenty to boast about, the best bit about this Technology Centre is our students. The activity that consumes the centre varies as you walk around and as you see students at different technology levels, busy working away, often collaboratively on something that requires technology.

The other day I walked through the centre while a number of classes were booked in. Students seated at and away from computers, each engrossed in discussion which was focused on the task at hand. As I walked through, taking care not to step on little robots circling the floor or flying between my feet, I looked onwards to students at computers working on projects with each other while a small team was editing a video using an image projected on the table. It is no silent work place, but the noise is a functioning buzz with students working and playing (yes, I did see a couple of games on screens – though explanations were given to these). So when we designed and constructed that centre and we threw around words like collaboration and engagement in technology, I don’t think we really anticipated what that really meant or looked like. Walking around and seeing our students in action, it is now very clear.

So often the activity in the centre is very similar to the setup of displays that were exhibited at the official opening. The activity is encouraged and promoted by staff, but it is says quite a bit more about our kids. They are the igeneration, they are socially connected, technology dependent and they do care about the world in which they live, the school that is theirs. What makes Gymea a wonderful place to learn and a wonderful place to work is it is truly populated by a beautiful group of young people who want to be involved, want to be part of what is going on and be part of their school. Their success is strongly founded by those collective qualities. To all of our students, congratulations. Congratulations on your part in making this a wonderful place to learn and work.

A significant area of growth for our school is in student academic performance. This growth is not just isolated to our high achievers. Over the last two years, identified through NAPLAN, we have significant improvements in student performance across all areas of literacy and numeracy. So much so, we have been recognised for this growth by ACARA, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, as well as the Department of Education. The Department of Education provide a measure for schools they call value added. Our school has an outstanding value added result indicating the experiences here at Gymea are adding significantly to student academic performance. In year 9 NAPLAN this year, the Department has identified us as ‘Excelling’, the highest rating on the schools excellence framework. This is not a one off, this is a trend for Gymea. Such improvements come as a result of a collective commitment to learning by all in our community.

We are finalising our planning for the schools directions for the next three years. This is my sixth year as Principal and during that time I have seen some significant changes in our school, all focused on improvements and betterment’s for our students.

I have seen a significant change in school culture, a strengthened school community and a drive towards success that is apparent from all directions. Our motto we redefined as Inspire Learn Succeed. What we do here is centred on learning and ways we can assist students much more explicitly than ever before so they can each, in their own ways, find their success. A school that can inspire its staff and students to commit to that learning and develop that thirst for success has been our challenge and is now something upon us in wonderful ways.

Our work towards our Strategic Plan this planning cycle has evolved into something a great deal more inclusive and consultative. Our staff and executive have remained strong contributors towards our directions, along with our parents, always providing perspective that helps us keep that open mind. The strategic directions this year have been strongly influenced by our students, their voice on matters that affect them, their peers and their school. It is their collective voice that has guided the planning areas of student and staff learning and student wellbeing. Their insight, through surveys and focus groups, has allowed us to bridge what we know and read about student quality with tangible directions on how it directly impacts on them.

We look forward to seeking further improvements in implementing initiatives over the next three years that focus on student learning in areas of Literacy, Numeracy, STEM initiatives, student self-regulation and quality feedback to guide learning. The wellbeing and happiness of students is paramount to success at school and throughout life and more explicit and proactive programs to assist in that development for all students is high on the agenda. Technologies and learning spaces will continue to evolve within the school and we have some exciting plans for next year to provide increased scope for students to deepen and enrich their learning with technology. In all this, the quality of teaching will be supported by valued and connected teacher professional learning to continue the positive changes we are seeing in teaching and learning in our school. The next three years will see some outstanding improvements that will build on what is a fantastic school.

Our teaching and support staff truly want to make a difference for our students and have committed long-term to our directions, through professional learning and the extra work that accompanies. As Principal, I am very lucky to have such wonderful, committed staff and I wish to acknowledge the gains the school has made through their professionalism and dedication. My congratulations to all our staff and thank you.

Special thanks to my executive team, Deputy Principals Angela Kay and Victoria Koukoutaris, Head Teachers Janet Fairweather and Ruth Skeen in English, Katherine Edwards in Mathematics, Julie Smith in HSIE, Megan Suliman in Science, Nick Liley in PDHPE, Donna Sarcia in Technology and Applied Studies, Eva Korkidas and Nerida Noble in Computing / CAPA. Their leadership in support of student programs ensures that we will continue to be a school in the pursuit of meeting the needs of our current 21st century learners.

To our students, who continually make us proud and excite us with talents, interests and drive that they bring to their learning and to the activities that they have led across the school. Congratulations to all of our students on their achievements this year and in taking ownership of your school.

And last but certainly not least, our parents and families, for your support and partnership in the education of your children. A partnership that we will continue to build and proudly celebrate together.

I wish each and every one a very happy, safe and restful holiday.

News
Upcoming Events

August 2018

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1
  • OC Testing
  • Snow Trip 2018
  • Kareela Primary School Athletics Carnival 9PASS
2
  • English G, Y, M Task 6:Wide reading Year 9
  • English E Task 6:Wide reading Year 9
  • Piano Workshop with Anita Beuthien
3
  • Design and Technology 12DAT Task 4:MAJOR DESIGN PROJECT Year 12
4
5
6
  • Create 2018
  • Premiers Debating Challenge Year 9/10
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 8E Task 4:Dance Practical Year 8
7
  • Years 9 & 10 Subject Selection Evening
  • Visual Arts 12ART.1 Task 3:Resolution of Body of Work Year 12
  • Science G Task 4:Skills Task Year 7
  • Science Y Task 4:Skills Task Year 7
  • Science M Task 4:Skills Task Year 7
  • Science E Task 4:Skills Task Year 7
  • Science A Task :Skills Task Year 7
8
  • Project Based Mathematics Task 3:Project 2 Year 9
  • Sydney East Athletics Championships 2018
  • Industrial Technology - Multimedia 11ITMM Task 2:Group Project - Part 1 - Part C Year 11
9
  • Mathematics Competition
  • Geography GEO 1 Task 2:Senior Geography Project Year 11
  • Geography GEO 2 Task 2:Senior Geography Project Year 11
  • Music 8M Task 3:Practical Year 8
10
  • Music 8Y Task 3:Practical Year 8
  • Music 8E Task 3:Practical Year 8
  • Music 8A Task 3:Practical Year 8
11
12
13
  • Years 8 & 9 ONLINE Subject Selection
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
  • Chemistry 12CHE Task 3:Practical Skills Year 12
  • Biology Skills Task Year 11
  • Year 12 Trial Exams Year 12
  • HSC Dance Practical Examination Marking Year 12
14
  • P&C Meeting
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
  • Online Subject Selections Years 8 & 9
  • Music 8G Task 3:Practical Year 8
  • Science G Task 4: Research Task Year 8
  • Science M Task 4:Research Task Year 8
  • Science Y Task 4:Research Task Year 8
  • Science A Task 4:Research Task Year 8
  • Science E Task 4:Research Task Year 8
  • Year 12 Trial Exams Year 12
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 8A Task 4:Dance Practical Year 8
15
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
  • Forensic Archaeology Task 4:Test - source work and essay on the Azaria Chamberlain Case Year 10
  • Music 10MUS Task 4:Performing Year 10
  • Subject Selection Interviews Year 10
  • Year 12 Trial Exams Year 12
  • Years 7 and 8 Debating - Round 2
16
  • Year 12 Trial Exams
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
  • Vaccinations - Yrs 10 and 11
17
  • Year 12 Trial Exams
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
  • Music 9MUS Task 4:Performing Year 9
18
19
20
  • Year 12 Trial Exams
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
21
  • Year 12 Trial Exams
  • Music 7G Task 3:Practical Year 7
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
22
  • Year 12 Trial Exams
  • Science G Task 3:Natural Disasters Research Task Year 9
  • Food Technology 10FOO1 Task 3:FOOD SERVICE AND CATERING - PRACTICAL COMPONENT - GROUP A Year 10
  • Food Technology 10FOO2 Task 3:FOOD SERVICE AND CATERING - PRACTICAL COMPONENT - GROUP A Year 10
  • Science G Task 3:Natural Disasters Research Task Year 9
  • Science G Task 3:Natural Disasters Research Task Year 9
  • Science G Task 3:Natural Disasters Research Task Year 9
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
23
  • Year 12 Trial Exams
  • Legal Studies LEG 1 Task 2:Case Study - Law in Practice Year 11
  • Accelerated Computing Task 2: Stage 2 Individual Project Year 9
  • Child Studies 10EEC Task 4:Research Task Year 10
  • First Aid Course Year 11
  • Music 7A Task 3:Practical Year 7
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 8Y Task 4:Dance Practical Year 8
  • IPT Accelerants Trial HSC Examination Study Day Year 10
  • Food Technology 10FOO2 Task 3:FOOD SERVICE AND CATERING - PRACTICAL COMPONENT - GROUP B Year 10
  • Food Technology 10FOO1 Task 3:FOOD SERVICE AND CATERING - PRACTICAL COMPONENT - GROUP B Year 10
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
24
  • Year 12 Trial Exams
  • Food Technology 9FOO1 Task 3:FOOD IN AUSTRALIA RESEARCH TASK Year 9
  • Food Technology 9FOO2 Task 3:FOOD IN AUSTRALIA RESEARCH TASK Year 9
  • French Feast
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 9G Task 4:Movement and Composition Year 9
  • Food Technology 10FOO1 Task 3:FOOD SERVICE AND CATERING - THEORY COMPONENT Year 10
  • Food Technology 10FOO2 Task 3:FOOD SERVICE AND CATERING - THEORY COMPONENT Year 10
  • Yr 12 Trial Exams Year 12
25
26
27
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 10G Task 4:Investigation Task Year 10
  • Creative Writing Task 3:Dialogue and Perspective Year 10
  • History Task 1 - Source Task Year 8
  • HSC Minimum Testing - Yr 10 Year 10
  • HSC Drama Practical Examination Marking Year 12
28
  • Head Start to High School
  • Business Studies BUS 1 Task 2:Business Plan Year 11
  • Business Studies BUS 2 Task 2:Business Plan Year 11
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 10A Task 4:Investigation Task Year 10
  • History Task 1 - Source Task Year 7
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 9Y Task 4:Movement and Composition Year 9
29
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 9E Task 4:Movement and Composition Year 9
  • Ice Skating Year 7 + 9PASS
  • Ice Skating Excursion
30
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 8M Task 4:Dance Practical Year 8
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 8G Task 4:Dance Practical Year 8
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 10M Task 4:Investigation Task Year 10
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 9M Task 4:Movement and Composition Year 9
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 7M Task 4:Dance Task Year 7
  • Languages G Task 3:Travel Project Year 7
  • Physical Activity and Sport Studies 9PASS1 Task 4:Practical Task Year 9
31
  • Industrial Technology - Multimedia 11ITMM Task 2:Group Project - Part 2 Year 11
  • Personal Development Health and Physical Education 7Y Task 4:Dance Task Year 7
  • English G Task 4:Fractured Fairytale Year 7
  • English M, E Task 4:Fractured Fairytale Year 7
  • English Y Task 4:Fractured Fairytale Year 7
  • HSC Industrial Technology Practical Examination Marking Year 12
  • Physical Activity and Sport Studies 9PASS1 Task 4:Practical Task Year 9
  • Visual Arts 11ART.1 Task 2:Artmaking Year 11

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