From the Principal - May 2022

From the Principal - May 2022

From the Principal – May 2022

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Preparing Young People with the Future in Mind

Last week, across Australia, for the first time, all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participated in NAPLAN assessment online. The assessment remains controversial in some sectors with some arguing that it represents a siloed approach to capturing information.

Commenting on the release of The Australian Curriculum Version 9.0, Professor John Fischetti, Pro Vice Chancellor in the Council of Human and Social Futures at the University of Newcastle, contributed to the discussion, expressing the view that improvement in education is onerous when different authorities are responsible for curriculum and assessment.

Fischetti concludes, “Transforming our curriculum, instruction and assessment practices together will help prepare our young people for careers that require the mind”. His main concern, and one that most educators will agree with, is that curriculum, instruction, and assessment need to be considered wholistically to create meaningful change.

However, for schools NAPLAN data remains useful in contributing to the information which enables teachers to develop more individualised approaches in the classroom. For parents too, who are interested in their daughter developing a responsible attitude to learning, participation in testing assists students to evidence their learning at that moment in time. And whilst I agree with Fischetti’s view of wholistic considerations, learning strategies students develop also have an opportunity to be tested in the NAPLAN setting. For young people, many of whom will select math and science studies in their final years, where external testing accounts for fifty percent of the final subject result, the long-term development of test taking skills can only increase student’s self-belief and personal preparation.

Reading & Mathematics Support Volunteer Program

The Reading and Mathematics Support Volunteer Program is well underway this term. The program involves Senior School students supporting Junior School students in the areas of literacy and numeracy. This program is rewarding for both Junior School students and our Seniors.

Academic Mentoring

Our academic mentoring program continues for students in their middle and senior years of learning this term. For Year 7, the program concentrates on the transition from junior schooling to the expectations of not only a broad curriculum but also the personal responsibilities students now face with their day-to-day organisation. Students can find it valuable to discuss their perceptions of themselves as a learner at this early stage of secondary education and to have support at hand to assist them with identifying their goals. For Year 10, priority subjects and strategies to support achievement of goals has focused students prior to their SEP interviews where learning pathways for Year 11 and 12 will be decided. Mrs Lorna Henderson, Careers and VET Coordinator, publishes a very informative weekly career update, and information on University Open Days, and Industry events. I recommend parents and students early engagement with Mrs Henderson’s bulletins.

ISQ What Parents Want Survey – Parents’ aspirations for the education of their children

The last week has indeed seen a focus on the education sector and perhaps with the Federal election this Saturday, it has seemed timely to release anticipated reports.

What factors influence parents’ considerations for their child’s education has focused the report of Independent Schools Queensland longitudinal study, also released this week. In 2021, ninety St Hilda’s families participated in the survey. The table below provides an overview of the Ten Most Important Factors (2006-2021) identified by Queensland parents (3,961 responses).

Extract from Independent Schools Queensland Briefing – Volume 26 Issue 2 | Autumn 2022

School choice is a very personal decision for families. However, there are common factors parents identify. Interestingly, in our St Hilda’s School 2021 Parents Survey, responses were more focused on the expectation that students would be encouraged to set learning goals and be responsible for their own learning. With 285 families responding, this item rated at the highest level of satisfaction with the School.

The learning journey we understand to be of continual improvement. As your daughter prepares and undertakes assessment in these final weeks of the semester, I encourage you to continue the supportive conversations you are having at home and identify your interest in not only her results, but how she is learning.

National Boarding Week

To all our Boarding families, years 6 to 12, we hope you have enjoyed National Boarding Week. We have celebrated with many special activities including the National Boarders’ Week Chapel.

Canberra trip – Year 6

I must conclude this newsletter with an acknowledgement of our Year 6 cohort who have realised their goal to travel to Canberra this week. COVID restrictions put an end to our 2020 and 2021 Year 6 students undertaking this trip, so it was with real enthusiasm that students and teachers departed for their flight on Tuesday. I am very much looking forward to hearing how they spent their time in our nation’s capital.

Finally, links below will lead you to our Autumn edition of The Spirit Magazine and the St Hilda’s Business Directory.

Spirit Magazine – Autumn 2022

St Hilda’s Business Directory

Wendy Lauman

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace