Welcome Back Message from the Head of Secondary

Dear Parents and Students

Welcome to 2018! A new year is filled with new possibilities for all of us – in our roles as teachers, parents and as students. We also have a point from which to grow personally as well. It is strange that the 1st January becomes an arbitrary point from which to start, but the new year comes after a rest and after a time for reflection. New Years are important. Many of our plans may be focussed around our families, our work and our relationships.

Within a few weeks we will each know whether we have thought about what we would like to achieve and how we might do that – or whether we have lapsed back into 2017 and that 2018 is looking more like a repeat of 2017.

The School has released its new Strategic Plan which will carry us through the next 3 years and beyond. Our focus is threefold and simple: People, Purpose and Place: the best teaching and learning possible; students and staff in strong healthy, constructive and respectful relationships; and the best possible teaching environment.

Our children are not all the same. Half of our 2017 uni-bound ATAR bound students achieved rankings in the top 20% in the state and we are very proud of all of our students who achieved what they hoped. Last year rather unusually, 91% (against the usual 80%) of all Year 12 students at the Duncraig Campus worked towards ATAR rankings, yet many had not planned on university as a destination or on using their ATAR for university entry. Some of our students who planned on using a Certificate 4, in conjunction with 4 ATAR subjects, for that purpose have felt very stressed through the time they pursued a “joint” strategy and had to let go their ATAR plans to focus on the Certificate 4. The Cert 4 worked, the ATAR did not.

There are two things students often say that I find worrying: the first is that they want to go to university without knowing what they might even be interested in – and the second is the hope to be famous, again without any idea of why and in what field.

Together, as parents and teachers, we are blessed to have another year to work with our children. We have a year in which to work out whether what might be best for each child is what we had planned and dreamed. Between us we can create the conversations, the attitude of positive growth and enough realism to make happier, resilient and less worried children.

Students:  your parents and your teachers have runs on the board, they have valuable experiences and advice for you to consider as you enjoy their support this year. There will be hard work and the satisfaction of knowing you have done your best at something wisely chosen.

Best wishes for 2018

Bruce Titlestad

Head of School