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From the Principal, Mr Graham Leddie

Principal, Mr Graham Leddie

Principal, Mr Graham Leddie

Conductor Emeritus: Vale Paul Goodchild

Paul was a prodigious talent, joining the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of 18, and remaining an active member for 42 years, ultimately being appointed Associate Principal Trumpet. Paul sadly passed away from cancer last Tuesday. He and his late father had a long association with the College. Paul graduated from Waverley in 1978, and Cliff was the Conductor at the College for 40 years, and had the College’s Senior Concert band named in his honour. Our thoughts and prayers are with Paul’s family and friends.

>>> Click here to view Vale Paul Goodchild.

Homework and Revision 

The debate about the value of homework gains attention and different perspectives from time to time. I appreciate the importance of family time together, the need for children to play, time out in nature, and physical activity, which are all connected to our overall wellbeing. However, the value of homework and revision is very well explained in Mrs Elizabeth Watson’s article in this newsletter. Getting the balance right across all of these elements is perhaps the right pathway. 

Music Camp 

Congratulations to our Music department and our musicians on their recent music camp. I have heard very positive feedback about their development and performances whilst away. For further information please read Mr Chris Balkizas’ report in the newsletter. 

NAPLAN

Just as the current Years 5, 7 and 9 students are preparing for NAPLAN 2022, last week the 2021 NAPLAN results were uploaded onto the My School Website. The Waverley College student progress measure places our Year 5, 7 and 9 2021 cohort’s growth close to students with the same starting score and similar backgrounds across all domains of reading, writing and numeracy. Student progress is the most important measure for parents, teachers and the wider community, as it is such a valuable diagnostic tool.

Some highlights from the 2021 results are that the Year 7 cohort growth is strong across all domains, with numeracy demonstrating the most significant improvement. Over all testing domains, Year 7 results are above or well above average Australian students. Similarly, Year 9 reading, writing and numeracy scores are above all Australian students as per the table below.

NAPLAN table 2022

NAPLAN participation 2022

Beyond the My School Website, we always conduct a more extensive review of results and growth compared to schools who are statistically similar, enabling the College to identify areas of strength, targets and students who require diverse learning support. Some of the highlights from our analysis are that the combined literacy and numeracy scores of Year 7 Waverley College students, and the writing scores of Year 9 students, when compared to boys in statistically similar schools, trends in an upward direction.

The most valuable data from NAPLAN results highlights what we need to do to support our students in the future. The overall results indicate that students starting at the College in Years 5 and 7 need support in reading, writing, spelling and grammar. The programs that we have in place ensure that student growth in all domains is consistent with students of similar starting scores and backgrounds from Year 5 2019 to Year 7 2021, and Year 7 2019 to Year 9 2021.

What is particularly pleasing to note, is that the work we have been doing in our Year 7 and 8 Literacy programs in 2019-2020 have seen the student growth in writing improve significantly from the rate of growth in 2017-2019. Please note, that we do not have a set of results from 2020, as NAPLAN did not run due to COVID-19 restrictions.

We will continue to work on improving student growth, particularly in literacy, through the introduction of The Writer’s Toolbox in the Junior School and Learning Support groups in the Senior School. We will look to expand this program in the future to improve student grammar and punctuation, as well as sentence, paragraph and essay writing.

Spelling Mastery lessons are delivered to most Year 7 students (not just those students in Learning Support groups) in classes taught by specially-trained Direct Instruction teachers. This research-proven pedagogy engages students in intensive practices, utilising the articulatory loop, to memorise important knowledge and skills, resulting in a reduction in cognitive load and enabling deeper learning.  

Uniform Shop Update 

The Uniform shop has informed me that the new student lightweight rain jacket should be available in store for the start of Term 2 (maybe even late next week). There will also be a Supporters’ scarf, umbrella and rain jacket available in the coming weeks. A student hoodie and lightweight long sleeve training jersey are also now in stock for the colder winter days approaching, as part of our co-curricular suite.

Students of the World Ecology Group (SOTWEG) 

I congratulate the students of both St Clare’s College and Waverley College who have created a new collaboration across their respective Ecology Committees. I look forward to working with them, and hearing about their shared strategies to both educate others, and reduce our impact on the planet. For further information please read student James Peate’s report in the newsletter. 

Student Congratulations

​​Kai Gregory (Year 8) won two very prestigious awards this season as part of the Coogee Competitive Surf Team: Age Champion (best overall across six events: surf swim, boards, ironman, sprint, 1k run and flags), and Best Competitor (#1 Competitor in Water at Surf Carnivals).

Kai was invited to join the Senior Team at the Australian National Championships in Coolangatta on 2 and 3 April, and will compete in the ironman, surf rescue, along with sprint, surf swim, boards and relays. Congratulations Kai!

COVID-19 Numbers 

Thank you for your support with mask wearing. This action has certainly slowed down transmission rates: from 179 last week, down to 71 for this week. Please find the latest COVID-19 numbers below. 

As at 1/4/22 COVID-19 Positive Close Contacts
Year 5 2 2
Year 6 13 10
Year 7 2 7
Year 8 4 6
Year 9 5 0
Year 10 2 4
Year 11 0 4
Year 12 3 2
Staff 4 1
TOTAL (71) 35 36

NSW Health Changes to Self-Isolation Requirements for Close and Household Contacts who Have Recovered from COVID-19

On Monday evening, the Minister signed the Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order Amendment (No 1) Order 2022. The Amending Order amends the Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order to exempt a person who is a close or household contact from the requirement to self-isolate if the person has had COVID-19 in the previous 12 weeks (up from the previous 8 weeks).

This means that if a student or staff member who has recovered from COVID-19 comes into contact with someone with COVID-19 within 12 weeks after they are released, they will generally not need to self-isolate or get a test. They can continue to go to school or work unless they have new COVID-19 symptoms.

Reminder for those who are close or household contacts:

  • If a person in your household tests positive to COVID-19, they must self-isolate away from everyone else in the house for 7 days from the date of their positive test. They must follow the advice for people testing positive to COVID-19 which includes how to self-isolate effectively. If the person is unable to safely self-isolate by themselves (e.g. due to their young age), a parent or carer should self-isolate with them.
  • The entire household must also self-isolate for 7 days from the date of the positive person’s test. They should follow the advice for people exposed to COVID-19 and take a test as soon as possible, have another test on Day 6, and at any time COVID-19 symptoms appear.
  • If another person in your household tests positive to COVID-19, that person must restart their 7 day self-isolation period from the date of their positive test, even if they don’t have any symptoms.
  • Other household members who test negative, do not need to re-start their 7 day self-isolation period. They also do not have to self-isolate again any time in the following 14 days unless they test positive.
  • People who test positive to COVID-19 and complete their 7-day self-isolation period, do not have to test or self-isolate as any type of contact for 12 weeks after their release.
  • Self-isolation means staying at home or at your accommodation. This means you cannot drive your children to school or day care; you must ask someone else to do this. You must only leave self-isolation to get medical care or in an emergency. For more information, read the self-isolation rules.