From the Head of College, Graham Leddie
Student NAPLAN results should now have arrived at home for all of our students. Here at school our curriculum staff have been analysing the results, and they are very pleasing. Early analysis shows our student growth is strong across the entire school.
Overall we are seeing significant benefits from the curriculum-wide writing programs we have been delivering for the past year. Our Year 7 students have attained literacy growth at a higher rate than the NSW average and the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) average, including in reading, writing, spelling and grammar.
The average literacy growth for our Year 9 students is greater than growth for the average State student and AIS student in reading and writing. While growth in spelling, grammar and punctuation was not quite as strong in Year 9, I expect that our new ‘Literacy for Learning’ program, commenced this term across the Junior School and Senior School and being rolled out extensively over the next two years, will have a big impact in improving these results for 2018. It will see explicit literacy instruction embedded into lessons across all of your son’s subjects.
In numeracy, Waverley students also showed strong performances. The average Waverley student enters Year 5 at around 11 scale scores below that of students at AIS Schools; but by Year 9 the Waverley average score is equal to average AIS scores.
Year 9 students have naturally been anxious about gaining high enough band levels to secure their Higher School Certificate. I’m pleased to note that the number of students who failed to meet the Band 8 standard is lower than expected and that we anticipate the vast majority of these students will succeed in achieving the required standard on their future attempts, commencing next year.
This week we have participated in the trials for the online delivery of NAPLAN testing. The college is well equipped for this testing, with excellent wifi infrastructure and 1:1 laptops for each student. The tests were a great learning experience for our IT team, teachers and students in relation to this new approach to examinations.
Art and TAS Show
It was a privilege to attend the combined St Clare’s College and Waverley College Visual Arts and TAS show hosted by St Clare’s last night. I was impressed with the high standard of work but also the insight it provided into our students’ creative thought processes and the depth of understanding they shared of life, its struggles and beauty. Congratulations to Ms Tanya Schneider and Mr Garth Aird and their respective teams on the high quality of the work displayed. Good luck to all our Art, Music, Drama and TAS students who are presenting their HSC performances and major works for marking at the moment. From the high standard of many of the works I have seen, I am expecting excellent results.
A strong finish by Year 12
I spoke to our Year 12 students this week regarding the importance of finishing their final year of schooling positively. They have led our College with distinction this year and managed some significant changes extremely well. I spoke to them about the pressures that will come into play as the ‘business end’ of their HSC approaches, and I let them know that this will be a time when their character and maturity is likely to be tested. I encourage all of our community to be active in their support of these young men for their final few weeks at the College. Parents of Year 12 students, please have a word to your son about the College’s high expectations and the risks and consequences for poor decision making at this specific time. It is time to finish off strong and shine.
Blue and Gold Ball
The Blue and Gold Ball last Friday was an outstanding example of the strength of our College community, with the Cosgrove Centre bursting at the seams with parents and friends of the college. After a hiatus of 40 years, the event had all of the colour and elegance of old. The attendance of our celebrity guest for the evening, Olympian, Bronte Campbell added extra glamour to the evening. I’m very pleased to confirm that the night raised in excess of $70,000. Combined with our annual giving project, this means that over $100,000 will now be exclusively targeted at improvements to college infrastructure. Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive. I’d like to extend my very sincere thanks to all of our supporters for their generous donations and assistance. Special thanks also go to our Development Manager, Rebecca Curran for her great work on these projects and the team of parents that supported Rebecca so well.
Congratulations to all students who received a Winter Sports Award last week. Mr O’Donnell published his speech and recognised all award winners in last week’s newsletter, but I would like to make special mention of Ben Donaldson who was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal. Named after the founder of the Modern Olympic Games, the Pierre de Coubertin Award recognises students who demonstrate academic excellence and sporting prowess whilst exemplifying the Olympic values. Each award recipient must participate in sport and display the Olympic values, in particular, good sportsmanship. Well done, Ben.
Next Parent Association Forum: Safe Partying
Please make every effort to attend our Parent Association’s second Parent Forum of the year, which promises to be full of useful tips and information for parents. Sonya Karras is a renowned speaker who helps parents guide their adolescents towards safely managing partying, drugs and alcohol. She shares her strategies in a no-nonsense and humorous way that parents will enjoy.
Sonya’s fellow author, Sacha Kaluri will also present on the night, providing you with strategies for encouraging your son to investigate and plan for his future career.
This great evening will be held in the Gym on 6 September at 6.30pm. Please register here. I hope to see you there.