From the Principal

This week I would like to begin by explaining the Student Progression and Promotion Policy, a process currently underway, which involves a number of our students. 

The Student Progression and Promotion Policy is designed to support, monitor, encourage and guide students whose Semester 1 Report and teacher feedback indicated some issues that need urgent attention. These include, but are not limited to; a consistent pattern of non-completion of work, lack of homework and revision, lower than expected achievement in assessment tasks, poor application in class and/or ongoing behavioural issues in a significant number of subjects.

Interventions are designed and implemented with the express intention of supporting our young men in their required improvement. For some, it’s simply a stronger work ethic, better organisation, setting goals and developing more independence as a learner. 

In some classes, it is the teacher who does most of the heavy lifting. Students need to take more responsibility, know what is expected of them and be prepared to work to the best of their ability to meet the demands of the course.

Working in concert with both the student and parents, a variety of Learning and Wellbeing staff will identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to assist each student to achieve his personal best. With this support mechanism in place, staff, students and parents can identify where the gaps are and agree on committing to a series of strategies to improve.

Another critical consideration is to ensure our students achieve the standard required to genuinely earn promotion to secure a position at the next year level. In Years 10 — 12, a student must demonstrate the attitude, approach and work ethic required to access and continue in the elective subjects of his choice. 

Each must be aware of and take responsibility for what is required to navigate his various subjects and meets the demands of each to the best of his ability. His teachers will encourage, guide and support him, but ultimately our expectations are that each student is on board with our standards for learning, endeavour and respect.

The review of Semester 1 Reports also provides an opportunity for staff to identify and acknowledge the very many students who have performed exceptionally well. It is always heartening each semester to read and hear of so many of our young men who have worked in a spirit of cooperation with their teacher, pushed themselves and demonstrated clear progression from earlier in the year. This must be the goal of all our students. 

On another subject, I am very excited about our inaugural Blokes and Books Breakfast, to be held in the Gymnasium, 7:30am – 8:30am on Tuesday 13 August. We are already nearing our capacity of 100 but elsewhere in this edition of the Duce you can find details of how to book. 

The novel concept (excuse the pun) is that students and their dads come and share in the benefits of reading. We are thrilled to have bestselling author Morris Gleitzman as our special guest. Morris will run a variety of activities while we are served a selection of breakfast treats prepared by our very own VCAL students.

While it promises to be a wonderful, enjoyable morning, the Blokes and Books Breakfast is really about acknowledging and celebrating reading and the almost infinite list of benefits it brings. I am admittedly rather biased and pretty passionate about this – I read my current novel of choice each and every night when going to bed. It’s a terrific way to wind down, escape and prepare to switch off and sleep well. 

The relaxation and enjoyment to be found in a great story are obvious, but for our students, it is SO important that they are regular and competent readers. The benefits of reading on literacy skills are indisputable, but strong reading habits develop great skills in so many areas of learning and transfer into other benefits as well. It is just superb that library borrowing rates for our students in 2019 are up 150% from last year!

Mr Peter Houlihan

Back to The Duce Issue 2019 10 - 1 August 2019