GAT - The Year 12 General Achievement Test (GAT) was recently held on Wednesday Sept 7 for all students undertaking a Year 12 Subject. This was the first time that the revised GAT was implemented which required all Unit 3/4 VCE students and Senior VCAL students to undertake a Literacy and Numeracy Test. VCE students were then required to complete a general knowledge test in the afternoon. The new test has been designed to indicate whether students have demonstrated the literacy and numeracy skills typically expected of someone completing their secondary schooling – giving another indication of their readiness to move onto further education, training or employment. Our students were remarkable during the test with the external examiners commenting more than once on how wonderful our students are and the positive way in which they conducted themselves during the test.
Teacher Practice - Staff have recently presented their Action Learning Tasks (ALT’s) to their learning teams, highlighting the new initiatives and strategies that they have trialled within their classrooms. These were based around improving literacy, numeracy, sustainability and the Berry Street model. Staff have shared with their learning teams their process of moving through the cycle of inquiry, their reflections and the feedback that they have received from their peers. This professional learning process allowed all staff to engage in conversations around the continual improvement in practice to support the learning of all students.
NAPLAN - We are pleased to share with our community that we have received positive results from the 2022 NAPLAN. We have continued to see improvement in reading and writing at both Year 7 and Year 9 which highlights that our focus in these areas is having an impact on student learning outcomes. Our Year 9 Numeracy data has also improved upon last year’s results. Numeracy continues to be an area of focus across Australia and we will continue to ensure that we are putting in strategies to support students by embedding numeracy across all subjects. It is pleasing to see that across all tests, our overall student results are trending upward with students moving from the lower bands into the middle bands, and from the middle bands into the top two bands. The majority of our students (72% - 89%) are placed above the National Minimum Standard in all tests – Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation and Numeracy.
Whilst NAPLAN does not measure all of the wonderful learning that takes place at Lilydale Heights College, it is one set of data that is used to inform how we can continue to improve teaching and learning at the College to support the learning growth of all students.
YEAR 7 INFORMATION NIGHT
We recently hosted our Year 7 2023 BBQ and Information Night on Monday Sept 5. This well attended event was an opportunity for our new students and their families to meet with staff and to hear key information to assist them with their transition to Lilydale Heights College. When speaking to our new students, they shared with me that they were feeling excited and nervous, but overall, were really looking forward to joining us in 2023. Our current Year 7 students and College Captains were wonderful ambassadors on the night, talking to students and families, assisting with the BBQ and speaking at the formal presentation. Our Year 7 Information Night was the first step in a six year journey at Lilydale Heights College and we warmly welcome our new students and families into our community.
One of the things that I love about Lilydale Heights College is the range of learning opportunities that students are able to engage in, both inside and outside of the classroom. Some of these that have taken place over the previous few weeks include:
Year 8 Camp - Recently our Year 8 students have been on a three day camp at Camp Howqua. Students were able to challenge themselves in a range of activities including horse riding, high and low ropes, archery, a survivor challenge, disc golf, an unnatural walk and the flying fox. The feedback from the staff on the camp was that our students were ‘absolutely fabulous’. Feedback from the students was that the camp was great, the survivor activity a highlight and that they were able to cope for three days without their mobile phone. There were a lot of tired faces when they returned on Friday, but all of the students that I was able to speak to shared that they had a great time on camp. Thanks to all of the staff for their attendance on this camp and for providing such a wonderful opportunity to our students. A special thank you to Ash Gell, Jane Scobie and Helene Butterworth for their organisation of the camp.
VCAL Pizza – Our Senior VCAL students recently took on the challenge of making woodfired pizzas for staff. This task involved students taking orders from staff and then organising the preparation, cooking and delivering of pizzas. This authentic learning experience allowed students to work as a team, building their skills in planning, organisation and communication. Thank you to their teacher James Rippingale for providing our VCAL students with this opportunity. Thank you also to Halley Metcalfe, Jodie Smith and Troy McGown for their support and for helping out throughout the day.
SIRC and Sustainability Movie Week – Our SIRC and Sustainability Club joined forces last week to raise much needed funds to support the building of a Koala Sanctuary. A movie was screened in the PAC over a series of lunchtimes with popcorn, cookies and raffle tickets for sale. Students and staff gathered in the PAC to enjoy their cinema food and to relax as they watched The Lion King. Our remarkable SIRC and Sustainability Club students should be extremely proud of their achievements with this successful event.
ARE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS CORRECT?
It is important that we have the current contact details for students and their families. We will often send out communications via email, contact families via phone and, in an emergency, contact guardians or emergency contacts. If you have not done so recently, I would encourage all families to check that their contact details are accurate on Compass. If you need any assistance with checking your details, please do not hesitate to contact us at the College.
TERM BREAK AND TERM 4 START DATE
I would like to wish our entire community a wonderful term break. This is a time to reflect upon Term 3 and to recharge. I wish our Unit 3 and 4 students all the best as I know that all of them will be spending much of this school break preparing for their upcoming exams. Whilst there will be a lot of study, I do encourage them to find a balance by taking breaks, engaging in activities that they enjoy and to ensure that they take some time to look after their own wellbeing.
A reminder to families that Monday October 3 is a Curriculum Day and will be a student free day. Students will begin Term 4 on Tuesday October 4.
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of our teachers and education support staff for their ongoing commitment and support this term in ensuring that all our students are able to continue to learn and grow in a safe, engaging and supportive environment. I would also like to thank our students for a wonderful term of learning and for their contribution to our positive school environment.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am extremely excited and privileged to have been appointed to the substantive Principal role at Lilydale Heights College. I am absolutely honoured to take on such an important role in leading our amazing school and would like to thank the community for putting their trust in me. I look forward to the next chapter for Lilydale Heights College and working with our whole community to continue to build an inclusive learning community where all students are able to learn and thrive.