[Head of Secondary] Term 3 Week 1 Update 2020/07/27 Updated

Welcome to the new term. Although with learning online, it is not as personally connected as we would wish it to be. I add a special welcome to new students in Secondary, all twenty of them, as they begin or renew their learning and schooling experience with us.

The students and teachers have made a strong start to their lessons since Tuesday and there, of course, will be adjustment processes as we re-ignite the online skills that we developed earlier this year.

We produced a Secondary assembly on Wednesday which was made available online for the students. The main messaging from Mr Hemphill was about our agility to adapt and that despite us seeing problems in our current situation, there are opportunities to be had as well. Importantly, students are encouraged to talk to their teachers and seek support as they see the need.

Also, this week we conducted Year 10 subject decision meetings with students and their parents to confirm their choices of study programs for Years 11 and 12. With the choice of subjects in either the HSC or IB program, it is a significant milestone in settling subject decisions so that the preparation of the school teaching timetable can be developed for 2021. Students were advised to choose subjects which they enjoy and they see as their strengths.

Next it will be Year 8 to decide which electives to study during Year 9 and 10. Information will be sent to students and parents during the next week, followed by an opportunity for students to indicate preferences for subjects, and then make a final choice based on the aligned subjects to maximise the student interest.

We also commence our Year 7-10 parent/teacher information nights from Thursday 30 July where they will be operating online via Google Meets. The opportunity to discuss the previous semester’s learning and to look forward is certainly valuable and should a teacher’s appointment slots be full, please email the teacher so that they can arrange an alternate time.

The Year 12 students have been very busy with their studies and practical work during the holiday period and as we proceed online, the staff continue to work with them both through the lessons and off-timetable to ensure that they feel supported and are engaged in their learning. Their passage to graduation and examinations is an important priority for the school. In many ways, the same support relates to Year 11 students as they prepare for school-based examinations at the end of this term.

Best wishes for your safety and good health during this period of time.

Howard West | Head of Secondary

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