Principal’s Report, May 2019

Dear families,

A belated welcome to Term 2.

As mentioned in the last Principal’s Report, we are continuing to work on improving student attendance, with an increased focus on accounting for unexplained absences as well as undertaking targeted wellbeing and engagement programs and teaching strategies for students at risk. We are planning on holding some parenting support sessions on helping reluctant and anxious students to improve their school attendance. Joanne Burch, our psychologist, will be leading these sessions; more information to follow.

This term there has already been the highly successful Bogong Future Makers camp for selected Year 9 students, with the Year 8 camp to Roses Gap to come. Last week year 7 and 9 students completed NAPLAN, while year 8 and 10 students contributed to the Communities That Care student survey in collaboration with Deakin University and Yarra City Council. The survey aims to promote the healthy development of young people through long term community planning to prevent health and social problems.

Students from years 7-12 also completed the first round of the Pivot Survey, which is being used in a number of schools across the country. This survey draws on the research indicating the importance of student voice and agency, while giving teachers more insight into their classroom practice. There will be another round of the survey in Term 3, allowing teachers to compare the two sets of results for each of their classes. It also allows the school to identify trends in year levels and Professional Learning Communities (learning areas, eg English).

The annual Department of Education and Training Student Attitudes to School survey will also be held early in Term 3. This is another important opportunity for students to give feedback to the school on a wide range of issues around learning, engagement and wellbeing. The school takes the survey results seriously and, along with other data, uses them to set goals for school improvement.

I have been involved for the past year in the Youth Enterprise Hub Working Party, which is an initiative of the Inner Northern Local Learning and Employment Network along with three councils and the Bendigo Bank. The Youth Enterprise Hub builds 21st century entrepreneurial capabilities in all young people in inner north of Melbourne. Fitzroy High School is one of six pilot schools and is currently trialing new curriculum in the VCAL program. There is more information on the website where you will also see interviewed Januar Manirambona, an ex-student of Fitzroy High School who is now in a plumbing apprenticeship. Januar was a guest speaker at last week’s launch of the Youth Enterprise Hub at CERES.

The Annual Report for 2018 was endorsed by School Council and the Department of Education and Training in March and has been published on the school website. The Annual Implementation Plan for 2019, which sets out goals and targets for the year based on the longer-term goals of the Strategic Plan, has also been endorsed and will be regularly discussed in School Council meetings.

There will be more updates on these projects and initiatives as the year progresses and I welcome any input, including having a one on one conversation. My door is always open.

Thank you to Sandra Dickins who acted in my role for the three days of school I was away in the first week of term.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell
Acting Principal