Principal’s Report, March 2020

Dear families

I hope you have had a successful start to the school year and, for Year 7 families, I trust that your children are settling gradually into high school. Reports from the Year 7s so far are very promising. They really enjoyed the camp at Lady Northcote and they have already shown us what keen and able students they are. I hope that other students new to the school have also settled in well and encourage any families who need extra support with transition to contact their advisors, year level leaders or team leaders.

Senior Programs Results and Destinations

As promised in the last Principal’s report, we are proud to share with you some of the results and destinations of last year’s Year 12 students.

In 2019 we saw Year 12 students achieve fantastic results, with100% completion rate in VCE and many students completing VCAL and VET certificates.

As mentioned in the previous report, our Dux of Year 12, 2019 was Massimo Codognotto-Parry with an ATAR of 97.55. He was also awarded the University of Melbourne Principal’s Scholarship and has gone on to study Mathematics. In a new tradition for Fitzroy High School, Massimo received a Dux certificate at our recent whole school assembly. He also spoke to the students, providing some valuable tips and insights into his learning and development story.  

In 2019 we had 7 students who achieved ATAR excellence in the 90s, which equalled 10% of the VCE cohort, an increase in the last 3 years by 3%. 19.73% of students had an ATAR in the 80s and above, 38.15% of students had an ATAR in the 70s or above with 53.94% of students with an ATAR in the 60s or higher.

We have received many exciting and good news stories from last year’s cohort, with 81.3% of students receiving December round offers into further study, and a total of 93.3% of students receiving an offer so far. We are currently working with the students who have not received an offer to ensure that they feel confident in their direction after Fitzroy High School.

There are students taking up opportunities in many different fields, both in Melbourne and across the globe, including Kievan Van Dyke-Goodman, who will be attending college in the US, to pursue his passion for politics with an offer and scholarship at Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon.  

Again the theme of amazing achievement carried through our Arts community, with students achieving top results and offers. Eve Quartermaine, whose work made it into Top Arts, has also been accepted into RMIT for Visual Arts. Camille Allen was accepted into the Visual Arts stream at VCA Fine Arts alongside Leon Tran, who received a scholarship for the Animation stream. Finn Milne was another standout: as well his own composition being chosen for Top Sounds, Finn received a December round offer to Music at The University of Melbourne, College of the Arts. 

Since the last report, three more students have been confirmed in the VCAA Season of Excellence: Matilda Komene and Tallulah Thorton-Lawrence have been selected for Top Acts due to their amazing Theatre Studies monologues. They completed Year 12 Theratre Studies in Year 11 and are continuing their Year 12 studies this year. We also congratulate Ivy Windred-Wornes, a Collingwood student who did Media Studies at Fitzroy High School, and who was chosen for Top Screen for her incredible music video “Lies”. This is available on YouTube if people are interested to have a look. Along with the other students already mentioned in the last report, this makes a total of six students chosen for VCAA Season of Excellence, a first in the history of the school and something of which to be extremely proud.

Molly Blood is another student following her dreams, gaining entry into Biomedicine through the Aspire Program at LaTrobe University. Molly has been active in her community for some time and was rewarded with an offer in December. She was also one of the first students on School Council and we thank her for her passionate work.

In our VCAL cohort we have Masina Taule’alo following his passion at Swinburne University in Screen and Media, and other VCAL students landing apprenticeships and a range of further study offers. Other students who completed their Intermediate VCAL certificates in Year 11 are continuing onto Year 12 to complete their Senior certificates, while others are taking their time to complete certificates over three years.

The above students represent only a handful of achievements captured from the cohort of 2019. The school community is confident that all members of the student cohort will thrive in their chosen field in the knowledge that they have the continued support of the school beyond their graduation year.  

School Review

I thank the students and parents who have been involved in focus groups over the past few weeks. There will be further opportunities to be involved during March. As part of the review, there will be members of the review panel, including principals from other schools, visiting classrooms and talking to students and staff about their experiences. There will also be another parent focus group which I will inform you about when details come to hand.

School Dress Code Review

Separate to the School Review, School Council will be leading a review of the FHS Dress Code. Late last year the Feminist Collective approached School Council about some issues with the implementation of the Dress Code and School Council responded to say that it will conduct a review. This is by legislation part of the role of School Council and needs to involve a wide range of stakeholders and input from all members of the school community. It will be happening soon and you will be invited to take part.

Bogong Outdoor School Extension Programs

Students in Year 9 are given the opportunity to participate in the Bogong Outdoor School camp. This year, five Fitzroy High School students have been accepted into a range of extension programs offered by the Outdoor School. They are all great candidates and we are excited that they are able to further extend their learning with the Outdoor School. Delilah Hart and Erasmus Toscano have been accepted into the Summit to Sea program; Gypsy La Rocca Mitchell into the Nepal CEDA program; Nevenka Thomas-Rezo and Peru Renkin into the Kimberley program. We look forward to hearing from these students later in the year.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report Term 1

Dear families,

Welcome to 2020! I hope you had a relaxing and productive break, despite some very
difficult and troubling events that have been occurring in the world.

The updates on Compass about the coronavirus are sent to us by the Department of
Education. I thank you in advance for keeping up with these and informing the school as
required. To reiterate the most recent advice, posted on Compass:

What if my child is well, and returning to school after being in Hubei province, China or
other countries with cases in the last 14 days?

All students and staff members who have travelled to Hubei Province, China, are advised
to stay at home and avoid public settings, including attendance at schools and early
learning centres, until 14 days after last being in Hubei province, China.

Children and staff who are well and have travelled to other provinces in China, or any other
areas where there have been reported cases, are NOT recommended to be excluded from
schools and child care services unless the following applies:

• The person is a confirmed case of novel coronavirus
• The person is a close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the past 14
days
What if my child feels sick now or within 14 days of being in Hubei Province, China or
another part of China?
• If your child has a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, they must be excluded from
school and be reviewed by a doctor.
• Seek medical attention but first place a mask on the student if you have one and call the
doctor or hospital before you attend. Tell them your child has been in Hubei province,
China, or the location of travel within China.
• When you get to the hospital or doctor’s clinic, tell them where your child has travelled in
China and whether this included Hubei Province. Ensure a mask is placed on your child
before or as soon as you arrive at the medical facility.

Other News

As mentioned in the December newsletter, this term we have a school review as part of the
usual four-year Strategic Plan cycle. This is part of the normal cycle of school improvement
and all stakeholders will be given opportunities to reflect on the past four years and to
contribute to future plans. I am now inviting parents and students to become involved in
focus groups over the next few weeks. The focus groups will look at school data and
elements of the DET FISO (Framework for Improving Student Outcomes) continuum. If you
are interested in contributing please email me on lindam@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au.

There will also be briefings for staff, students and families about the development of the
Gasworks senior campus project. These will be held by the architects and the Victorian
Schools Building Authority. There will be more information to follow as we find out dates
and times.

I would like to welcome some new staff:
Anna Pilkington, Team Leader Indigo 7 and 8
Sara-Jane Smith, Drama/English, Indigo 7 leader
Lucy Marshall, Team Leader Scarlet 11 and 12
Julian Stickland, VCAL and Production Coordinator, Scarlet team
Kylie Easterbrook, Italian/English, Indigo team
Rebecca McAllan, Phys Ed/Sport, Jet team
Emma Jones, English/Media, Scarlet 10 team, replacing Travis McKenzie for Term 1.
Suat Osman, our new IT technician and Bill Theodoropoulos, our new Science technician.
Both of these roles are shared with Collingwood College as we move towards developing
common practice and the new Gasworks senior campus.

I would also like to welcome back Olie Balestra and Nellie Morales from leave, as well as
Lucy Honan, Mac Humphries, Elizabeth Campbell and Adrian Pattinson, who are replacing
staff currently on leave. Kathryn Taylor will continue to work in the library on Mondays and
Emily Wearne is taking over from Matthew Hovell as the Instrumental Music Coordinator. I
would like to thank Matt for his work in the role over the past year.

Tyson Day will be continuing his work as a Careers counsellor throughout the year. He will
be at school on Tuesdays and other days depending on requirements. Many students have
expressed their appreciation of Tyson’s knowledge and approach and we welcome him back
to our school. James Hardie, one of our Food Technology teachers and an ex-chef, will be
featured in the DET “In Our Classrooms” February 5th edition. The link is as follows:
https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/classrooms/Pages/default.aspx

We will be sharing details of the 2019 VCE, VET and VCAL results and destinations with you
shortly. A large number of students have been successful in gaining tertiary places at their
preferred institutions. In the meantime, I am very pleased and proud to announce our Dux
of Year 12, 2019, Massimo Codognotto-Parry, who was also the recipient of the University of
Melbourne Principal’s Scholarship. I also congratulate Ingrid Borrell, Year 11 this year, who
was awarded the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Class of 2021 by the University of
Melbourne.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Season of Excellence directly supports
the VCAA’s goal to support high quality education, recognise student achievement and best
practice for teaching, and encourage students to move into allied work areas and further
study. I have received invitations to several performances and showing of works by students
from Fitzroy High School who have been chosen for their work in Year 12 last year. These
include Finn Milne, whose original jazz composition written for VCE Music Styles and
Composition has been chosen for Top Class Sounds; Eve Quartermaine, whose artwork for
VCE Studio Arts has been chosen for Top Arts; and Harriet Norman, whose original dance
piece has been chosen for Top Class Dance. There may be others to come and I will let you
know about these in the next newsletter. Congratulations to these students, their families
and their teachers on being selected for such prestigious events.

Kind regards
Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report, December 2019

Dear families

Timetable Changes

I am writing to let you know that we are implementing changes to the school timetable structure commencing in 2020. There are several reasons for the change which are outlined in this message.

The key changes are:

  • There will still be four periods per day.
  • Instead of 30 minutes of Advisory and three 90-minute subject sessions there will be four 75-minute sessions per day.
  • Advisory will no longer run every day – instead, students will have longer (75 minute) Advisory sessions, allowing more time to focus deeply on learning.
  • Recess will begin 30 minutes later (11.15-11.45) and lunch 15 minutes later (1-1.45).

What stays the same?

  • There is no change to the start and finish times of the day (8.45am to 3pm).
  • There is still two sessions before recess, one session between recess and lunch and one session after lunch.
  • The role of the Advisor as the key contact for students does not change. In years 7-10 the Advisors will continue to teach their Advisory for at least one other subject, as has been the practice.

Session Times for 2020

  • Session 1: 8.45-10am
  • Session 2: 10-11.15am
  • Recess: 11.15-11.45am
  • Session 3: 11.45am-1.00pm
  • Lunch: 1.00-1.45pm
  • Session 4: 1.45-3.00pm

Why are we changing?

The key reasons for the change are to benefit the languages, Health and Physical Education, and Advisory learning outcomes. We expect that these changes will not only give more time to the study of Languages and Health and Physical Education, but will also help the school to improve attendance and punctuality, as well as student engagement.

In my October Principal’s Report, I outlined the work of the Languages Working Group, which developed a vision for languages in the school and how to foster greater participation in the learning of Italian. The frequency of language classes was raised as an important component of engagement and sense of progress for students learning a language.

The school was also keen to enable more Health and Physical Education time for students, which will have the additional benefit of including the health curriculum in that subject, rather than in Advisory sessions. 

This will mean that Advisory teachers can use the Advisory time to focus on the student’s Personal Learning Plan and developing the strengths of individuals as well as the group as a whole.

Senior School Considerations

For years 11-12 the Advisors will also continue in their current role of being the key contact and will also focus on the Personal Learning Plan. Senior students will also have a weekly ‘Tutorial’ session, which will cover topics such as study skills, exam preparation, workshops on particular learning areas, and so on.

Our Senior Program is run in partnership with Collingwood College. Collingwood has also reviewed its times of the day and our timetables will now align which has benefits for Senior students travelling between Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College.

There will be no need to travel between sessions 1 and 2, just as there hasn’t been up until now. The bus will be provided as usual so that students who choose to travel this way and who purchase a bus pass will be able to move between campuses at recess and lunchtime.

Questions?

We have been talking to students about the changes and receiving feedback. School Council and Education sub-committee have also been considering the changes and their impacts. The response so far has been extremely encouraging. Parents are welcome to contact any member of School Council or the school leadership team with comments or questions. 

Other News

In Term 1 2020, the school will have a school review of its four-year Strategic Plan. This is part of the normal cycle of school improvement and all stakeholders will be given opportunities to reflect on the past four years and to contribute to future plans. At the beginning of the year we will be asking parents to become involved in focus groups.

Andrea Thompson will be continuing as Acting Assistant Principal next year and Paul Cahill as Acting Team Leader for Years 9 and 10. Congratulations to Chris Millard, Senior Programs Leading Teacher across Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College, who is now Acting Assistant Principal in that role. I would also like to thank Rainer Parker-Stebbing for his work in the role of Indigo Team Leader and John Hinman for his work in the role of Scarlet Team Leader for the past three years.

Congratulations to Neil McLean and the other staff for the highly successful Great Victorian Bike Ride, which had the greatest number of students ever, including year 12 students. Congratulations also to the Senior Arts team on the combined art show and media night. The quality of the work was astounding and we will be hearing early next year about students whose work was chosen for the VCE Season of Excellence. Congratulations to all year 12 students who have finished VCE exams or completed VCAL.

Thanks to all of the staff who have worked hard to see our students through to the end of the year and I wish all families a safe and happy festive season.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report – October 2019

Dear families

Firstly I want to thank you all for your warm response to my appointment as the substantive principal of the school after the selection process in September. I also want to acknowledge the work of my predecessor Pauline Rice, who remains in the role of Senior Education Improvement Leader for the network, including our school. School Council and leadership are working towards a farewell for Pauline which will allow staff, families and students to thank her in person and wish her well. I would also like to thank Andrea Thompson, who is continuing in the role of Acting Assistant Principal this term and Paul Cahill, who is continuing in the role of Acting Team Leader for Years 9 and 10. Sandra Dickins has been asked to stay in the central office of the Department of Education for another term.

It was fantastic last Wednesday to see the Year 12 students engage with their last day of classes with grace and good humour. The two assemblies, the first with the Year 12 students and staff from Collingwood College and the second with all students and staff of Fitzroy High School, demonstrated a sincere appreciation of the Year 12s’ time at school and the relationships that they have formed with their fellow students and teachers. The Valedictory Dinner that night was also a wonderful event where many students received recognition of their achievements, both in subject areas and across the school. Although the following list does not account for all of the awards given, they are the main areas awards presented on the night.

These awards are for students who have given to the area over time, have performed consistently or are deserving of such an award. The recipients are chosen by a consensus process – this includes the subject teachers and advisors. We have considered students who have achieved broadly and in some cases across two to three years of VCE, VCAL and VET study.


Art and Design – Camille Allen
The art and design award celebrates excellence in creativity, and innovation showcasing the technical skill, creative prowess and aesthetic qualities of a student’s work. This award is given to a student who excels across all aspects of art and design.


English and Literature – Atifa Holden-Jeffrey

The English and Literature award recognises the dedication and brilliance of an individual in the area of extensive textual analysis, communication skills and an advanced understanding of the literary world. This award celebrates creativity, precision and strength in crafting and shaping the written word.


Health, Sport & Physical Education – Billie Kennedy
The Health, Sport and Physical Education award recognises athletic ability, sportspersonship and leadership both on and off the field. This award recognises a consistent applied effort in the sporting and health arenas.

Humanities – Daimian Galbraith
The Humanities award recognises the strength and ability of a student to traverse the political, historical, social, geographical and sometimes spiritual and psychological realms. This award celebrates a sophisticated ability to critically reflect across these domains.


Mathematics – Massimo Codognotto-Parry 
The Mathematics award recognises great skill and the ability to see and understand the world through numerical means. This award celebrates logic and intuition, analysis and construction, generality and individuality.


Performing Arts – Cormac Alves-Perini
This award celebrates excellence in creativity, in organisation, direction and theatrical vision, using their body, voice and brain to an exemplary degree when treading the boards. This award is given to a student who excels across all aspects of the performing arts.


School Spirit: Nil Sine Labore – Jacob Stenson
The School Spirit award recognises a student who is the living embodiment of what it means to be an FHS graduate. Through deed and action, they have exemplified the values of the school and have acted with the interests of the community at heart.


Science – Lily Sinclair
The Science award celebrates the search for a possible truth, the purity of knowledge, and the ability to dissect things for fun. This award recognises a student who has consistently performed admirably across the chemical, biological and life sciences.  


Vocational Education Award – Zoe Coull
The recipient of this award is recognised as a leader in their cohort. They have consistently achieved outstanding results in their VET studies and secured long-term work experience placement at a prestigious state institution. They have been both a vocal and proud advocate for Vocational Education, and they have been instrumental in creating a positive and creative VCAL culture in the school.


Young Leader Award – Sam Dakin
This award celebrates a student who has brought people together, been a leader amongst their peer group, and brought about change via their positive social influence within the school.


The Principal’s award – Molly Blood
This award is given at the discretion of the school Principal to highlight excellence and provide opportunity. This award recognises a student who is accomplished, resilient, committed and mature. The principal’s award is bestowed upon a student who demonstrates achievement and maturity, and shows great promise stemming from a base of honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and hard work.


I would also like to acknowledge and thank Molly for being one of our first students on School Council as well as the Education Sub Committee.


I wish all of the year 12 students the very best with their exams and finishing their year safely and wisely.

Last week we had Italian week, where there was a celebration of all kinds, including performances, food and sport. I would like to thank the team, especially Vanessa Paciocco, the LOTE Professional Learning Community Leader. It was fantastic to see everyone involved. 


The Languages Working Group, a group of staff, parents and students, has worked towards a vision for languages in the school and fostering greater participation in the learning of Italian. As a result, there will be more time in the timetable dedicated to Italian and greater opportunities to continue the study into VCE. This, and other considerations, such as enabling more Health and Physical Education time, has caused the school to look at the timetable and the way that curriculum time is used across the week. At the moment, there is consultation and communication with staff about the changes and this will extend to families and students within the next week. You will be invited to participate in focus groups and will also be given more detailed information about the proposed changes.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell

Principal

Principal’s Report, August 2019

Dear families

The annual school production, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is on next week and I encourage you all to buy tickets. https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=531552& Thank you to the many students, staff and families who have worked tirelessly both on and off stage, including those who contributed to a very successful set and prop building working bee last weekend. In particular I want to thank the Director, Chiara Constanzo, for her efforts and wish her all the best for her upcoming family leave. William Balme is taking Chiara’s classes until the end of the year and we welcome him to the school. 

Briony O’Keeffe has been seconded into the Department of Education for the rest of the year to work on the F-10 English Curriculum. We wish her all the best and welcome Lucy Honan, who will be taking Briony’s English classes, as well as Fem Co. Tom Zuscak, who has been our Leadership Facilitator for most of the year, is moving on to another job and I would like to thank him for his outstanding work and, in particular his contribution to the administration of School Council.

The year 8 AFL team competed in the regional competition for the first time in the history of Fitzroy High School and had a convincing win as well as couple of losses against range of schools. In addition, Year 8 Sports Leaders have been representing the school at local primary school athletics days. A large group of Year 8 students are also completing peer support training so that they can support the current and future year 7 students. Year 9 students have been participating in the Real Industry Job Interviews as well as volunteering placements as part of the Connect program. I would also like to congratulate the students whose work was featured as part of the Gertrude St Projection Festival and to thank Alicia Easteal who organized the work.

The Year 10 students have been engaging in panel interviews to present their portfolios and their preferred pathways for years 11 and 12. Each student in year 10 and year 12 has had an individual career session and there are more sessions available for students who require further assistance.  The careers practitioners will also offer support to any year 11s who require assistance with pathway planning or subject changes. Please note that the FHS Careers website has information about Open Days, as well as many other resources. https://www.fitzroyhscareers.com

Year 12 VCAL students have continued their engagement with the Youth Enterprise Hub, exploring social enterprises and entrepreneurial skills. Last week there was an excursion to STREAT, where the students experienced a tour of the facility, including hearing about the work of STREAT as one of the most outstanding social enterprises that integrates people, planet and profit. Students were given a mini brief of a problem they should try to solve in the environmental space; they were given an overview of the problem and then had 30 minutes to come up with ideas to solve it within the business of STREAT.  

Two weeks ago Linda Ekman, Wellbeing Leader conducted a workshop for students and parents, thinking about respectful relationships and in particular how respect is shown at the school. This was followed by a School Wide Positive Behaviour Workshop, where Linda Ekman and Alicia Easteal worked through some ideas for the FHS behaviour matrix with students and parents. There will be further consultation and communication about this in the coming months.

Last year the school leadership team and School Council embarked on a series of working groups to look at complex and important issues in the school. Member of the leadership team, parents, staff and students joined these working groups and formed terms of reference. In some cases, surveys with the school community were conducted, in others guest speakers were invited and research undertaken. The reports from the Languages Working Group, the Digital Technologies Working Group and the Reporting/Feedback Working Group are currently being tabled and will be shared with the wider school community during Term 4. I would like to thank all of the participants for their time and expertise.

Thank you to the parents and staff members who organized the highly successful Trivia Night last weekend to raise money for the Great Victorian Bike Ride. The money will be used to assist students who might otherwise not be able to attend the ride as well as providing any extra equipment that might be needed for the event. 

Finally, it is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of past Business Manager, Susan Farrell, who worked at Fitzroy High School from 2004-2017. She was an inaugural staff member and a very important part of the setting up of the newly reopened school. Sue worked extremely hard to manage the school’s finances and administration. As Acting Principal, I want to acknowledge Sue’s contribution to the history of the school and express our appreciation and condolences to Sue’s family. School Council will also be sending a formal acknowledgement to Sue’s family on behalf of the school.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell

Acting Principal

Principal’s Report, July 2019

Dear families,

Welcome to Term 3.

We are continuing to work on improving student attendance, as well as lateness. The Compass SMS system to parents has had some success but has also been fraught with some frustrations. Teams are working hard to emphasize the importance of being on time to Advisory and rewarding students’ achievements. There will be more on this to come, including seeking feedback from parents and students about session lengths and times of the day.

On Monday we had a whole school assembly where students reported on a range of exciting activities including Year 10 Work Experience, the Bogong Future Makers projects, the Blue Edge project update, the VCAL composting system update and sports awards. I would also like to make special mention of Mungo S in year 8, who won The Parliament Prize, for submitting a video of a 90 second statement that would be made to the Parliament of Victoria as if he were an MP. Mungo has been invited to Parliament House and will be presented with a trophy and a $500 monetary prize, including $1000 for the school. Congratulations to Mungo and his teachers.

Students were awarded swimming medals and will be awarded athletics medals at the next assembly. Significantly, there was a jumper presentation for the year 8 AFL team, which has made it into the regional finals, the first time for Fitzroy High School! We wish them all the best. Although there are some girls in this team, there is also a separate girls’ AFL team and they have also performed very well. We are proud of the efforts of all our students who participate in sport and physical activity.

The annual school production, Alice in Wonderland, was also featured at the assembly. Students spoke excitedly about their preparation and I encourage you all to attend the performances in week 8 of this term. I also want to congratulate the music team for the fabulous Mid-Winter Music Recital which was held on June 26 at 75 Reid St Fitzroy North.

On Tuesday we had the Senior Programs Information Evening for year 10 students and families, held at Collingwood Town Hall in conjunction with Collingwood College.

This evening, and the program guide that has been produced for the students and families, is a symbol of the two schools’ continued commitment to provide the best senior school opportunities for both communities. In collaborating to provide an innovative, responsive, personalised and future-oriented senior school environment, the partnership looks to optimise outcomes for all students and provide support for future pathways. In the time we have been offering VCE, and now also VCAL, we have established a legacy of student success, demonstrated by strong academic results and transition to tertiary studies. Through our partnership with the Inner Melbourne VET Cluster (IMVC), students can access an extensive range of VET certificate courses.

This is a very exciting time for current Year 10 students, who are in the process of making significant decisions for the senior and final years of secondary school. It is also an important time for current Year 11 students, refining programs for Year 12, the final stage of the secondary school journey, and of course for Year 12 students who are beginning to make choices about post school options.

As students and families have been made aware, Sandra Dickins is spending this term in the central office of the Department of Education and Training. The school has employed two qualified and experienced careers practitioners who will be conducting half hour individual sessions with all the year 10s and the 12s in preparation for subject selections and post school applications, respectively. The se practitioners will also offer support to any year 11s who require assistance with pathway planning or subject changes. The teachers and advisors have also been working with the students, in one on one session, in classes and in year level assemblies. Please note that the FHS Careers website has information about Open Days, as well as many other resources. https://www.fitzroyhscareers.com

The annual Department of Education and Training Parent Opinion survey is currently being held.  In line with DET policy, a randomly selected group of individuals representing 30 % of the parent body, are asked to give feedback to the school on a wide range of issues around learning, engagement and wellbeing. The parents who have been selected will have received the link to the survey. As with the Student Attitudes to School Survey and the Staff Opinion Survey, the school takes the survey results seriously and, along with other data, uses them to set goals for school improvement.

Thank you to Andrea Thompson who is acting in the Assistant Principal role for this term and Paul Cahill who has taken over the Jet 9/Scarlet 10 Team Leader role for the term.

Kind regards,
Linda Mitchell
Acting Principal

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 http://inllen.org.au/yeh/ 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

Principal’s Report, March 2019

Dear families,

As we are nearing the end of Term 1, I would like to highlight some of the events that have occurred and the projects that the school is working on.

The House Athletics Carnival was a couple of weeks ago and, although the participation of those competing was fantastic, there were a significant number of students who didn’t attend on the day. The school is currently looking at ways of engaging more students in the day and is open to any suggestions from families.

Three way conferences for VCE and VCAL students were held at Collingwood College on March 26 and were well attended.

The Information night for prospective families for 2020 is being held on Tuesday April 2 and Open Day the following day. The school will be operating as normal with student tour guides taking families into a range of classrooms and areas.

A whole school assembly will be held on Thursday April 4 at 12pm in the gym. Families are welcome to attend. The year 12s will be formally welcoming the year 7s; awards will be given out; music will be played; and students will reflect on a range of experiences.

A major focus for the school over the past year has been the Professional Learning Communities initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to establish a culture of shared vision and purpose that promotes trust and collaboration among teachers, working together to ensure learning success for all students. The provision of time and support for teachers to meet in learning-area-based Professional Learning Communities, such as English, Humanities, Maths, Arts/Technology, Science, Health/PE and LOTE, has impacted on developing this culture, including working across schools with Collingwood College. Professional learning for High Impact Teaching Strategies has been undertaken and related to specific theories of action and inquiry cycles for improved student outcomes.

Teachers now have a better understanding of High Impact Teaching Strategies in their classroom practice, as well as a greater capacity to incorporate them into their teaching practice. As the work continues, the focus will be on incorporating High Impact Teaching Strategies into an explicit model for teaching and learning. The nomination of Fitzroy High School as a Professional Learning Communities “Link” School, modelling and sharing practice with other schools, is recognition of the quality of the work that has already been done.

The Professional Learning Communities initiative has also impacted on the way that teachers collaborate within teams to support student learning, wellbeing and engagement. The provision of time for Advisory teachers to collaborate has resulted in a more developed Advisory curriculum including Respectful Relationships, as well as a stronger approach to wellbeing and engagement issues. Staff have completed three of the four training days for the Berry Street Education Model, which focuses on trauma-informed practice. The goal is for all staff to adopt trauma informed and restorative practices in order to create an environment that will support student wellbeing, engagement and learning.

Students will continue to provide more regular feedback to teachers and peers, through the use of a number of surveys, including Pivot. There has been a renewed focus on shaping the curriculum and learning activities in Excel and some core subject areas. The target to develop metacognitive skills in students, including being better able to articulate their learning goals and experience greater learning confidence and motivation, is a work in progress. The nomination of Fitzroy High School as an “Amplify” pilot school, trialling strategies for increasing student voice, leadership and agency, is recognition of the work already undertaken in these areas.

As part of the project, the Year 10 team is working with students to design a prototype of a new personal learning plan.

Fitzroy High School is recognised throughout the state for its work as a lead school for Respectful Relationships but there is always more work to be done. It has been decided to begin implementing School Wide Positive Behaviour support in 2019, in response to feedback from students and staff that this would strengthen the Respectful Relationships and Berry Street work, leading to a more positive learning environment for all.

We are also continuing to work on improving student attendance, with an increased focus on accounting for unexplained absences. Last year the school implemented SMS to parents when students were absent and put further resources into monitoring attendance, including the use of Compass and follow up phone calls. We intend to work on this further in 2019, as well as continuing to undertake targeted wellbeing and engagement programs and teaching strategies for students at risk.

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.

I trust that you will have a relaxing holiday and Easter break. I will be on long service leave in the first week of term 2. Sandra Dickins will be acting in my role for the three days of school that week. Remember that Monday April 22 and Thursday 25 are public holidays.

Kind regards,

Linda Mitchell
Acting Principal

NAPLAN 2019

Dear Parents, Carers and Guardians,

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2019 for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students will be held on Tuesday 14 May, Wednesday 15 May and Thursday 16 May 2019. NAPLAN tests assess student knowledge and skills in Writing, Reading, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy. The results of the tests provide information for students, parents, teachers and principals which can be used to improve student achievement.

All students are expected to participate in the NAPLAN tests. During test week, catch-up tests will be available for individual students who are absent on test days. These students may undertake catch-up tests on the days in the test week after the scheduled test, up to and including Friday 17 May 2019.

Support can be arranged for students with disabilities, if the student regularly uses similar support for classroom assessment tasks. Large print, braille, electronic and black and white versions of the tests are available for students that require them. Exemptions may be granted to students with significant intellectual disabilities and to students who have been learning English for less than one year. If your child is eligible for support due to disability or an exemption, you should discuss this with his/her year level or team leader prior to the tests. Parental consent is required before any support due to disability or exemption is granted.

Students may be withdrawn from NAPLAN by their parent or carer. This is a matter for consideration by parents and carers in consultation with the principal. If, after consultation, you decide to withdraw your child, you must sign a Student Withdrawal form. These forms are available at the school from the beginning of Term 2.

Later in the year you will receive your child’s personal NAPLAN report. The report will describe

your child’s particular skills in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and

punctuation) and Numeracy. The report will also show how your child performed in relation to national minimum standards. These describe the minimum acceptable standards for students across Australia.

I am confident that the information you receive as a result of your child’s participation in the NAPLAN tests will be valuable in helping you to assess your child’s progress in literacy and numeracy.

For more information about the tests, please visit the VCAA website at www.vcaa.vic.edu.au, the NAP website at www.nap.edu.au and view the NAPLAN Brochure below.

Yours sincerely,

Linda Mitchell,
Acting Principal