It has been great to welcome staff and students to the beginning of another new year. In particular, it has been wonderful to see so many new faces amongst our students and in our staff room.
Our staff returned to School earlier this week with a new staff induction day on Monday and all staff learning on Tuesday and Wednesday. These days are incredibly important to the School; they allow us to come together as a staff to set our goals and direction for the year, and to further our understanding of our educational model, “Academic Care at Gippsland Grammar.”
This year our focus continues to be on ways to create a thinking culture within the School and how to make student learning visible in our classes. Our partner researchers from the University of Melbourne spent Tuesday facilitating workshops for our teachers. Wednesday created an opportunity for us to start implementing our new Learning Management System (LMS), Schoolbox - a new, more effective system. We hope the new LMS will enhance the learning process for our students, create better opportunities for planning for our staff and improve communication with our parents. At present, our teachers are beginning to organise courses on Schoolbox, with our aim being to replace the current Portal at the beginning of Semester Two.
On Tuesday, I had an opportunity to present to the Staff regarding our direction and focus for this year. At this briefing, I challenged the staff to make 2018 the most successful year in the history of the School. We can measure this with student numbers, academic results, financial performance and other benchmarks; however, the true indicator of this year will be how we maintain, protect and even improve our School culture.
In short, I believe that this can be the best year in the Schools history if we work together to maintain and protect our wonderful positive culture and:
- progress our understanding of visible learning to the point that it is having a positive impact on the students in our classes;
- implement Schoolbox together to develop an effective planning and communication tool that brings teachers, students and parents together as part of the learning process;
- use data effectively to understand where our students are with their learning, how they are going and what is their next step;
- use data to understand how connected our students are to this community and how we can help them to love being at Gippsland Grammar and love their learning;
- always endeavour to look for opportunities to take our students’ thinking from surface to deep.
I am very excited about the year ahead, very happy to have students and staff back at School and looking forward to finding opportunities where I can connect with all members of our community and celebrate the life of our School.