I would like to apologise for the untimely arrival by post of the Term 3 Reports as well as the information and arrangements for Parent Teacher meetings this week. All of this was mailed by priority mail on Monday 8th September, however we understand that most families did not recieve this in the post until over 8 days later. This has resulted in a number of terse conversations with Australia Post and with them launching an internal investigation. We will continue to pursue them regarding this matter and apologise again.
At Western Port Secondary College we are committed to ensuring every student gets a high quality education. That is why we welcomed the decision last year by the State Government to sign a six year Gonski agreement with the Federal Government.
Based on the recommendations of the landmark Gonski Review, that agreement means more targeted funding for schools over six years, starting in 2014.
The size of the increase depends on the needs of students at a school and what is required to give each one of them a high quality education into the future.
For our school the Gonski funding is long overdue. We need the full funding over the next six years to help us improve teaching and learning at our school and to put in place the additional programs and support that will make such a difference in the lives of students.
How the Gonski funding will help children at our school:
This is a once in a generation opportunity to lift the quality of education children at our school receive.
Our plan is to:
ü Put in place additional literacy and numeracy programs and provide one on one assistance to students at risk of falling behind.
ü Increase the specialist support and assistance for students who really need it – such as those with disabilities or special learning needs.
ü Take a whole-of-school approach to building the skills and knowledge of teachers
ü Provide extension programs that will help teachers really push our smartest students to do even better
The threat to our plan being fully implemented
Under the Gonski agreement, schools should receive higher amounts each year until they are judged to be adequately resourced.
There are significant threats to our plan being implemented at both the federal and state level.
The Abbott government wants to break the agreement and not pay any of its share of the additional funding in years five and six. That means our schools would be denied the largest increases, due after 2017, which are essential if we are to fully carry out our plan. The cut in federal funding is equivalent to an average of 6 teachers lost for every public school annually in 2018 and 2019.
While the Victorian Government has stated they are committed to the full six years of the agreement, there has been no transparency around what additional funds are available to state schools in 2014. While the federal government has provided documents indicating they have provided in excess of $100 million additional funding to the State, most schools report that they have not been provided with additional flexibility in their school budgets.
Unless the Abbott Government reverses their cuts and the Napthine government ensures the additional money is provided to schools, it will be impossible for us to provide the additional learning support we need, and that was identified by the Gonski review as essential for improved educational outcomes in Australia.
Quite literally, the quality of education every student receives at Western Port depends on this funding.
Parents – we can stop these cuts
Principals, Teachers, support staff and parents need to work together to stop the politicians in Canberra from taking away this opportunity to give all kids in Australia a better education and to hold our state government to account for delivering any additional funding.
Parents should also take any opportunity to speak with their local state and federal politicians and candidates for elections to highlight the importance of the Gonski money to their school and children.
Say “NO” to the education cuts, so we don’t have to say ‘no’ to kids in the future.
Please visit the campaign website (www.igiveagonski.com.au) to find out more. With just one click you can register your support and help join the growing number of parents who are determined to make sure the right resources are in every school.
You can also discuss at the school with the principal what our plan is for the Gonski funding and how it would improve the education of your child.
The school captains and I were fortunate today to attend HMAS Cerberus for the unveiling of a plaque honoring the traditional owners of the land and acknowledging the contribution indigenous members have made to the armed forces over many years. The unveiling included a traditional welcome to country and smoking ceremony. Following this we were invited to view the 2014 Winter Ceremonial Divisions on their parade ground – this is a rare opportunity as the general public are not normally invited to this. The new Chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett presided over this ceremony and the captains enjoyed meeting him afterwards.
It has been a week for camps and tours this week at the college. The Year 7’s have been enjoying a very successful camp on Phillip Island undertaking various adventure and water based activities, whilst some of our Year 10 Leaders have been working on a AMI funded project and cultural study tour of Malaysia with our Sister School SMK Anniudin Baki. We look forward to hearing more about the project when they return next week!
This morning we held our first whole school assembly for the year and I extended a warm welcome back to all students and a particular welcome to all our new students and especially our new year 7 students. As I said in the assembly I hope all our students enjoy a positive and rewarding year and put in 100% – the more you put in to school the more you get out of it! I encouraged all students to take advantage of the many opportunities that will be offered to them throughout the year. I also announced that Mr Andrew Nicholls had been appointed Principal at Rosebud Secondary College and that I would be Acting Principal for term 1 2014. Ms Geritz will be Acting Assistant Principal and in addition Ms Au would be Acting Assistant Principal covering Long Service Leave for Ms Lewis. I was also pleased to present our senior school Captains and Student Leaders for 2014 during the assembly – I am sure they will all do a great job!
The College has just completed a Holiday Homework Policy.
Holiday Homework Policy (201 KB)
We were also recently interviewed by the Herald Sun regarding the development of this policy in relation to a Government inquiry looking at homework requirements.
In Thursday 14th November it was a pleasure to host a lunch for or Sustainability Team. This group of about 20 students has put in many hours of time on various projects under the leadership of Helen Smith. They have won a number of awards including Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities and ResourceSmart Schools. Well done!
Well done to WPSC students on the Sustainability Committee who took out the “Litter Prevention” Award at the Tidy Towns Awards held on 12th October in Wycherproof. This is great testament to the effort of this group in changing behaviours of students and taking a proactive stance on sustainability within their community. I would like to thank Helen Smith who travelled to the award. Well done to all involved!
Well done to Hannah Lewis on being made a “Paul Harris Fellow” by Rotary. The Hastings Rotary nominated Hannah in recognition of her community service largley through her roles at WPSC. The medallion was presented at the recent whole school assembly. This is great recognition of all the “extra” tasks that Hannah has taken on to assist students in the Western Port Community. Well done!
Well done the all the students in Year 9 who have been working so well on improving the ouside environment around Studio 9. It has been a pleasure to see so many students taking pride in their school. We have received many positive comments from the community about the student led projects around the school.
Well done to the Wellbeing Team who ran a RUOK? morning tea for staff during this national awareness week. The aim of RUOK? is to promote conversation around looking after colleagues, family and friends by asking RUOK?
Well done to Year 12 student Dane Anderson who recently received the Queen Scout Award. This has been a fine effort by Dane over a long period to achieve this honour.
WESTERN PORT COMMUNITY GROUP
All parents and students interested in the January 2015 G’Day USA Tour are invited to an Information evening:
DATE: Wednesday 11th September 20
TIME: 6:30pm (registration from 6:20pm)
WHERE: Western Port Secondary College – Community Meeting Room