From the Principal

The end of every term marks a milestone in the academic year of the School and so provides an opportunity to look both to what has been achieved and the good things that lie ahead.

This term has seen changes to the welfare leadership in the High School with the introduction of the Dean of Students roles for Years 7-9 and 10-12. There has also been a revised camps program with changes in destinations and programs for Years 6 and 7 camps. The feedback I have received regarding both these changes has been positive, with students and teachers seeing the benefits of these revisions.

This term we have also received most encouraging news from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) regarding William Carey’s NAPLAN 2018 results. ACARA are responsible for running NAPLAN across Australia and the MySchool website, which provides the community with information regarding schools.

William Carey have always had strong results in literacy and numeracy at NAPLAN. We have also always taken the view that we will not ‘teach to the test’ to increase results in artificial ways. Rather we teach our students for deep learning and understanding and use NAPLAN results data to gain a ‘snapshot’ of our students’ progress to then know what learning steps need to be made next, for our students’ benefit.

As well as results ‘on the day’, ACARA also track how students are progressing. That is, they use statistics to estimate how much students can be expected to grow in their numeracy and literacy over a two year period. Students will tend to either grow at the expected level or below or above. This growth is described as ‘gain’.

William Carey has been identified by ACARA as a high gain school in NAPLAN based on 2018 results for Years 3 into 5, and Year 7 into 9.

High gain schools are those who have demonstrated substantial improvement in reading and/or numeracy as follows:

  1. An overall gain that exceeds the national average by more than one standard deviation; and
  2. An overall gain higher than the schools with similar ICSEA levels, by more than one standard deviation; and
  3. An overall gain higher than that shown by students with the same NAPLAN starting score, also by more than one standard deviation.

The ICSEA scale is an index of community socio-educational advantage. It is not the school’s NAPLAN results. ICSEA is a scale that enables schools’ growth to be compared fairly. This is based on the community in which the school is found and its students. Further information regarding ICSEA can be read here.

This means, for our students completing NAPLAN in 2018, their gains in learning significantly exceed those of students in similar schools with similar starting positions.

This is such significant and positive news as these results are not produced by any particular stage in William Carey’s schooling or any teacher. Rather, it is the result of consistent teaching and learning with high quality programs to enable our students to grow, giving them the opportunity to succeed in learning by gaining their own personal best.

Looking forward to next term, we have a number of new initiatives to support students and their families.

At the start of next term we will be releasing the William Carey Christian School EduAPP. This application is designed for smart phones, with a range of functions to make communication between school and home easier, more efficient and effective. Features will include school calendar, student specific timetables and upcoming assessment tasks details. The app will also allow parents and carers to verify absences, receive notifications which relate specifically to their children and also access documents relating to their children’s schooling. The app has many more features to help communication and these will continue to expand with time.

As a staff member and a school parent, I have been involved in the piloting stage and I can personally say how much easier it is to deal with absences and receive relevant information. Look out for details that will be provided to all school families, in the coming weeks, on how to download and use the app.

A second new initiative is the launch of the ‘Year 7 – 9 Homework Club’ from the star of Term 2. This addition provides a continuous flow of educational benefits from OOSH (Prep – Year 6), Homework Club (Years 7 – 9) and the Senior Study Centre (Years 10 – 12).

The Year 7 – 9 Homework Club is being established to provide students in these High School years with a settled and focused space at school to complete homework and assessment tasks during the afternoon. This resource will be supervised by qualified teaching staff who will be able to provide general guidance with school work.

The Year 7 – 9 Homework Club will be run in the School Library Mondays to Thursday from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. Please note regular Library services (i.e. borrowing) cease at 3:30 pm.

Spaces will be limited to 30 students, any one afternoon. Bookings will need to be made through the School’s Munch Monitor system which allows up to four weeks of bookings in advance.

Look out for further communications regarding the details of how to access and use this service.

In conclusion, I would like to finish where I started. Reflecting on what has been achieved and the good things that lie ahead. This break between terms also marks Easter. It is at this time particularly, we have an opportunity reflect on what Jesus Christ accomplished in the past. His death and resurrection have a real impact in the world and lives of Christians today. They also point us to the future, and for Christians this is a great assurance and hope. I would like to wish all our school community a restful and safe holiday break with the chance to enjoy God’s good plan of salvation.

Jesus “Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:6-11

 

In His service,

Keith McMullen
School Principal