Here we are at the start of another School year! Along with returning families, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new students and families. I hope you settle in smoothly over the coming weeks and please feel free to ask for help at any point.
I do want to acknowledge that the holiday break has been one unlike any before, with the widespread impact of bushfires stretching along much of south-eastern Australia. There are members of our school community who have directly experienced the impacts of these fires and all of us have spent much of the past weeks under the shroud of smoke and ash. I would like to acknowledge the sacrificial work of the many people and organisations that have served communities by working to fight the fires and those supporting communities who have been hit hard.
I would also like to refer you to a resource should you feel that your children may have been impacted by the ongoing media coverage of the fires and their impact on communities and wildlife. Beyond Blue has developed a webpage providing helpful information on Talking with children about scary stuff in the news. This provides clear and simple framework parents and carers can use to help children process what they may be seeing and hearing and so reduce levels of concern or anxiety.
Holiday breaks are a busy time for our maintenance team, as an opportunity to refresh and upgrade our school resources. A highly visible change is the landscaping of our rainforest garden situated between B and C Blocks. It has been most exciting to watch the finishing touches being put into this project and I look forward to this space providing many opportunities for community members to pause, reflect and enjoy this garden space.
I would like to commend the Year 12 class of 2019 for their most outstanding HSC results. While student performance in the HSC is only one part of what we do well as a school, and we can expect results to vary between years, it is very exciting to note that last year gained the highest proportion of Band 6 (over 90%) and highest number of ATAR scores over 90 for any William Carey cohort. Commendations go to Franco Scarcella (4th in NSW Construction examination) and the following students who all had ATAR scores over 90; Jasmine Singh (Dux- 98.80), Hannah Paul, Jaanvi Jogia, Zoe Reading, Sarah McNamara, Kaysia Younes, Lauren Ross, Hannah Perez, Hannah Faith Tai, Andreas Gwyther-Gouriotis and Lauren Mushawar. Congratulations also go to Jaanvi Jogia, who was including on the NESA All-Rounders list for receiving a Band 6 result in 10 or more units of study, and to Jake Elgalada for achieving 2nd place in the ‘American Studies’ category of the 2019 HTA History Extension Essay Prize.
This year will bring several key events or changes. The purpose of these is to focus on carrying our mission to transform lives by the proclamation of the gospel and delivery of an excellent Christian education, accessible to the whole community. I will be continuing to inform our school community of these changes as they approach. In summary, our reporting of student learning has undergone a large review. This will result in the commencement of progressive reporting. Progressive reporting will provide students and families with information to show how they are progressing throughout the year. The Biannual reports will also have a modified look and focus. These changes are to support the partnership we have with families so that our students are well known, well cared for and well educated.
A second significant event will be the school community survey. The School Perspectives survey will be held in the second half of Term 1. This survey will collect feedback from all school community stakeholders and provide data to help with planning the school’s strategic priorities for the coming years.
A third significant event will be the Carey Christmas Fair. Held at the end of Term 4. Combining a fair and carols concert, this day will be a wonderful day of celebration for our school community. Giving thanks for the year and for the birth of Jesus which Christians celebrate at Christmas.
The start of the year also brings new options for student transport. In addition to the government provided routes, we are running a bus route from Chipping Norton and a second from Voyager Point through Wattle Grove. We have also been advertising a third route starting in Emerald Hills and passing through Willowdale, Bardia and Edmondson Park. These additional resources to the school will provide comfortable and quality transport for students living in these areas.
In just the past week we have also been informed of a new government route from Emerald Hills and Willowdale. This has been put on with very little notice and the school and bus company are working together to ensure there is minimal confusion about student transport options. We have placed additional staff in the bus bay for the start of the year to assist students in their travel to and from school. There may be some changes to these routes, and we will work to ensure families are informed.
I am looking forward to the many good things that will be happening at William Carey Christian School in 2020 and seeing the ways that our students grow in learning and their lives. In a school community of this size, there is so much packed into one year, and so our school motto sums up the year ahead very well:
Expect great things from God,
Attempt Great things for God
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.