A great deal of media attention has been given to the Federal Government’s announcement last week of “Gonski 2.0”. The original idea, proposed by David Gonski in 2012, focused on increasing school funding based on a “per student” framework. A number of factors were taken into account to calculate the amount of funding a school would receive. These included the proportion of indigenous students, students with disabilities or language backgrounds other than English, and schools in low socio-economic or remote areas. The model was designed to achieve fair and adequate funding to provide a world-class education to all Australian students.
Over the period of two Governments and four Prime Ministers, the original Gonski model is barely recognisable with over twenty different variations agreed on in different states and education sectors. This has produced a funding system that is neither stable nor predictable, making it extremely difficult for schools to plan constructively.
The announcement of ‘Gonski 2.0’ is the first step in a possible return to the ideal of a fairer and more predictable education funding system. For William Carey it will mean that our funding will likely remain as it currently is or increase slightly. There is a great deal of work for our parliamentarians to do before we can know for sure. Please pray for good governance and integrity in deliberation of this important matter, not just to our school but to the future of our nation.
This week our students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 have been completing their NAPLAN tests. Often students feel a heightened level of nervousness regarding these tests. The change to minimum standards of literacy and numeracy measured in Year 9 by the NAPLAN test has added to this level of anxiety. It is important to understand that there will be a number of opportunities for students to demonstrate their capacity beyond Year 9. Based on previous years, there will be a large number of students across the state who will need to do this. We will be working at William Carey to ensure our students reach these standards of literacy and numeracy. Further information can be found in Mr Nightingale’s article from the March 30th Newsletter or in the video HSC minimum standard of literacy and numeracy explained.
In the case of all examinations and assessments, we strive to ensure our students clearly understand that we want them to demonstrate what they can do and to work consistently to achieve their best. We also want them to understand that their identity or value is not found in a set of results. Rather, their value is that God has made them and that God sent Jesus Christ to achieve his salvation plan.
2017 Building Fund
Look out in the next week for a letter going to all families regarding fundraising for the tax deductible Building Fund. Our students have benefited greatly from past fundraising drives including the air-conditioning of classrooms and the purchase of equipment for the canteen. We have changed the approach to this year’s request. Firstly, we have identified a number of projects to choose between including the further development of music and sporting programs in the school and the enhancement of the school grounds. Our main target, however, is to raise $85,000 for the purchase of a dedicated school bus to provide transport for William Carey groups to excursions, camps, sporting fixtures and to supplement our regular school runs. This goal is no small amount but I would ask all families to consider how they can contribute to this goal through this tax effective donation that will make a big difference for our students.
As mentioned in our last Newsletter, the Southwest Brickfest is being held at William Carey again on Saturday the 27th May. The event will be sharing funds raised between our own school projects (detailed above) and the development of greenhouses and chicken houses for the Maphutseng Partnership. Brickfest is shaping up to be a fantastic day with loads of new exhibitors including a team of LEGO robotics demonstrations in addition to WCCS displays. Make sure you let your friends and family know about this great event.
Volunteering at WCCS
Events such as Brickfest and the school musical run on the willingness of school community members volunteering to help. The Brickfest exhibitors volunteer their time to support schools, plus many of our staff will be giving up part of the weekend to ensure that the event runs smoothly. We would love to have parents of the school community, who have the time or skills, volunteer to help make this a true community event. If you would like to know how you can be involved please contact PR and Marketing.
Mr Hudson, one of our school’s Deputy Principals, is organising the roster of readers and writers for our Year 12 students for their HSC exams in October. NESA require schools to provide support for students with special provisions but we are not able to use employees and so we rely on the generosity of school community volunteers. It would be greatly appreciated if you would be willing to help our students and educational support unit in this way. If you are interested please email the High School Deputies’ Office.
William Carey is currently working with the consultancy group Endeavour on a community relations and marketing plan. Endeavour have met with the school’s leadership team of senior executive and School Board to discuss where we are currently, as a school and where we see ourselves heading in the future. To gain a clear idea of the strengths and weaknesses of our school, Endeavour are running a series of focus groups with parents over the next few weeks. The members of these focus groups will be selected randomly to ensure a reliable sampling of the school community.
If you are contacted and invited to participate in one of the focus groups, please seriously consider being involved. We appreciate the time you would be giving and your honest opinion is greatly valued. Being involved in this process will be so important to the further improvement of our school for the benefit of your children.
Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18