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Principal's Piece - Justin Harrison


Principal’s Piece —

Justin Harrison


With Mr Garry Goltz acting as Principal at Gladstone State High School for term 1, I am truly honoured to continue in the Principal role for that time. I would like to thank all of my teaching and non-teaching staff for all the hard work that has gone behind the scenes in preparation for a smooth start to the year.

On behalf of Toolooa SHS, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new and returning students to Toolooa for 2018. 
2017 was an incredibly successful year for our students and our school, as evidenced by the following outcomes:
  • One OP 1 – Jasmine Elliott
  • 38.46% of OP students between 1 – 5
  • 64.1% of OP students between 1 – 10
  • 97.43% of OP students between 1 – 15
  • 100% of OP students between 1 – 16
  • 100% of students awarded a QCE/QCIA
  • The fifth consecutive year that all graduating Indigenous students received their QCE/QCIA
  • 19.2% of Year 9 students were in the Upper Two Bands in writing, compared to 15.4% for the Nation and 10.9% for Queensland State Schools. More importantly, the improvement from Year 7 – 9 for writing was outstanding, with an average gain of 50.4 points, which is significantly greater than the Nation and QSS.
  • 24.5% of Year 9 students were in the Upper Two bands in numeracy, numerically above the Nation and QSS. Toolooa again received a positive average gain of 57.9 points.
  • A larger proportion of our students were above the National Minimum Standard in reading, writing, spelling and numeracy in both Year 7 and 9, compared with the Nation. 
We believe we are well positioned to build on last year’s success and make 2018 a year to remember.
New Staff
With me in the Principal role, I would like to acknowledge the following staff who have been awarded acting leadership positions: Mr Mark Thomas and Mrs Jess Batey who will be acting Deputy Principals, alongside Mr Bryan Townsend and Mrs Danielle Willard, Mr Darren Boase (HOD Senior Schooling), Mrs Ashton Shonhan (HOD Junior Secondary) and Mrs Jenny Reah (HOD Humanities). I would also like to welcome a strong group of new teachers to our school: Gerard Clark, Amanda Day, Pamela Ward, Georgia Nicol, Sam Carmichael, Scott Wilden, Kylie Burns, Megan McCall and Chris Jackson. We look forward to this group contributing positively to the direction of Toolooa SHS in 2018. 
Focus Areas for 2018
With some very strong improvements during 2017, we are well on our way for that trend to continue and support our students in our key areas of: 
  • A quality assured Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting plan that is enacted and contextualised across the school
  • A continued focussed reading and writing program in response to the needs of our student body
  • A continual improvement in teaching practice – whilst we have a range of outstanding teaching practices at Toolooa (as evident in our results), we are always committed to improving on our practice
  • Wellbeing, attendance and engagement (students and staff)
  • A smooth transition to the new senior system, which will be introduced in 2019 
Targets for 2018
We have some very clear targets for 2018:
  • Whole school attendance of a minimum of 91%
  • 100% of graduating Year 12 students attaining their Queensland Certificate of Education or Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement
  • Improvement for our Year 7 and 9 students in Reading and Writing above the national improvement rates 


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity and thank the Toolooa community in advance for their continued support of the school’s strategic direction in 2018. I encourage all parents/caregivers to contact the school to discuss their child’s education if any concerns arise.