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Principal's Piece - Justin Harrison

Principal’s Piece
— Justin Harrison
Welcome Back
On behalf of Toolooa SHS, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new and returning students to Toolooa for 2019. To date, it has been a very smooth transition for all and I would like to publicly thank my teaching and non-teaching staff for all the hard work that has gone behind the scenes in making this happen. 2018 was an incredibly successful year for all our students and our school and I believe we are well positioned to build on last year’s successes and make 2019 a year to remember.
2018 Senior Outcomes
2018 was another outstanding year for Toolooa SHS Year 12 Outcomes. For the 4th Year in a row we achieved 100% QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education) or QCIA (Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement) attainment. Our Year 12 student’s QCS (Queensland Core Skills) test results were exceptional with our OP eligible students considerably outperforming the State A-E %. Our Student OP (Overall Position) data is the best we have ever seen with 100% of OP eligible students receiving an OP 1-15. More specifically our % OP 1-5 and 1-10 again outperforms the State average distribution. Congratulations to Amritesh Savnak, who after the final calculation of scaled SAIs, OAIs, OPs and FPs by QCAA, is our Academic Champion and Dux of 2018. Amritesh has been successful in gaining entry into a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at James Cook University, Townsville Campus.  Amritesh will be formally recognised as our 2018 DUX at our first Recognition parade. Well done Amritesh!
2018 Senior Outcomes (Provisional)


On behalf of the school community, I would also like to make special mention of some of our other top Year 12 students; Merin Ward, Nick Versic, Connie Li and Henry Kean who were also all offered places in very highly competitive University courses. Overall, 40 Tertiary Study offers were made to our students out of 42 QTAC applications, with 32 of these students receiving their 1st preference. Finally, in addition to the successful Tertiary pathways, we have had a large number of students receiving apprenticeships/traineeships and a large number of students successfully transition to full time or part time work. I wish each and every one of our students from the exiting cohort of 2018 the very best of luck and best wishes in their future endeavors.
Tertiary Applications
  • 42 students applied to QTAC: 31 OP students, 10 Selection Rank students, 1 VISA Student
  • 40 QTAC offers were made.
  • 32 students received their 1st preference, 4 students received their 2nd preference, 1 student received their 3rd preference, 3 students received their 6th preference, 2 students did not receive an offer (still may be considered in future rounds)
  • 5 students applied interstate UAC, VTAC, SATAC, & WA – Offers made Flinders (SA), Deakin (Vic), Latrobe (VIC).
Highly Competitive Tertiary Study Offers

New Staff
I would like to welcome a strong group of new teachers to our school: Jamie Cochrane, Andrew Patrick, Phil Slade, Isabeau Smith and Kathryn Ure. Welcome back to Dave Roby who will be joining our well-being team in a part-time Guidance Officer role, along with Geoff Parnell our new school based Chaplain and to Anita Grills & Ethan Munster who will be integral members of our Teacher Aide team.
We look forward to this group contributing positively to the direction of Toolooa SHS in 2019.
School Pick Up
Like all Queensland state schools, Toolooa State High School treats the safety of students, staff, parents, carers and the wider school community very seriously. We work in partnership with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR), local councils and relevant stakeholders, to ensure there is a coordinated approach to road safety around state schools.
I encourage all drivers and pedestrians near the school to exercise caution and patience, especially during peak periods. To help reduce traffic congestion and increase safety for students and other school community members, I encourage all families to abide by the stop, drop and go procedures, allow clear access for buses and even postpone the time that you pick your child up of an afternoon.
Focus Areas for 2018
With some very strong improvements in 2018, Toolooa SHS is well on its way for that trend to continue. Toolooa’s strategic focus areas for 2019 are:
  • A quality assured curriculum, assessment and reporting plan that is enacted and contextualized across the school
  • A continued focussed reading and writing program
  • A focus on the explicit teaching of cognitive verbs
  • Assessment literate staff and students and evidence of this
  • Wellbeing, attendance and engagement
  • A smooth transition to the new QCE system, whilst also maintaining the ‘rage’ for our current Year 12s
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Toolooa community in advance for their continued support of the school’s strategic direction in 2019 and their vested interest in their child’s education. I encourage all parents/caregivers to contact the school to discuss their child’s education if any concern arises.