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Principal's Piece - Justin Harrison

4/04/2019
​Principal’s Piece
— Justin Harrison
 
 
Easter Holidays
School finishes this term on Friday the 5th of April and recommences on Tuesday the 23rd of April. We wish all of our families a safe and restful holiday period. Please be careful on the roads as we want all students back next term, ready to learn.


 
Report Cards
Term 1 report cards will be posted home in the near future with senior student reports going home in the next few days and junior students reports being posted in the first week of next term. These reports will provide indicative results (A—E) for academic achievement along with behaviour and effort ratings.
 
We encourage all parents/carers to have a discussion regarding their child’s report, paying particular attention to attendance, effort and behaviour. I congratulate every student who has achieved a “Very Good” or “Excellent” for behaviour and effort, a goal that all students should strive to reach. From my perspective, ‘Satisfactory’ on a report for effort or behaviour does not indicate that a student is doing their best, their behaviour and effort results on their upcoming report cards MUST be in the ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ category, with strong student attendance. To achieve this, we encourage our parents to set their expectations in these areas high for their children. Page 42 of the Student Success Journal provides an opportunity for students and parents to reflect on their term 1 progress and identify areas for attention.
 
Uniform Reminder
As we approach the end of term 1 it is important to remember what the school expectations are with regards to warmer clothing. As is stated on our student success journal:
 
“A school jacket is available for purchase through the school office. Alternatively a plain black pullover or zip-up jacket may be worn in winter. No hoods are to be worn at any time.
 
The CQ representative or Queensland sporting jackets (obtained through school sporting teams), as well as school issued jumpers (AIME /ARTIE) are also acceptable.
 
Girls are allowed to wear plain black stockings under a skirt during winter. The wearing of tights at school is not acceptable even under a skirt or shorts.
 
Plain black slacks or tracksuits pants of fade resistant material may be worn in winter.
Denim is not accepted at any time.
 
Failure to wear the appropriate uniform will lead to uniform infringement procedures being followed.
 
Attendance
A reminder if your child is absent from school that you are expected to inform the school as soon as is possible as to the reason for their absence from school. There are certain reasons that Education Queensland consider to be justifiable (medical, bereavement, family reasons, illness, school refusal) however other reasons that are considered to be non-justifiable (for example; to go to a music concert). If you have any questions, please contact the school office for further information.
 
Please note that you may reply to the text message, send a note with your child to the form teacher or contact the absence line. Please provide details as to their absence when informing the school of the absence.
 
Progress Report On The Implementation Of New QCE/SATE System
As many of you would be aware, in 2019, all Year 11 Secondary School students in Queensland have embarked on the new approach to senior schooling with revisions to the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and the introduction of a new Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance (SATE) system taking affect. One of the many changes the new SATE system brings is that Queensland will now align with many other states with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) being assigned to students wishing to access direct entry to further education through university. Both the revisions to the QCE and the move to an ATAR (which replaces the OP) is a significant change to the senior phase of learning and brings with it a range of new Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority (QCAA) Subject Syllabus requirements and QCE/QCIA policies and procedures.
 
With any major change, there can be angst, however, I must stress to you that Toolooa SHS is well positioned in the early phase of implementation. We are extremely confident in the preparation and planning that our teachers and Heads of Department have busily undertaken over the last 18 months. This has included; participation in a wide range of QCAA and internal professional development opportunities, development of high quality assessment, curriculum and pedagogical practices, quality assurance and moderation processes and refinement of Senior school policies and procedures. Undoubtedly the work undertaken and the professionalism shown by all staff involved has created a relatively smooth transition to and effective implementation of this new system and will allow students the greatest chance of success.
 
Our Year 11 Senior cohort, who have chosen their learning programs from a wide range of QCAA General and Applied subjects as well as Vocational Education & Training (VET) packages, will continue to engage in Unit One and Two. Strong academic tracking processes are in place to analyse and evaluate achievement, effort and behaviour reporting data.
 
These processes will continue to provide support and intervention on student progress towards their QCE.
 
Like always, I encourage all parents/careers of students in Years 7-12 to contact the school to discuss any concerns that you may have with your child’s education.