Principal Piece with Justin Harrison Term 1 Week 2 2021


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 2021. Whether you are a new family to our School this year, or you are returning once again, we are excited to have you as part of the Toolooa SHS community.

Once again, it has been a smooth transition back for all students 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. Over the next few weeks, the School will settle into every day school life, with students engaged in learning and the extra-curricular programmes coming into full swing. As always, I encourage all students to find their passion, whether that is inside or outside of the classroom.

Staying COVID Safe

Our major goal at Toolooa State High is to provide the best education in a safe and supportive learning environment. Consequently, Toolooa SHS will continue to follow the directions of Queensland Health, as well as implement all “COVID normal” practices at the school including maintaining physical distancing, good hand hygiene and ensuring staff and students stay at home when sick. When visiting the school, we ask for your cooperation in also following these practices.

As we have all seen, the COVID situation is ever changing. I am anticipating that throughout the year, school events and activities will need adjusting to meet the necessary requirements. We appreciate your understanding and patience when this does need to occur and will do our best to provide as much notice to families as possible.

2020 Outstanding Achievements

2020 was another outstanding year for Toolooa SHS. It is with great pride and pleasure that we celebrate the outstanding achievements of the class of 2020 and to those students who have excelled in their chosen field outside of the classroom.

The success of our graduates in pursuit of the Queensland Certificate of Education, Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement and ATAR scores was very pleasing to receive.

On behalf of the school community, I would also like to make special mention of some of our Year 12 students who received outstanding ATAR scores; Alana Dwyer (96.60), Claire Richter (96.30), Quinn Brennan (95.85), Ethan Ludwigsen (95.60), Angela Dyer (94.65), Sabrina Harlen (93.10) and Samuel Tummon (92.40). A special congratulations goes to Alana Dwyer who was awarded the highest ATAR score. Alana will be formally recognised as Toolooa’s 2020 Dux at our first recognition parade this year. Well done Alana! 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 all students from the exiting cohort of 2020 the very best of luck and best wishes in their future endeavours.

Student Code of Conduct

This year all Queensland State Schools are implementing their Student Code of Conduct (SCOC). The SCOC outlines policies and procedures that the school uses to help create and maintain a safe and supportive school environment. It clearly outlines the school's core values of Respect, Achievement and Responsibility and the specific behaviours that are expected in all settings at Toolooa. The SCOC outlines the school reward system for reinforcing appropriate behaviour and also outlines the possible consequences that may be used to manage inappropriate behaviour. It also identifies the differentiated processes that may be used to support and manage both behaviour at Toolooa. Toolooa have a Wellbeing Team that provide support to all students at Toolooa. This support is also differentiated based on the needs of the students. The levels of support are outlined in the SCOC. The SCOC can be found on the school website.

All students will have received their 2021 Student Success Journal. The Success Journal provides students with the sections of the SCOC that are of particular importance to students at Toolooa. The expected behaviours can be found in the behaviour matrix on p 4 of the Success Journal. All staff at Toolooa are involved in the explicit teaching of these behaviours. Conversely, the Success Journal also outlines the list of the possible consequences that could be applied, should students not be demonstrating the appropriate behaviours. The Success Journal also provides students with a wealth of information with regards to uniform, late arrivals, early departures and assessment.

It is important for all parents /carers to be aware of the SCOC and its contents and to discuss this with your child/ren. Information from the SCOC will be being discussed with students at whole school and year level parades, and in class. Different year levels will all have specific focus areas, which will be determined based on the specific needs of the cohort.

If you have any questions in relation to the SCOC, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

Assessment Calendars

Assessment calendars are currently being finalised by staff and will be released next week. Students will receive a copy of the relevant assessment calendar and will be required to write their drafts, due dates and exams into their diary. It is recommended that parents sit with their children to unpack the assessment calendar and keep them organised.

New Staff

I would like to welcome a strong group of new teachers to our school: Brittany Isles, Michael Boyce, Isabelle Mowen, Renee Dwyer, Wesley Beelders, Anne-Maree Gehle & Aimee Robertson. In addition, a special welcome to Tim Lowe who will be joining our Wellbeing Team as our third Guidance Officer for Term 1.

We look forward to this group contributing positively to the direction of Toolooa SHS in 2021.

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 2021

With some very strong gains in 2020, Toolooa SHS is well on its way for that trend to continue. Toolooa’s main goal is to ensure every student is succeeding. To attain this, our school will focus on the following key areas:

  • Having quality assured and differentiated units and assessment pieces
  • Capable and confident staff delivering the curriculum to a high standard using Toolooa’s signature pedagogies
  • Having a safe and supportive learning environment that is inclusive of all members of our school community. Staff will have high expectations of all students, recognizing that all students can succeed, with the right support.

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 and your child’s education. I encourage all parents/caregivers to contact the school to discuss their child’s education if any concern arises.

Looking forward to another successful year.

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Last reviewed 04 February 2021
Last updated 04 February 2021