Dear St Andrew’s Community,
Welcome to 2018! It has been great to welcome everyone back to the College and, in particular, our new staff and new students. As a community, we place a high priority on relationships and it has been encouraging to see people looking out for those who are new. It is very exciting to have over 1300 students here at the College, which is testament not just to our positive community with high expectations for every student to reach their potential, but also our commitment to ensuring students walk confidently into their futures beyond St Andrew's.
Year 12 2017: Once again, the key success of any cohort is their attainment of pathways and opportunities beyond the College. Over the past few weeks, Mr Bowen and I have caught up with the various universities offers for our Class of 2017. Both students and parents (Elizabeth and I included) have been so thrilled to have the next step of tertiary opportunities all assured. Our students are once again accepting their chosen offers in Universities locally, inter-state and overseas.
First Week: Thanks to everyone for a great first week; we have started with a great sense of commitment and purpose. Thank you also for your patience with parking. As co-curricular programs commence next week, we will see a lessening of cars, but as always, we encourage people to plan enough time for pick up or drop off. The peak times are 3.10pm – 3.30pm. If you are able to arrive after this please do, with confidence that we have staff on duty to ensure the well-being of students. Please also be aware that parking spaces usually become available after 3.10pm, so feel free to enter the carpark from the Little Saints entrance and park opposite the large shade sail where your children can safely cross over to you via the crossing.
Vision for 2018: At our staff meeting last week, I shared with all staff our focus areas for 2018.
My first message was to encourage us to build the momentum on our strategic projects. I talked about these throughout 2017 and parents will begin to hear more about their impact as the year unfolds. As a reminder these projects focus around:
Personal capacity – ensuring we build life-long qualities of resilience and responsibility into our students
Digital Thinking – reflecting on the purpose and appropriateness of digital pedagogy
Futures Thinking – embedding into our programs, critical, creative and design thinking skills
Future Subjects – with the changing workforce, is there a need for new subjects?
Enrichment – how do we ensure we provide the best opportunities for enrichment for students in their areas of strength and passion?
We discussed our Teaching and Learning Framework and the commitment to excellence and rigour with literacy and numeracy, as well as ensuring we teach skills that will equip our students to be life-long learners. As I shared with staff, some of the students we are educating today will be living in the 22nd Century!
We shared the passion for our built environment and the construction of the Aquatic Centre which will hopefully commence in June this year.
A key area of focus in 2018 is on expectations. As a College, we want to recommit ourselves to high expectations around uniform and presentation, on our academic program, the co-curricular programs and in all that we do. As Principal, I want a College that values good mentoring relationships with students and at the same time, sets expectations that will encourage students to achieve their personal best. As I shared with all students on Wednesday, they also have a responsibility in everything they do to meet these expectations and give their best.
As our core values remind us, St Andrew's is a place that creates opportunities and we do that by developing the individual, embedding Christ-like action, and promoting personal best.
Other members of our Executive Team have touched on these points, and I encourage you to read their articles and emails in last week's Bulletin and in future editions.
I look forward to a great 2018 as we work together to provide opportunities for our students to learn and move confidently into their futures.
Reverend Chris Ivey