From the Principal, Helen Finlay
What a busy term we have had! Despite COVID-19 meaning we still have to adhere to certain guidelines, it feels as though in 2021 we have been able to have greater community involvement at events, which has been a blessing for us all.
This term saw the launch of our Extraordinary Futures – Strategic Plan 2020 and Beyond. We have already started to put many of the initiatives outlined in each of the Strategic Pillars in place.
Pillar 1: Learning
At the beginning of the year we collected an extensive baseline of numeracy and literacy data for each of the students. The teachers, Inclusive Education and Executive staff then met in year groups to discuss the data of each individual student. Data will be collected again towards the end of next term and data conversations will be held to look at the individual progress of students to ensure what we are doing is effective for every student. Next term when school reports are issued, you will notice student reports will be far more comprehensive as a result of this data collection. We are committed to reporting against core skills in each of the Key Learning Areas in order for you to have a clearer understanding of your child’s academic achievements.
Pillar 2: Staff
At the beginning of the year and again midway through Term 1 staff were engaged in Professional Learning with a company who is guiding us through our journey of embedding effective Explicit Direct Instruction into our numeracy and literacy blocks. Our newly engaged Pedagogy Coach, Jo Hirst, has been supporting staff in the classrooms to achieve this goal.
Pillar 3: Community
The first of our bi-annual Think Tanks was held in Week 8 of Term 1 with another one planned for Term 3. We thank parents who were able to attend this event and provide the school with valuable feedback and would encourage you to be a part of our next Think Tank later on in the year.
Pillar 4: Leadership
Our School Council met for a workshop earlier in the year in which we discussed our Building Masterplan for the next 5 years as well as the future direction of the school ensuring we are a progressive and innovative school. I look forward to sharing our next exciting building projects with you in the near future.
Some of the Term 1 highlights included….
PFA Movie Night
A huge thank you to the PFA (in particular Kate Hobart and Kimberley Hutchinson) for hosting the inaugural Cinema on the Green event. This event sold in excess of 500 tickets! We were blessed with amazing weather and it was so wonderful to see the community come together and enjoy some good quality family time. Those who attended agreed it might need to become a new SPW PFA tradition!
New Plaza Sound System
A big thank you to the PFA whose fundraising efforts (over $21,000) have paid for a brand new built-in sound system for the plaza as well as a state of the art portable system which can be used for future events.
Our Year 6 and 7 students were able to experience not one but two camps this term! The first was an outdoor adventure camp where students build resilience, challenge themselves and have the opportunity to try new things. Our second camp was the Canberra Trip which involved flying to our nation’s capital and spending four very jam-packed days exploring all that Canberra has to offer. Both were a valuable learning experience for all.
Sports Day and Cross Country
We were again blessed with fabulous weather for both of these events. This was my first SPW Sports Day and I was very impressed with the venue, how many community members came along to support the students, and of course by the students themselves. A huge thank you to our PE Department for all of their hard work in organising these two events.
It has been wonderful having our coffee van on site each fortnight to not only give many of us a much needed caffeine hit in the morning, but more importantly it provides an informal gathering space for parents to connect and even chat to school Executive if they would like to. We will be continuing this tradition into Term 2 and would love to see you there!
Easter at SPW
Children have enjoyed the many Easter traditions SPW has to offer, including the PFA Easter Raffle, Easter activities in their classrooms as well as a two part Easter Special in Chapel presented by our very own Chapel Choir as well as Rev’d Andrew and Rev’d Michele.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful break. I look forward to seeing everybody on Tuesday April 27. We will be commemorating ANZAC Day as a school on the first Friday of Term in the Chapel at 2.30pm.
Helen Finlay, Principal