Good afternoon everyone,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all staff, students and families to the new Playford International College this year. We all have an exciting year ahead of us and we anticipate that great success for school and students will be achieved. Much hard work was undertaken by our staff last year and we will use this as platform to build a new future for our school.
This year represents the beginning of a new future for our school and community. Since 1961, education has been provided to generations of students on this same school site. History reflects 4 school amalgamations over this 54 year period along with continual demographic, socio-economic and cultural changes throughout the Elizabeth and indeed, Northern Adelaide area.
This is a proud school. Many of the old scholars of the 1960s and 1970s continue to lead business, government and community organisations throughout the State. They remember a time when the old Elizabeth High School had more than 2000 enrolments and enjoyed a reputation as one of Adelaide’s most prestigious secondary schools. Along with Fremont High School, Elizabeth Boys Technical School and Playford Girls Technical School, education and training was matched and delivered to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners across the community. The demand for trades was high and the economic expansion of the northern Adelaide was heavily dependent of the growth of industry and manufacturing.
Today, Northern Adelaide is the fastest growing region in South Australia. It is a highly multicultural community and significant gentrification is taking place. Coupled with the State Government’s Northern Economic Redevelopment Plan, Playford International College will help prepare the next generation of students and families for a vibrant and exciting future. I am pleased to share this journey with you.
Start To the New Year:
We have enjoyed a positive and exciting start to the new school year. The large majority of students have elected to proudly wear our new school uniform. This uniform is a very public symbol of our new school and it creates a very visible impact. New signage throughout the school and the release of the school’s new website have also helped us transition to our new school quickly. Comments from students, parents and the community have been very pleasing.
The structure of our new school day is already having an impact. A number of students are already using the Senior Centre and Learning Hub for study from 8.00am each day and again after school until 5.00pm. The later start each morning has resulted in more students being prepared and ready for their first lesson at 9.25am. A longer recess break is giving students and staff greater opportunity to refresh and catch up, and the reduced number of lessons and longer learning blocks each day mean that everyone has the opportunity to concentrate for longer on deeper learning activities. Our senior students have responded well to later lessons on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and their learning at this time reflects a more adult learning environment.
We have created a strategic improvement plan to help our staff become the highest skilled and most influential educators possible. Staff have responded well to the increased professional training and administration time provided to them on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon and the learning of your children will be enhanced greatly the professional development work our staff is undertaking.
Of most significant note, would be the impact of our school curriculum. This curriculum is based upon two very important principles:
1. Improving student engagement through making learning more interesting, relevant and meaningful.
2. Targeting learning so that better supports and challenges students depending on their needs and abilities.
Early indications are that our new curriculum is transforming learning throughout the school. Our learning environment is generally calm and productive and there is a noticeable difference to attendance rates and the feedback being provided by both teachers and students. Without engagement, attendance suffers. Without regular attendance, learning outcomes will be minimal.
We have begun the new school year with 902 enrolments. This is an increase of 112 students on 2015 and 149 students on 2014. 902 students is also the 2nd highest number of enrolments at the school over the past 10 years. This level of enrolment growth is particularly important for our new school. It demonstrates improved community confidence in our new school and the directions that we are pursuing. Enrolment growth also enables us to continue expanding our school curriculum and the learning opportunities and support structures available to your children. Our enrolment target over the next 3 years is 1300 students. Achieving this target will result in a range of new building projects on site.
2015 SACE Results:
At the end of 2015, we were delighted to receive news of the great SACE results achieved by our students. These results reflect the outstanding efforts of our staff and improvement objectives that we pursued so hard.
In addition to these results I am very pleased to congratulate the following students who achieved our highest ATAR scores for 2015.
Hieu Tran 91.95
Jayden McKellif 68.70
Eric Irankunda 67.80
Cindy Lieu 99.05
Stephanie O’Pray 82.20
Shannon Boyce 73.15
I am very pleased to welcome a number of new staff to Playford International College this year. We are a very large staff this year and now have 100 teachers and ancillary staff working with our students. Our new staff include:
Lynette Bird – Biology, Science and Maths
Armando Bonazinga – Science and Maths
Shannon Desinger – English and Health and Physical Education
Kirsty Falkner – Health and Physical Education
Rose Forster – English and Global Studies
Guy Louanglath – Art and Global Studies
Nigel Major-Henderson- Dance
Brendon Parker -Design and Technology
Mark Prokopec – Flexible Student Learning
Richard Satchel – Music
Lisa Train – English and Global Studies
Nicole Trenbirth – Music
Katie Woodrow – Science and Health and Physical Education
Jessica Bezzina – Flexible Student Learning
Paula Clarke – Flexible Student Learning
Jacqui Duthie – Client Services
Trecia Smith – Flexible Student Learning
Mel Staruchowicz – Flexible Student Learning
School Leadership and Specialist Support Staff:
Deputy Principal School Operations and Strategic Improvement -Brian Jordan
Deputy Principal Middle School, IT-Paul Paris
Deputy Principal Special Interest Music, School Promotions-Janice Leahy
Assistant Principal – Senior School and SACE Improvement-Tim Kloeden
Assistant Principal – Student Pathways and VET -Neville Hubbard
Director – Student Engagement and Wellbeing -Leanne Reynolds
Director – Student Support and Intervention-Susan Thomson
Director – Curriculum, Teaching and Learning-Matt Krieg
Business Manager -Julie Heddle
School Data and Operations Manager -Kristen Hughes
Finance and Student Services Manager-Marion Furber
Client Services Manager-Margaret Powell-Jones
Head of Communications (English and Language)-Sue Nowak
Head of Global Studies (History and Geography)-Louise Minnie
Head of Flexible Student Learning-Nick Birch
Head of iSam (Science and Maths-Sue Elderfield
Head of Personal Development (HPE and Home Economics)-Paul Eckermann
Coordinator of Music-Jenna Miltenoff
Year 12 Manager – Leah Donnellan
Year 11 Manager – David Monaghan
Year 10 Manager – Nick Birch
Year 9 Manager – Kimberley Walker
Year 8 Manager – Minnie Bal
Student Counsellor – Lauren De Bono
Student Counsellor – Helen Venetsanos
Student Counsellor – Sam Trotter
ATSI Manager – Nicole Adji
Learning Hub Manager – Chevonne Cracker
Literacy Improvement Coach – Andrea Williams
NESB Manager – Helen Venetsanos
Student Pathways Manager – Brett Crowhurst
Supported Learning Manager – Sam Trotter
2016 Site Improvement Plan:
Many improvement priorities have been established for the year ahead. All staff were involved in establishing 3 year Strategic Improvement Plans for their teams and/or departments in 2015. From these Plans, key improvement objectives for 2016 have been identified along with overall Transformational targets for the school. Please see appendix 1 following the principals report for the full site improvement plan.
We are delighted to congratulate Allira Quinton and Olivia Smith and their partners on the recent birth of their first child. Both teachers are highly valued staff members of Playford and we are celebrating their great news. Both Allira and Olivia will return to school later in the year.
Flexible Learning Centre:
One of our great new initiatives this year has been the development of our new Flexible Learning Centre. This Centre has been developed to offer non mainstream students genuine and supportive access to quality educational and training opportunities. The new Flexible Learning Centre is fully staff with teaching personnel, administrative staff, Youth Workers and Case Managers. Our goals are simple – to help reengage disengaged students back into either full or part time learning or to help transition students into either full or part time work. Over time, I believe our Flexible Learning Centre will significantly improve future outcomes and prospects for many local youth who currently find traditional schooling difficult or not suitable based upon their personal circumstances.
Asset Development Plan:
Much work has been undertaken over the past 6 months on the $7m redevelopment plans of the school. We have now reached agreement with the Architects and Government about what the scope of work will include. Our community will be very excited about the proposed plans. Agreement to date has outlined new and refurbishment work to occur across the site. Many current facilities will be upgraded and new work will take place on a number of existing buildings. Some disused or underutilised buildings will also be moved from the school grounds. In the coming months, I will be in a position to provide the school community will a more detailed outline of the work to be undertaken as well concept diagrams of the changes that are planned.
Key Student Responsibilities:
Below is a simple list of key requirements for every student and family to understand and accept responsibility for whilst studying at Playford International College.
1. Student Behaviour: Schools should be positive places where student learning, wellbeing, success and positive outcomes are the flavour of the day. When you strip everything down, what is left is relationships between people. Relationships between students, teachers, parents and community members. Our school uses agreed School Values and an established student ‘Code of Conduct’ to ensure the school remains a safe environment that is focused on learning at all times. A non-negotiable school policy is maintaining the right of teachers to teach and the right of students to learn. Students who disrupt the learning environment, harass others, display violence, engage in illegal behaviour or act disrespectfully towards others will be removed from class or the school. As parents, I need to remind everyone that the school has a zero tolerance towards poorly behaved students and action will be taken if students fail to meet the expectations outlined in the school’s Behaviour Code. Please support all of us to make PIC a safe and supportive learning environment for all.
2. Student Attendance: Every parent is responsible for the regular attendance of their children at school, every day. Every secondary school aged student also has the capacity and maturity to take responsibility for their own attendance at school, every day. It is illegal for a student aged under 17 not to attend school or formal training every day. When students fail to attend regularly, they quickly miss valuable learning and most find it extremely difficult to catch up. Missing just one day per week, will result in a student missing almost 1 full term of learning in just one year. Think about this for a moment. Do you think you are helping your child to be as successful as possible if you allow them to miss school on a regular basis? As teachers, we simply cannot help or support students who don’t attend. Please treat this matter as extremely important. Attendance is primarily a family responsibility.
3. School Uniform: Our School Board has implemented a compulsory school uniform for all students as part of its governance policies. Every student is required to attend school daily and dress to comply with the school’s student uniform policy. Students not wearing the appropriate uniform items will be given loan items for the day. In extreme cases, students will be sent home for uniform breaches or removed to an independent learning environment for the school day. By wearing our school uniform, students learn to dress appropriately for the workforce, we eliminate bullying and harassment caused through students wearing brand clothing and we significantly increase school safety by being able to quickly and easily identify non-school members. We have a great looking, functional school uniform and I would hope that our students are proud to wear it as a member of our school. Remember, no uniform, no school.
4. Learning: Students develop and learn many skills to assist them to lead a happy and fulfilled life as part of their learning journey from pre-school to senior secondary school. Schools provide students with many great learning opportunities both within the classroom and beyond. Ultimately, the end point of schooling is for students to successfully transition into the workforce or achieve the results necessary for them to undertake tertiary education. Any student not transitioning directly into meaningful employment, vocational or apprenticeship training or university study is significantly at risk of long term unemployment and/or welfare dependency. It important for every student to focus on their academic achievement as a foundational reason for being at school. Learning and academic achievement are school priorities that are simply first and foremost. Listening, contributing, attempting, completing, participating and sharing are expectations that we have for every learner in the classroom. This doesn’t mean that every student need to be an A grade student. But it does mean that every student needs to try their best, have a go and attempt all work set by subject teachers. These are the ingredients for success and teachers expect all students to turn up for school ready to learn.
School Annual General Meeting:
The school’s Annual General Meeting will be held at the next School Board meeting at 5pm on March 30th (Week 9). This meeting will be held in the school’s conference room. At this meeting, the school’s 2015 Annual report will be tabled and an election to appoint new parent representative to the 2016/17 School Board will be held.
All parents are warmly invited to attend the AGM and I would like to use this opportunity to encourage parents to nominate for a position on the School Board. Supporting the improvement work of the school is responsibility of both staff and parents. If you interested in joining the School Board, please complete and return the attached nomination form to Nicole Bayliss (Executive Assistant) prior to March 30th.
The Year Ahead:
This will be very exciting year for our school as we continue to pursue a strong improvement agenda. There are many school events planned for the year ahead and I’d like to encourage you to get involved with the school. It’s important that your children see and hear you speaking positively about Playford International College and the value of education in general. Education is a partnership and without parent support, teachers cannot change outcomes for children. If in doubt or if you have concerns, always ring or email the school in the first instance and speak to the appropriate person. We are all here to help.
Quote of the Week:
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”
Enjoy Term 1 and the year ahead.
Rob Knight – Principal