Message from the Principal Issue 1 March 2017

Good afternoon everyone,

Welcome Back!
The 2017 school year is now well under way and I have been delighted with the positive energy and feel of the surrounds of our great school. Our students and staff have returned with great enthusiasm for the year ahead and everyone has quickly settled back into school life. During term 4 last year and over the summer period, our staff were involved in extensive performance review and planning for this year. Their efforts have been rewarded with an outstanding start to the new school year.

2016 SACE Results:
Our staff and students are to be congratulated on their excellent SACE results last year. Click here to see the full outline of achievements. In addition, I am very pleased to congratulate the following students who achieved our highest ATAR scores for 2016:

Alizafar Wahidi 92.80
Tiana Marius 80.50
Zulfiqar Ahmadi 78.45
Maddison Martin 71.15
Andrew Machochi 54.90
Gemma Hocking 67.35

Enrolments:
We have again experienced strong enrolment growth again this year with an actual enrolment now beyond 1000 students and a full time equivalent enrolment of 990 (accounts for part time students). Over the past 2 years our enrolment has grown by more than 250 students and this is an extremely pleasing result for our community. Parent confidence in our school is high and we are achieving fantastic learning outcomes for our students. The reputation of Playford International College is growing and our students speaking proudly of being a student at our school.

2017 School Priorities:
Each year, we identify key improvement priorities that are contained in our 3-year Transformational Plan. Each of our 26 internal departments have developed their own annual improvement plan. A copy of the 2017 Annual Improvement Plan is attached to this newsletter.

New Staff:
I am very pleased to welcome many new staff to our school this year. As enrolments grow, so does our workforce. We take great care in selecting only the best staff to work with your students. To work at Playford International College is a personal choice but to do so, carries great expectation and responsibility for all staff. The learning and wellbeing of your children cannot be compromised. Our new staff include:

Mitch Asser
David Blight
Carol Bowman
Lothar Bukojemski
Shane Hodgson
Tim Hogan
Sarah Kirk
Cheryl Lord
Kristen Menadue
Jolene Miller
Elisa Resce
Kerryn Schofield
Dan Shaw
Claire Solomon
Dan Stevens
Ashley Sykes
Judi Warrick
Robby Young

Student Attendance:
I must begin by stating that student attendance is first and foremost the responsibility of parents. Whilst it is the primary job of teachers to create a safe and exciting learning environment, it is the job of parents to ensure that their child attends school EVERY DAY without exception.

Last year, average daily attendance for students was 77%. This is well short of the DECD average (above 90%). This rate of attendance means that the average student is only completing 3 terms of schooling per year. By Year 12, a student with 77% attendance has missed a whole year of schooling. It is little wonder that such students find learning difficult, quality employment difficult to achieve and a university pathway virtually impossible to achieve. More often than not, students with poor attendance have difficulty socialising and communicating with others and regularly drop out of school to a potential life of welfare dependency.

In many cases, parents continue to do very little to ensure that their children are attending school every day. Excuses such as Family or Illness are used all too often when instead parents need to enforce attendance at school. This is a serious matter and Improved Student Attendance remains our school’s one number one priority. Please review your approach to your child’s attendance at school make it your priority to have them attending every day.

Student 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.

Student Learning Expectations:
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 is 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.

Quote of the Week:
“The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”
Robert M. Pirsig

Enjoy Term 1 and the year ahead,

Regards,
Rob Knight,
Principal