Message from the Principal- Issue 8

Good afternoon everyone,
It is hard to believe that we are now well and truly into the last school term for the year. Before we know it, Christmas will be upon us and the 2017 school year will be ready to commence.

Year 12 Students:
During week 3, we formally farewelled our Year 12 students. It is with mixed emotions that these students start the transition from a childhood of formal education to an adult life of work or further study. As a school, we hope that we have equipped every graduating student with the skills, work ethnic and values to take them forward in life. Our wish is for our students to be happy, successful, community and family oriented people whom will not fear challenge and will embrace opportunity when it arises. We congratulate all our graduating Year 12 students.

Staffing News:
We continue to recruit and appoint many new staff to our school. As our enrolments continue to grow and we continue to implement the priorities of our 3-year Transformational Plan, our focus remains firmly on recruiting, training and retaining the highest quality staff. I would like to congratulate the latest group of staff to receive permanency at Playford International College:
•Daniela Russo •Brendon Parker
•Lisa Train •Kristen Menadue
•Katie Woodrow •Elisa Resce
•Nathan Cini •Shane Hodgson
•David Monaghan

Student News:
As continue with planning for the 2017 school year, our enrolment prediction continues to grow. At this stage, we are expecting between 950-1000 students to study at Playford International College in 2017. This will the largest enrolment at the school since 2006 and it reflects the growing confidence the community has in our school. Since 2014, more than 250 new enrolments have been received at our school and this makes us one the fastest growing schools within the State. Not only do attendance rates continue to improve and behaviour incidences fall, most importantly, our data shows excellence academic improvement across all Year Levels. Our most capable students are achieving more A and B level grades whilst those who require additional support are receiving this through a range of intervention and support measures. Playford International College is indeed rapidly transforming the lives of students.

Council of International School Accreditation:
In week 4 this term, our school will undergo the first stage of external performance review by members of the Council of International Schools (CIS). Gaining formal accreditation as an International School is a key priority of our 3-year Transformational Plan. Dr Paul Paris is leading this important and comprehensive work and should we be successful, the process will take us around 3 years to achieve full accreditation. Gaining formal CIS Accreditation will place us amongst the most elite schools worldwide. It will enable our school to be marketed globally and it will result in full fee paying International students being able to enrol in our school.

School Partnerships and Profile:
I am very pleased to announce that our Adelaide United Football Club (AUFC) is our latest official school partner. Over the past few months, we have been working closely with officials from AUFC to secure a long term partnership that will benefit both parties. The Playford City Council has helped us secure this partnership that will result in a range of opportunities for students involved in our Soccer Academy. Our goal is to develop an elite talent pathway for the most gifted football players in the Playford area. Our school has now developed official partnerships with the following organisations:
•Playford City Council •University of SA
•Saint Peters College •Beacon Foundation
•Youth Opportunities •The Smith Family

Teacher Excellence:
I am pleased to announce that commencing in 2017, 25 teachers from our school will begin studying for their Masters Degree in either Education or Educational Leadership with The University of South Australia. A Masters Degree is one of the highest teaching qualifications available and educators with a Masters are regarded as amongst the best in their field. Our school will be the first public school to offer and support teachers to undertake the Masters program on such a broad scale. The Masters program will also be offered to staff in 2018 and 2019. By 2020, we anticipate that more than 50 PIC teachers will have completed their Masters. Our students will benefit enormously from this initiative as the school curriculum and teaching methodology continues to evolve.

Student Laptop Program:
This year, we launched the school’s first ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) program. This has resulted in more than 200 students now having their own laptop or electronic device for use at school. Such is the importance of every student having access to their own laptop for learning, the school has now made the decision not to provide general laptops for student use from 2017. Rather, it is now a requirement that EVERY student has their own device. The school has a number of options available to help families and an online survey has been issued to help you with planning and choosing the most affordable option for your child. Please treat this information with the highest importance. Learning effectively in the 21st Century requires 24/7 access to a personal laptop or similar device. The laptop of today is the calculator, pens and pencils of yesteryear. Please contact the school for further support if required.

Facilities Work:
Work has now commenced on the redevelopment of the school’s Administration Centre. This project should be completed by the end of the term. In February next year, the major redevelopment work will begin across the school. The redevelopment includes 13 individual projects and the school will resemble a construction site for all of 2017. The completion date is December 2018. Approximately $13 million is being spent on our schoo,l and once completed, it will transform the look and function of the existing school. However, we will need to manage significant disruption next year and many classes will operate from temporary facilities next year. Whist this is not desirable; the end result will be well worth it.

2017 Planning:
As we approach the new School Year, I would like to remind parents about the change to our school day next year. Please remember that the new school day begins at 9.10am for all Year 8-12 students with all students moving directly into lessons. A warning bell will sound a 9.05am to signal the need for students to move to their first lesson for the day. There are no Home Groups for any Year Level. Rather, a new school wide Student Mentor and House program along with a Seminar Program will replace the traditional Home Group program. Every teacher, leader and ancillary staff member will be involved in the Mentor program that will focus on student attendance, behaviour, wellbeing, family relationships, belonging and participation and achievement. Student Mentor Groups will consist of between 10-15 students across Year Levels and these Mentor Groups will be aligned to a new Student House model. Activities and focus sessions for Mentor Groups and Houses will occur throughout the year. Your child’s Mentor staff will stay with your child for the duration of their secondary schooling and they will become key contact and support people for you within the school.
The school day will continue to finish early on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and the general school day will return to a 3.30pm finish, Supervised study support for all students will continue to be offered in the Learning Hub and the Senior Centre from 8.00am each morning and from 3.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Please note the 2017 timetable that is included with this newsletter.
Please see page 4 for full 2017 timetable.

2017 School Timetable:
In addition to this restructure of our school day, I would also like to remind parents that any student can participate in Accelerated Study Time between 8.00am and 9.00am every morning or after school between 3.50pm and 4.50pm on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Accelerated Study Time is supervised and supported by our staff in the school Learning Hub.

Awards Night:
Our annual Awards Night will again be held at the Shedley Theatre on Monday, November 28th from 6.30pm to 8.00pm. This is a major annual event on our school calendar and the night reflects the importance that we place on recognising and celebrating the success and achievements of our students.

End of Year Procedures:
The school year will progressively finish for the various year levels at different stages. Please note the important planning dates below:

2017 New School Year:
The new school year begins on Monday, 30th January at 9.10am for all Year 8-12 students. The day will begin with an assembly in the gymnasium, followed by Year Level, House and Mentor Group meetings. This is an important day for all students.

Finally:
Can I please thank the community for your tremendous support of our school this year. There have been many changes and new directions have been established that will ensure your child graduates from the new Playford International College with the world of opportunity at their feet. Please enjoy a wonderful festive season ahead and have a safe and merry Christmas with your family and friends. I look forward to again leading our school in 2017.

Quote of the Week:
“Robbing a child of their destiny is like stealing history before it is written” – Tony-kirwan
Regards,
Rob Knight