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From Deputy Principal: Strategic Development and Curriculum

09 June 2023

Striving for Academic Excellence
Throughout the semester we have been working hard in all aspects of College life to provide an excellent, well-rounded education for our students. Enjoy a snapshot of what we have been doing over the past two to three weeks.

Thank you to all our staff for their initiative and dedicated work, both within and outside the classroom, to inspire our students and enhance both academic and experiential learning.

Wynspeak Finals
Each year we participate in the Wynspeak, Public Speaking competition. Last Friday evening, 2 June, the Wynspeak Finals were hosted at Thomas Carr College in our Performing Arts Centre and 18 secondary schools were represented.

Congratulations to Oliver Pond for winning First Prize in the Senior section of the competition and we wish Oliver all the very best as he progresses to the State Finals

Thank you to all the staff who supported our participants this year and to our Co-Leaders of the English Learning Area, Ms Margaret Raffoul and Mrs Indra Nathan for organising the event last week and supporting our students.

At this stage of the year, we are well into our teacher coaching program and eleven of our Middle Leaders have just completed the fourth Coach Training session with Growth Coaching International.

We are appreciative of the commitment that staff make to improve their skills and knowledge to as to support each other to reflect on and enhance their classroom practice.

Thank you to Dr Alexandre Guedes for leading and supporting our teacher coaching program and for leading various initiatives with our VCE students which will be highlighted in the next Beacon.

Our Literacy Leader, Ms Lexie Huculak, has ben very productive this semester, working both behind the scenes and leading professional learning for staff.

This year we have continued to be in involved in the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Secondary Disciplinary Literacy Project and all our teachers of Mathematics, Humanities, Science and Health and Physical Education have started an online Professional Learning program this term which will continue with 2 more sessions to take place in semester two. 

Ms Lexie Huculak has been supporting staff and working with our Literacy Consultant, Kirstin Bourne, to develop a Literacy Policy and a 3 year Literacy Improvement Strategy. In her role as Literacy Leader, Ms Huculak works with the English teachers at Years 7-9 to implement the Renaissance Reading Program which supports growth in reading skill and proficiency quickly when students read daily and at the appropriate level within their individual Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). She has also developed a professional learning program and resources for teachers. The initial area of focus is on creating a consistent approach to teaching vocabulary explicitly in the Middle School. 

We encourage parents to ensure that reading is a normal part of the daily routine at home. 

Chat GPT and AI Professional Learning
Looking ahead to exciting times in the ever-evolving world of technology and its impact of learning and the world of work. Mr Andrew Bryson and Ms Cheryl-Anne White recently attended a national AI in Education Conference and Ms Sugarti Febrinaldi, inspired by a workshop she attended a few weeks ago, organised a Chat GPT PL session on Wednesday afternoon, which was attended by the Languages Team and 20 other interested staff.

We were all very excited to learn more about how to use these new and emerging technologies to further engage our students in their learning. We will also be investigating the many technical and ethical issues presented as AI takes a greater place in our society.

Mr Stephen Manitta, our Head of Learning and Teaching – Middle School presented today at the Wyndham Tech School STEM Education & Industry Conference. Stephen spoke on The Future of Work Skills and STEM Education.

Examinations and Final Assessments
Wishing all students from Year 7-12, the very best as they work through their examinations, final assessments, and the GAT – VCAA General Achievement Test for all enrolled in Unit 3 and 4 student which takes place on Thursday 15 June. Information regarding the GAT has been previously communicated to all students and families. If there are any questions, please contact the College.

On Tuesday afternoon I visited D18 as over 120 students sat their Year 12 English SAC from 3.30-5.00pm. I was so impressed to see the level of focus, dedication, and confidence in the room. As we reach the end of this semester, the days become shorter and the weather becomes colder, it is important to focus on keeping motivation and energy levels high by being focussed on our goals, following well structured study routines, eating well, and sleeping well.

Looking ahead to 2024
We are currently preparing for 2024 and for the Subject Selection process which begins next term. An important part of the process is the Senior School Subject Expo Night which will be held on Tuesday 18 July at the College.

Information will be sent to families of students currently in Years 9, 10 and 11. It is critical that students and families are well-informed before designing their programs for Years 10-12. We look forward to seeing you there so please note this date in your calendar if you have children in Years 9 and 10 in particular.

Keep an eye out for the information which will be sent the first week of the Assumption Term.

Homework Policy
We have been working on a new Homework Policy. The SRC Executive have been involved in giving us feedback on the policy and they have also been collaborating with staff to create a Thomas Carr Learner Profile. We asked the students to articulate what are the characteristics of the Thomas Carr students who are the Graduates of Thomas Carr College and how do we work together to ensure all students can, and do, excel. We are at the beginning of this process with students on both projects, and we look forward to updating the community next semester.

Ms. Lucy Angelico
Deputy Principal: Strategic Development and Curriculum