Welcome to week 4 of Term 2! We are now moving through a very important phase of the learning cycle as staff and students focus in on the core elements of the units they are current studying. This is the period where organisation around preparing for assessment can make such a significant difference to academic performance as well as reducing any anxiety that students may feel when several subjects have assessments due around the same time.
By checking the assessment calendar (available on our website) and mapping out timing students will be in greater control of their learning. Also an excellent time to check in with teachers if there are any upcoming events that may impact assessment as well as advising of any learning challenges. Always best for students to talk to their teachers first by asking questions during class, attending homework club or making a time to meet. The overall aim is to empower students to take control of their learning, the role of parents and caregivers in this is vital and always appreciated!
Over the next two weeks NAPLAN (National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy) will be undertaken by our Year 7 and Year 9 students. Our approach at Charleville SHS is that this is a normal part of school routine and the only expectation we have of our students is to have a go and do their best. We do not interrupt the delivery of the Australian Curriculum to incorporate NAPLAN preparation lessons, rather we focus on teaching the fundamental skills that are contained within the curriculum.
The information that becomes available when released later in the year is used as one, long term, data source to track our progress as we focus on continuous improvement. Shorter term data sets that we use include academic performance (Levels of Achievement or LOA's), attendance and behaviour while the medium-term data incorporates information such as PAT-R (Reading) and Pat-M (Mathematics) to show annual gains. As Principal I and the leadership team, are constantly reviewing our work to ensure we are on track with our improvement agenda, NAPLAN is simply one element that supports this process.
2020 Headline Indicator Data
Each year I receive a report, Headline Indicator Data, that includes information focused on key aspects of our learning progress across all year levels. The 2020 report shows some pleasing outcomes as well as aspects to maintain our efforts around improvement. For example, our Year 12 attainment which includes the Queensland Certificate of Education, Vocational Education (Certificates) and academic results shows us achieving in the highest category. We are also doing well overall in Maths and Science and improving our percentage of students achieving A's and B's in English.
The clear area of focus, however, continues to be on English overall, particularly in regard to our A-C percentages. We are definitely improving with particularly pleasing results in Term 1 in Years 7, 8 and 9. Year 8 students, for example, increased their A-C results by 15% compared to Semester 2 last year. To support English outcomes Literacy (Reading) is a key element of our Explicit Improvement Agenda with the school also investing in a Literacy Coach who oversees our targeted intervention programs such as Multi-Lit and Levelled Literacy Intervention.
The literacy coach also leads the implementation of Directed Reading and Thinking Activities (DRTA) which is our tier one strategy to support student literacy outcomes. Through this sharp focus on reading we aim to improve learning outcomes across all subjects and this will continue to be a core commitment moving forward.
Each week I have the privilege of spending time in class rooms, observing the great work that so many of our students consistently produce. I also see the efforts of my staff in supporting our students, often seeing them talking to children during break times about class work or just connecting with them to ensure positive learning relationships are formed and maintained. This is at the heart of what schools aim to achieve, enhancing learning outcomes through a positive environment.
The contribution of the community towards this cannot be overstated and I thank you for your continued support which is visible through students being prepared for their learning. Having the correct uniform and materials for classes is just one aspect, the encouragement and focus on achieving your best is so important and as I mentioned earlier the benefit is for students to work hard and take control of their learning, ultimately it is their journey.